Breastfeeding Fun Facts

I am no expert on breastfeeding, but after breastfeeding my first for 8 months and currently breastfeeding my 5 month old, I have learned a few things.

  1. It is actually not fun. Breastfeeding is hard work from the moment your child comes into this world. It will get easier over time and you will find your groove, but it is never fun. It may be an awesome bonding experience(totally is) and you may love it(or hate it) but it’s still not fun. Sorry.
  2. It is all about the latch.The latch is essential to all things breastfeeding. My nurse with aubrey was very “hands on” and literally grabbed my boob like a sandwich and then guided aubrey to it. It worked like a charm, but for A LOT of women, the latch isn’t always great. A wrong latch can decrease your milk production, make your baby hungry and mad, make you hurt, and make things very complicated. The main thing is, you have to get alllll of that sucker in the baby’s mouth, not just the nipple.
  3. Your nipples will bleed like Andy’s did on The Office during the charity fun run.Yeah. They will. Lanolin will be your bff for the first weeks, maybe months, until those bad boys get used to the daily torture they’re enduring.
  4. Your boobs will look AWESOME.Until you’re done nursing. Then they just look like sad, half-deflated balloons. So, keep nursing! Yay!
  5. Pumping is a blessing and a curse.It is so nice to be able to pump milk and save it or put it in a bottle so that someone else can feed the baby once in a while, or all the time, whichever. However, it is so difficult to find a time and a place to pump, especially when watching another child.
  6. It is SO rewarding.I love the fact that I am supplying all of the nutrients for my 5 month old right now, as she is fed solely on breastmilk. It is also such a bonding experience and I actually do enjoy it. Most of the time.
  7. Teething also isn’t fun.You would think that doesn’t fit in this list of breastfeeding facts, but it certainly does. Biting happens. If you know what I mean. Biting and pulling. I still haven’t figured out how to stop this from happening, so I’ll just say it’s not fun. What helps is squeezing the breast so that the nipple can’t be fully smushed, but it still doesn’t feel good. We will get past this.
  8. You will always be hungry. Breastfeeding burns calories when you’re just relaxing because you’re producing food for another human, so you will stay hungry. I do, at least. But it’s AWESOME because you will lose weight while eating ALL the snacks. Thumbs up for that one!
  9. All nursing bras are awful.They really need to figure that one out. You can’t wear regular bras with the underwire because you can’t move the cups out of the way easily, nursing bras with no underwire aren’t very supportive and also show leaks like no ones business, and then the nursing bras with underwire are also very uncomfortable and not very flattering. Come on, somebody. Help us ladies out!
  10. You will leak.Not sure why I forgot about this one until the end. But yes, leakage is really bad in the beginning and nursing pads are absolutely necessary. Now, they don’t happen as often, but they still happen if I’ve gone a while without pumping or breastfeeding.
  11. It’s worth it!All the pain, soreness, leaking, and occasional biting are a small price to pay for what you’re giving to your child. So even if you have to exclusively pump or supplement, you are doing a GREAT job! You’ll make it, mama!

Niki

 

Sleep or Lack Thereof

Sleep. Everyone told me when I was pregnant with both of my daughters to “sleep while you can!” and at that point in my pregnancy, I was ready for them to come into the world and I already wasn’t sleeping great so I thought it couldn’t get much worse. I actually thought I would sleep better since I wouldn’t be so uncomfortable anymore and then I’d have a reason to be awake at 2:00 in the morning instead of needing to pee for the 5th time or needing to move my restless legs, or just a racing mind. You know, all of those pregnancy relatedjoys.

You may notice that I said with both of my daughters I thought I would sleep better, and no, they are not twins. It really is true that you forget most of the bad things about birth and the first months of your child’s life. Probably because you’re sleep deprived, at least that’s what I’m claiming. We found out we were pregnant with our second daughter when our first was a year old and sleeping great. So, by the time our second was due, I had totally forgotten that it took almost a year to get to the great sleep, and that I was sleep deprived formonths.

I have several friends that have children and it seems like most of them sleep great. I don’t understand. I’ve read all the articles and blogs on how to sleep train your children, and how to get them to sleep through the night at 2 days old. Just kidding, I’ve never found that one. But maybe I’m just a wimp. I hate hearing my babies cry. That’s why it took 8 whole months to sleep train our first daughter and I cried the first couple nights with her. I loved sleep as a baby, child, teen, and adult. I don’t understand why neither of my babies like sleep! I always say they have FOMO(fear of missing out), because I do too, and I make light of it but it’s really frustrating. I’m waking up at least every 2 hours and the youngest is still sleeping in the bed with us. We’re totally bed-sharers over here and we did it with our first too and it’s the only way I seem to get any shut-eye.

