Mothers scare me.
Other mothers are intimidating. Maybe its because they all seem so together and I just keep fumbling along, doing the best I can and hoping my ineptitude isn't going to turn Kate into something awful, like a career criminal, exotic "dancer" or Jehovah's Witness.
The truth is, other mothers have such strong opinions about things. It usually reflects their choices and how they raise their children, and they often take it personally if you decline to try their methods or choose another path for your offspring. Often times I get a comment or lecture if I throw out some off hand comment, like when I mentioned that one time I let Kate watch Family Guy while I cooked dinner and I was reminded babies shouldn't watch TV. Well, no shit. But the chicken ain't gonna grill itself.
One of the many topics that get mothers all hot and bothered is breastfeeding vs. bottle feeding. I'm breastfeeding. I honestly think I'm doing it because I was guilted into it by all the books and other mothers that said, in very specific terms, that my baby would be a total loser if I didn't nurse her (not those exact words, but you get the picture). Ridiculous, right? I was formula fed and damn if I'm didn't grow up to be a pretty okay adult. I rarely get sick, am not obese and fingers crossed, am not a loser.
So while I started nursing out of guilt, I actually ended up liking it. It is extremely rewarding each time your baby is weighed and you know that YOU DID THAT for her, that you are giving her something that no one else can.
Yet that is exactly why it is so difficult. No one else can do it for you. You have to plan and pump in advance for any kind of event, be it a few glasses of wine or an afternoon of mommy time (sans baby). Last week, while on vacation, I found myself constantly alone with Kate, nursing her while family frolicked at the beach. I got frustrated with my husband, accusing him of sticking me with the baby all the time when really, what could he do?
In September, Ben and I are going on a 4 day vacation again, this time without Katertot. I'm terrified. Not just to leave my precious baby (whom I have a hard time spending a few hours away from) but how I'm going to be able to provide for her while I'm away. When we go, Kate will be approximately 6 months old and eating around 40 oz. of milk a day. I have exactly 3 oz. of milk stored up in the freezer, and if this week continues on the same path, I'll be using that up this weekend so I can have a much needed drink or two.
My mom mentioned supplementing with formula. I was horrified. And really, I don't know why. If I had gone back to work, I would have definitely switched to formula, no questions, no concerns. But there is something about the fact that I am staying home that makes me feel like I should continue nursing. I guess I kind of feel like it is my job. For that reason alone, I feel guilty about wanting to give Kate formula..
But frankly, I'm tired. I'm tired of being the only person who can get Kate to go down at night because I feed her last. I'm tired of being the only person who can get up for midnight feedings, and I'm tired that I can't have a girls night out without planning far in advance. I'm even a little tired of not being able to finish a blog post.
So you will have to excuse me, I need to go feed my daughter.