I struggle as a full-time breastfeeder. I half formula feed (organic) and half breastfeed. I could cry about this, but I try not to. Every mom has a different story, and the best thing I can do for myself is not compare myself to other mothers. I try to do the best I can do.
My baby sleeps in the bed between us. We hold each other tight every night. When placed in the crib, he will wake up and cry till I clean him and bring him back into our bed. His little body cups my chest, eyes closed and mouth slightly open. When he falls asleep before me in the rocker, I have my husband put him in the bassinet, and it takes every ounce of my control not to bring him into the bed with me. Learning separation and independence is a two-way street.
I can’t seem to find the motivation to leave the house, and my workouts have dwindled to a couple of hours a week in my home. On my IG is beautiful California mamas that have boomeranged back into shape after birth. I know I want to do more, but I feel so tired, unlike the rushes of energy I got throughout my pregnancy. I am a couch potato.
My postpartum may not be drastic, but some things are different, and it’s taking me a while to adjust. Every moment with the baby is precious, as well as every moment without him. As soon as I put the baby down, I run to the bathroom, grab a cup of tea or get a little bit of laundry folding in. I don’t have a lot of time to sit around and mope.
I need to do more, seems to be the driving narrative in my mind, but there isn’t much to do now. I couldn’t imagine being away from my child for an 8-hour work shift. I don’t know how we’d survive. I need his coos and his touch as much as he needs my breast. I’m left to work odd jobs and particular hours.
My postpartum journey has just begun, but I gladly accept the negatives and the positives as I float through it. I find myself without direction or lacking motivation. These obstacles don’t stop me from balancing being the best mom possible while supporting my family and caring for my oldest.
I stay sane by utilizing my support team and taking time for myself. I have an old classmate I zoom with weekly, and even though I miss many appointments, we always share our goals and encourage each other throughout the week to achieve them. Family has come to visit and each grandmother has had the magical touch of calming baby down and rocking him to sleep. On a normal day when the baby’s sleeping, I do an hour workout, and I either pause the video or my walk to cater to the baby’s cries. I write down in a notebook ideas, unique designs, or thoughts. I execute art projects, career goals, and personal projects with my family, using the different skills of my husband and daughter to overcome any challenges.
When the baby wakes, I first try to breastfeed him. I will put on a television show but end up just staring intensely into his eyes. I set up breastfeeding stations with either books, television, drawing tools, and water bottles around the house. I get so thirsty when I breastfeed.
We work on elimination communication together, and so far, we have been able to catch a handful of pees and a poop. I like that I respond when he makes potty faces instead of letting him “go” in his diaper. It’s a long path, but I’m glad we have begun responding to his potty faces by putting him on a top hat toilet and making the cue sounds.
At the end of the day, it’s little achievements. I have found myself slowing down incredibly after my pregnancy routine. I can see where this could lead to depression- thoughts that I’m not enough, contributing enough, showing up enough for friends and family. Still, it’s not like that at all.
I look forward to “practicing” traveling further and doing more things with the baby, but for now, the comforts of my own home are about as far as I have taken it.