Lack of sleep makes the mind think crazy thoughts, or think no thoughts at all. I went to grab the scissors the other day to cut a tag off, and grabbed the lighter instead and almost started a fire. Should I admit that? I should. I’m being real and that’s about as real as it gets. I’ve done several other really stupid things, but I don’t remember. Because, sleep. Another thing it does is make me frazzled and on edge about anything. My poor husband has to deal with my dramatics as it is, he doesn’t need my no-sleep-drama too. I seriously get so sassy without sleep and I get upset over the smallest things. It’s almost like being pregnant again.

I occasionally let the tiredness become exhaustion and then I’m just looking to pick a fight. My husband works a full-time job to provide for us, and to allow me to stay at home with the girls. I’ve unfortunately argued with him several times on who is more tired. But the thing is, we’re both tired and for good reason. We canboth be tired and no one has to win, because really we’re both losing. It’s so hard sometimes for both parties I think to realize that it’s hard staying at home with kids all day and never having a break, and it’s also hard to work at a desk all day and have meetings and then a long commute to and from work. Luckily for me, my husband is very understanding(that I’m an occasional turd) and also forgetful, so he doesn’t hold it over me.

I just have to remind myself that this is just a phase in our life and it will pass. Hopefully sooner rather than later because this mama is whooped. I know I can’t be the only mama out there that doesn’t sleep, so I hope this hits home for someone and I hope that you know you’re not alone. As mamas we have to support each other; so next time you see a mama with her hair in a legit messy bun(not the stylish ones), leaking milk on one side, with spit up running down her sleeve, just give her a smile and an understanding nod. You’ll make it, mama!

Niki

Monday, Monday

** Monday, Monday… The Mama’s & the Papa’s **

No truer words were ever sung about a Monday than in Monday, Monday by the Mama’s & the Papa’s. Today is no exception. This weekend was SO much fun with my mom and my grandmother in town that it made today especially difficult.

On Saturday, we took the girls to Chestatee Wildlife Preserve and Zoo in Dahlonega, GA. It is such a neat facility and Aubrey thoroughly enjoyed it! All of the animals are rescues and all of the workers are volunteers. There is a small admission fee but all funds go back into the park to feed and maintain the animals. We saw lions, zebras, elk, bears, emus, panthers, and wolves, to name a few. We bought a bucket of food as well to feed some of the animals(obviously not the lions or the bears). It wasn’t too hot and we had such a blast watching Aubrey getting excited over the animals.

On Sunday, we went to INK in Gainesville, GA which is an interactive neighborhood for kids. It is the cutest place for little ones. It is even fit for 2 year olds! It really is a small-scale town with a grocery store, dentist, vet, beauty salon, and more. Aubrey is super independent so she loved doing everything by herself and it was all her size. Small entry fee for that one as well but totally worth it!

Since we were so busy this weekend and went on several adventures, this morning and afternoon were very humdrum. Firstly, my mom and grandmother had to leave us, so I had my own pity party waving goodbye to adult conversation and help with the girls. This morning, I had to go get groceries and take Emery to the doctor to get a vaccine; neither of which are exactly enjoyable. Then, this afternoon, I had to clean and get dinner ready, and then Emery had a huge blowout right in the middle of typing that first paragraph, actually.

It is kind of humorous how every Monday seems to be the same, even though I’m a SAHM and my routine doesn’t really change. It justfeels like a Monday.Itsmells like a Monday. Everything that happens justscreamsMONDAY! But in some ways, I love Mondays because we can start the week fresh with new goals. This week, we are signing up for a summer reading program with our local library and we are going to find and make some easy crafts.

As this Monday comes to a close, I can say with certainty, You’ll Make it, Mama!

Niki

Getting Out of The House

As I mentioned in my last post, the process of going anywhere with children takes years, and in turn, makes me and my family late pretty much all the time. Most days, I choose to stay at home purely because this process is so intimidating. It is such a hassle to get myself ready, get two kids ready, and out the door. You would think it would be easy since they are so small…no. It’s quite the opposite actually. My two year old daughter is potty trained, which is great, but now we have to make sure she has gone to the bathroom right before we leave because I’m not prepared for what would happen if she had to go while I was driving. Do I stop on the side of the road? How long do I have? Do we have time to pull off, park, get the baby out, run in with a baby on one hip and toddler on the other? So many ways this could go downhill.

