Monday, July 27, 2009

changing

As I lay here tonight and let my baby nurse until he falls asleep only letting go when his tummy is completely full and he smacks his perfect lips together upon release, I realize how much I have changed as a mommy since my first son took his first breath over six years ago. It seems like ages ago. In some ways it has been a very long time, in others, it has really flown by. How fleeting this season in my life will be. My babes will be grown before I can absorb it all into my memory. I can't believe how I have changed over the years. Starting out as a judgmental mom that had a lot of couldn't-shouldn't-wouldn't moments, I think I've come a long way.

Taylan was here and I was certain I was going to breastfeed for a whole year. I was certain I would be a working mom. I was certain he would move to his crib quickly and never sleep in our bed. He was here, I breastfed exclusively for 5 weeks, did both for 5 months, formula fed until he was one after that. We co-slept in our bed while I was nursing and didn't move him into his room til he was 5 months old. And I was a stay at home mom.

Kanyon was here and I was certain I was going to be a better mom. I wasn't. I was a terrible mom the first year of his life (and that year of Taylan's). Looking back I'm sure I wasn't well. I can't even remember that segment of time. He was nursed til he was 11 months old, moved in his crib at 5 or 6 months old. I didn't co-sleep because I went through a phase where I had trouble sleeping with him in our bed.

Baby Jonyn IS here and I nurse so much that he doesn't like formula. He's a chunk, and always eats like it's the best drop of milk he's ever tasted (I adore that). We co-slept til he was sleeping through the night at a month and a half. And I really really don't want to move him into his crib with the boys. I love having him in here with me. I love his deep sighs in the middle of his deep sleeps. I love the tiny grunts and gurgles. I love the swishing sound of the blankets when he moves.

And I absolutely love nursing him. It is and has been with all of my boys my favorite part of having a baby. I used to think that breastfeeding was the only way, til it was hard the first time. Even so, I realize now that every mom knows what is best for her and her babe. It's not a big deal either way as most babies wind up just as healthy as any other. Taylan is bright and smart and quick and funny and he was mostly formula fed. I also used to think that moms who nursed for more than a year were ridiculous. They just SHOULDN'T do that. How judgmental of me. Now, I wonder if it would be so bad if I nursed my babe for a little longer than a year. It's only one small itty bitty tiny portion of his life outside the womb that he is physically attached to me. And I love that and will be sad the day we have to give it up. So why did I think mom's were crazy to nurse longer??? I dunno. I was ignorant about mommy-hood, but now, I don't want to let that part of my baby and me go. Nursing is pure bliss for us. I love that I get to be his sole source of nutrition for six months and half his food supply after that.

However, I have NEVER had a problem with moms nursing in public. I think it's great if you're comfortable with it. I do it all the time. Sure I get looks often, but it doesn't bother me anymore. When my baby needs to eat, well, he needs to eat. I always cover up and still get glared at from time to time. But oh well. I don't mind it so much.

I used to think that I COULDN'T use cloth diapers, because EWWW GROSS.... I was acting like a 5th grader. I love our cloth diapers. They're adorable, soft, easy, and saves us so much money. I was just telling Toby today that I've been so grateful we haven't had to buy diapers and wipes. It's helped a lot. I'm pretty sure I've already made up for the initial cost of purchasing my dipes. I only have about 14 and plan to get more, especially when we have our 4th. (no, not yet before you ask **wink**). My perspective of so many things has changed so much. I seriously was judgemental. Really. And I'm sorry if I ever raised my eyebrows at you and gave you an "Are you crazy?!?!" look. Truly. I was just dumb. (still am sometimes I'm sure).

I'll never forget my first eyebrow raise... Taylan was only 4 days old. We went to the hospital where a good friend of ours had her baby. We were casually talking with her, her hubby, mom and dad, and I mentioned that we were letting Taylan stay in our bed at night because it was easier since I was nursing. I got that look from my friends mom as she tried to subtly say how wrong it was for people to co-sleep with their babies. I was shocked and felt like I was doing something wrong. And I was terribly offended and thought I was being criticized. I tried really hard not to be critical after that moment, but things pop into my head and slip out of my mouth occasionally. I also learned that I must do things #1 the way God designed me to do them and #2 the way I feel serves my family the best.

I have changed and continue to change. And for that I must give God all the glory. I believe we all need to do what is best for our family and try not to make others feel bad for how they raise their families. I've been guilty of that and try really hard not to do that anymore.

I have changed. I'm utterly grateful for that one simple fact.

2 comments:

  1. You are simply inspiring, and I love you for that. I used to do the same things. Giving the dirty looks, and thinking judgmental thoughts, when someone mentioned co-sleeping, extended breastfeeding, delaying solids, selective vaxing, or even not vaxing at all, cloth diapering, gentle parenting (no spanking/hitting/yelling), in short, all the things that we now do, and will continue to do with anymore children God blesses us with. I'm truly thankful to the Lord for bearing with me, opening my eyes and loving me through it all.

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  2. I love you!! You rotten stinker for making me cry!! :o) I just miss my babies!! :'(

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I am so happy you are here. Your words make my heart so happy.

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