Monday, April 29, 2013

On Weaning, And Working (Blah Blah Blah)

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Silly boy!
Tonight, as I sat perched on the edge of the toilet, both hands holding Emmett's waist while fighting to keep him sitting in the bath (all of our keep-baby-in-the-bath apparatuses are failing us these days), he launched himself over the side of the tub and landed face-first in the pile of shampoos and conditioners and body washes I'd previously removed to limit distractions. You know, to help keep him sitting in the bath. 

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We LOVE straws y'all.
He screamed and cried and I scooped him up and hugged his little wet self to my chest and wrapped him in a towel. He laid his little head on my shoulder and we sat in the rocking chair in his room and settled in for a minute (or two!) of snuggles while he calmed down. My sister (Emmett's live-in babysitter) heard the commotion and came to see what was going on. When Emmett saw her, he cried out and he REACHED for her. Not for me. For HER.

Do ya'll hear that? The sound of big fat (metaphorical) tears hitting the floor and all of my fears being confirmed in one heart-wrenching heart-breaking heart-crushing moment? All this is to say that (cue even more melodrama!) leaving my baby at home each day to go to work is ruining his life (and mine)!

Okay, maybe not ruining. But I mean come on it really feels like it sometimes! I know my baby loves me best, I know he knows I'm his mama and 99.99% of the time he prefers me over everyone else, but that one time when he didn't was just too much.

So what am I to do? I have to work. I have to. (See how I'm saying that mostly to convince myself?) So I guess all there is to do is get used to it. Suck it up. Learn to love it? Nope, that's taking it too far.
I called my dad crying and crying one day, at my wits end and wanting him to fix it for me. I wanted him to know I was in pain and to fix it. Instead, he called me out. (Thanks Dad!) He said my attitude was awful, that women all over the world leave their children to go to work every day. That I was living in self-induced misery, always complaining and wishing things were different, and I was letting  my bad attitude run my life. I was driving my husband and my friends and everyone crazy and I needed to change my attitude. He was right. He told me the only way to fix my situation is to embrace it. To find ways to enjoy it. And to pray that God will change my circumstances in time.

And so I did. And do, every day. But sometimes (about every two weeks or so..) it all builds up and I just miss my baby so much and I just want to be home with him so much. So I stress and I cry and then I do my best to let it go.

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Meanwhile, on weaning:

This weekend Ray and I are leaving Emmett behind for four days to go to a friend's wedding in San Diego. Did you catch that? LEAVING EMMETT BEHIND for four days. Four days. That's not really all that long, right?

My mom is flying in tomorrow to help keep Emmett while we're gone, since Lucia is flying home to Georgia to take her finals on Wednesday. My mom will take great care of him and she's so excited to have some time alone with him for once. She flies home on Sunday and Emmett will go stay with my Mother-In-Law Sunday and Monday. So of course he'll be taken care of. And I'm sure the whole thing will be harder on me than on him. At least I hope so.

And y'all, Ray and I need a break (I hate saying that- how could a mama need a break from her baby, who she misses all the time??). Some time together. And some SLEEP. I'm really looking forward to the sleep.

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But Emmett wakes up at least twice a night, and he won't go to sleep until I come in and hold him and rock him and nurse him. I know that's something I could fix if I tried really hard but to be honest, as tired as I am ALL THE TIME, I love that time together at night. I don't get to breastfeed during the day so.. Anyway why am I trying to explain this to y'all. It is what it is. Will my mom be able to get him back to sleep? Will they both be up all night and miserable and tired the whole time I'm gone?

And then there's the milk issue. I've been working so hard for months, knowing this trip was coming, to put as much milk as possible in the freezer. I've pumped and I've pumped but in the end I only have about 11 bottles. Baby boy has 5-7 bottles (or bf sessions) a day, which means I'm like... 2 and a half days short. And so...... formula.

I hoped I would never have to give him formula. I know it's not a big deal, I know so many mothers give their babies formula for so many different reasons, and I think that's great. But I set a goal to breastfeed exclusively until Emmett was 1, or until he showed signs of wanting to wean (he hasn't), and now I feel like I'm failing. I know, I know. I know I'm not failing. I'm proud of myself for making it this long feeding him breast milk exclusively while working full time, but it FEELS like I'm failing.