Anyway, before leaving the house, the toddler has to go potty, will ask for a snack, and then will inevitably take off and lose the shoes that we put on her. Once she is situated, we’re normally good to go. The baby isn’t mobile yet so I don’t have to worry about her losing shoes or hiding from me, thank goodness. I do, however, have to make sure she is fed and has her pacifier. Those are bothvery important. I’ve ended up in Target without insuring both of those and it was AWFUL. Luckily, Target is full of moms who totally get it, so I just got looks that said “I feel you, girl. It sucks.” and not “Ew, look at that mom with the screaming baby, get her out of here.”Since my youngest is EBF(exclusively breast fed), she still eats every 3 hours and sometimes 2.5 so I need to feed her right before we go and then I have 2.5-3 hours before I need to feed her again. So I have to ask myself how long our outing will take and will I be in a location that is easy to feed her.

As you could probably tell, I really get worked up over this whole process and unless I have to, I usually just stay at home with the girls. However, I made it a summer goal to get out more with them and do things instead of staying inside all day, every day. This week we worked toward that goal and got out of the house once each day! It was great to catch up with friends and play somewhere other than our living room. It really made the week fly, doing something every morning and getting home just in time for nap and then playing the rest of the afternoon. I realized that I still really dislike getting them ready to go and I don’t think that will change any time soon, but that it is worth it to see my oldest daughter excited about our adventures. I’m going to try my best to get out of the house more, even though it’s tough, and just tell myself “You’ll make it, mama!” because I will and in the end, we’ll all be better for it.

7 Things I’ve Had to Say ‘Goodbye’ to Since Having Children.

I love being a mom. I love my daughters and I love that I am able to stay at home with them every day. I am blessed beyond measure, but there are things that I sometimes miss that you just have to say ‘goodbye’ to once you have children. Especially multiple, and especially if they are 2 and under. Those things are as follows, and in no particular order.

  1. Being on time, anywhere. Before having children, I wasn’t themost punctual person, but I was normally on time or maybe a few minutes early. Occasionally I would run in looking like the Mad Hatter, but I was there! Now, I’m more like the White Rabbit. “I’m late, I’m late, for a very important date!” For instance, this morning we had plans to be somewhere at 9:30. It is 22 minutes away. So at 9:00 I get up and gather everything and put it on the table. I get the baby changed and dressed, get the toddler dressed and have her go use the potty, get our snacks and drinks ready(you HAVE to have snacks. at ALL times), pack more diapers and change of clothes for both, and I think we’re ready. HA. The shoes that were just on the toddler are now off the toddler and she has to go pee again. I hear an explosion coming from the baby that’s already buckled in the carseat. The books I asked to be cleaned up areeverywhere and I hate to come home to a messy house. So I’m yelling and I’m flustered and my dog is trailing behind me because she hates when I yell. Needless to say, we were very, very, very late. We arrived at almost 10:00. -insert face-palm emoji- Adios, punctuality!
  2. Getting an un-interrupted 9 hours of sleep.I have always been a great sleeper. My own mother told me that when I was a baby, I started sleeping through the night at 7 weeks and then I would sleep in until mid-morning. She gave me hope when she said that! But then I had my daughter. She didn’t sleep through the night until 8 months when we started the CIO method, and sometimes she still wakes up in the middle of the night, and always is up before 7 AM. I had convinced myself that we had the difficult child first and the second would be easier. I was wrong. My 5 month old daughter is still in our bed and literally wakes me every 2 hours to eat. I also sleep so lightly now and I hear every little thing, which I’m sure is a biological thing since I’m a mother, but it is super annoying. I’m now a high maintenance sleeper that has to have a fan and a white noise machine or else I can’t sleep at all. Adios, sleep!
  3. My high-school body.This one may be a given, but I thought there was a chance of seeing it again if I tried really hard and ate healthy. Nah. It’s not possible. I’ve birthed and breasted two babies… Things have gone South for the Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall. Adios, bubble butt and perky boobs!
  4. Using the bathroom alone. I say ‘using the bathroom’ because it does not matter what you’re doing in said bathroom, you will have an audience. When I shower at night, the baby sits in her bouncy seat right outside the door so she can see me, or else she wails like a siren. During the day, any pee or poo activity will be monitored closely and cheered on if needed. I do appreciate the high-five, but some things are just best without an audience. Adios, privacy!
  5. Silence.I think I’m happy about this one, but it’s definitely something I’ve had to say ‘goodbye’ to. There is no such thing anymore. Maybe when I just had one, but definitely not now. We wake up at promptly 6:30 every morning and my toddler is “turnt”. She then wakes up her sister with a “HHIIIIIIII SISTER! GOOD MORNING!” And yes, it’s a yell. Every. Morning. And one of them is always awake. They alternate naps. There’s squealing, laughing, talking, yelling, crying, whining, stomping, and singing, but no silence. Ever. Adios, peace and quiet!
  6. Cooking elaborate meals.I used to love cooking. I loved trying new recipes and the fancier, the better! However, fancy also means time and patience- both of which I no longer have. I also loved to bake. I would do just about anything for a piece of homemade hummingbird cake right now. Drool. I still love to bake, but the kind of baking I am now able to do involves pre-made cookie dough squares that you pop onto a baking sheet and voila. I also still love to cook, neither love went away necessarily, but it’s now more of a rushed, just cook to feed us kind of thing. Protein, carb, veggie. Protein, carb, veggie. Protein, carb, veggie. Adios, smoked salmon eggs Benedict!
  7. Going wherever I want, whenever I want.Back to #1 in which I explained why I was late this morning, going somewhere entails A LOT. So the days of merely hopping in the car and going don’t exist. It takes lots of planning and lining up someone to watch the kids. Adios, Hobby Lobby!

All in all, I feel like 7 is not too bad. It’s still a pretty low number, and I’ve been able to say ‘hello’ to a lot of things as well. That’ll have to be another post, I know y’all are tired of reading. To be honest, I don’t really miss all of the things on this list. Because to miss them would mean I want them back and I love my life. I don’t want anything to change. I mean maybe sleep would be nice….. But maybe I didn’t say ‘goodbye’ to that forever. Just for now. If you’re in the same boat, just know that you’ll make it Mama! We’re in this together! If you’re not in the same boat, don’t let this scare you from having kids. It’s a blast!!

Reflections

I don’t know if it’s just me, or if all parents do it, but every night after putting my daughter to bed, I find myself looking at pictures I’ve taken during the day and laughing at all the funny things she said or did. It seems like while I’m in the moment, I’m tired, worn-out, and waiting for my husband to get home from work to help me. I realize that I criticize myself and how I acted earlier with her. I hope that she doesn’t remember the eye-roll that I gave her, or how I snapped at her when she asked for a snack for the forty-third time.
I take notice of how she treats her dolls and if that is any correlation, I think I’m doing a pretty good job. She talks sweetly to them, reads to them, feeds them, and puts them down for naps. She holds and rocks them alone in her rocking chair when she thinks no one is watching. It makes my heart melt seeing her love on her babies like I love on her. Even though I can see myself in her loving actions with her dolls, I pray that she doesn’t also notice my poor actions and words when I’m frustrated with her for not eating her lunch and then asking for a snack as soon as she gets down. You can probably tell I am still a little salty about that.
Tonight is no different from every other night. I sit here in my spot on the porch typing away and thinking about how I let the whole day slip away because I was tired and cranky and now I can’t get it back. People always say time flies. I found that to be true when Aubrey started turning over, crawling, standing, walking, RUNNING, when she turned 1, when she started talking, and when she turned 2. Now I realize it goes so fast because we are waiting for something. Waiting for the weekend, waiting for our husbands to get home, waiting for a break. We don’t just live in the moment and ENJOY the moment.
I am going to strive to do better. I am going to strive to BE better for my daughters. Today, I complained to my husband that Aubrey was misbehaving and being really sassy to me. I kept asking her “why? why are you acting like this?”. I know she’s two, but she is really a great kid and today she just seemed off. Then I realized that those puckered lips, scowl on her face, and snapping at me could have been and probably was caused by me. It hit me how my attitude towards her is shaping her; the good and the bad.
Tomorrow is going to be different. I am going to pause and think about what to say to Aubrey instead of raising my voice or glaring. I am going to play in her kitchen with her and pretend-eat all of the food she makes for me. I’m going to put my phone down and stop looking at the time. When she asks me for a snack for the forty-third time, I’m not going to snap. I don’t want another day to go by where I feel like it slipped through my fingers, and I also don’t want another day to go by where Aubrey feels like I don’t want to be there. One day, Aubrey won’t want to play with me anymore and I’m not ready for that day to come yet.