The point to all of this:
My life is hard! My life is harder than all the lives!

Okay, maybe not ALL the lives..

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  1. Oh wow. Straight out of my head and onto your blog ;) I've been through/am going through ALL THIS! I know how it feels...

    I'm working full time too, and sometimes even feel misunderstood about THAT, because so few moms I know work full time. So that in itself is hard, to reassure yourself constantly that you've made the right decision.

    I know what it's like to have your baby reach for someone else. Right now Evie has different babysitters all the time (Kemi when he's home, or Ike, my mom, my sister) so I tell myself it's GOOD that she's getting to spend time with all this family. In August, however, she'll have the same babysitter every day, (who we adore and is like family!) but I'm so afraid she'll be reaching out for Debbie instead of me. I even fear when she can talk and she's mad at me so she asks for Debbie. HA! It's stupid when I say it out loud, but just know you're not alone!!!

    And as far as the night feedings go, I get that too! I struggle all evening long cooking, doing laundry, and getting ready for the next day while holding Evie and Kemi tells me to just put her down and let her cry, but I won't do it because I haven't seen her all day! So I'm glad she wants me to carry her around all evening, even if it means I'm physically exhausted and get nothing done. AGHH!

    Don't worry about the trip at all! Just remember that Emmett will never remember you left, and he's better off having a mom and dad that invest in their relationship and are well-rested and sane :)

    You're doing an amazing job of balancing everything, even if it doesn't feel like it! :D

    1. Corinna,

      Can we be friends pleeeeease?!
      I'm so glad you've lined up a full-time babysitter. I know you've struggled with that!
      You're right- Emmett won't remember this weekend at all. That made me feel better! Also he was up half the night last night, so I'm feeling a lot better about this trip already.. ;)

      Thanks for your comment Corinna- it means the world to me to hear from other working mamas!

  2. Anna Kate - you know how I feel like I am in a very similar situation. :) I find myself complaining all the time also - especially to David... Your Dad is SO right, but it doesn't feel like a lot of other moms work full time though,right?? Well at least in the Catholic world. Hope the upcoming weekend is great for you and Ray. We will be in LA Saturday and Sunday, but hopefully we can see you guys some other time!

    1. Stephanie, from now on when I'm struggling, I'm just going to Facebook message you. We can commiserate together!
      Yes, I agree it feels like there aren't many full-time working mamas around, at least not among my friends. That makes it hard.

      Shoot I'm bummed you'll be away this weekend! I was hoping we'd get to see ya'll and meet little Gabriel! Have a great weekend in LA!

  3. Thank you for sharing how you feel. I am applying for full time jobs right now and I don't even want to think what is it going to be the first day. I just keep telling my self, I won't be the first one doing it or James will love be playing with other kids.

    It gets even harder when I get together with home stayed moms because all I want to keep doing is.. stay home with James. But when I am in the interviews I feel that I'm ready to start working.

    To be honest, you are one of the persons that I think of whenever I start feeling that I won't be able to do this.... wake up, get ready, go to work, come back, dinner, laundry, dishes.... wow! Good luck to me!

    You are doing a great job and your little one is perfect!

    1. I forgot to write my name...
      Juliana Poppleton

    2. Juliana,

      I knew it was you! ;)
      Wow, I will be praying for you on that first day! It is so hard to leave them every day, but the first day is a killer. But James will love to be with other kids! Will you send him to daycare? I wish I could be your nanny! Emmett and James would be best buds. :)
      You're right- getting together with other moms who stay home is sort of heartbreaking! I know staying at home has its challenges too (of course!), but it's my dream. It is so exhausting working a full day (after being up for hours with the baby in the morning), and coming home to laundry and dishes and dinner and trying to cram as much time as I can with the baby into the evenings. But you will make it work and it will be fine! I'm amazed every day that I have energy for it all (most of the time..), and it all gets done in the end.
      I can't wait to hear more about it!

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