Mothering is Difficult
Written by: Katie Sprunger
You and I, we are living the best days of our lives, right? That is what everyone tells me. I do believe it. But most days it’s just down right hard.
Hi, my name is Katie. I’m 30 years old and mother to three beautiful children. My daughter is 5 ½ and will start kindergarten next year. My son is 3 ½ and will start preschool next fall. And then there is my youngest- my baby boy- who will turn 8 months at the end of this month.
Before I had kids, I always thought I’d be a working mom. A career was something I desired. My degree is in social work, and I actually worked at the Hope Clinic for three years. While working there, I had my first child. My plans changed…BIG TIME! I missed my baby girl. Most days I’d drop her off and cry on my way to work. By the time I was about to have my second child, I knew I wanted to stay home to raise my kids. I had a hard time balancing my role as wife and mother along with my responsibilities at work. Something had to give. So let me just say kudos to you mommas who work full time while raising kids!
Fast forward to today. I’ve been staying home with my kids over three years now. It’s good. But it’s hard. As a friend once said to me, “The days are long but the years are fast.” I have found this to be so true.
As I begin to share with you, I’ve decided to share from my heart. I’m not an expert. I’m just living this life day to day just like you. It’s fun to share my heart with you. At times I’ll share my opinion, and I want you to know that it’s perfectly fine to agree or disagree with me. But mostly I’ll share my own journey and pray that I can offer you some encouragement to get you through!
You can look to find stories on importance of marriage, faith, discipline, teamwork, finances, and day-to-day good, bad, and ugly. My prayer is to be transparent so that you can see I’m just like you!
So that brings me to two months ago. My baby boy had his 4-month check up. Let me back up… this baby had been very challenging. He was overly fussy and seemed discontent most of the time. I gave him the term “high maintenance.” At his appointment my doctor shared with me that he had lost two pounds. That is a lot in baby weight!
Up until that point, I was solely nursing my baby. It was my desire to nurse him until he was a year old. I thought we were off to a good start when he was born. But unfortunately, as an experienced mother of three, I found nursing him to be the most difficult out of all my kids. Maybe it was the fact that I had to chase after two other kids in the midst of trying to nurse him. My body just never responded well to nursing him. It was really challenging. But I was determined to keep nursing!
As you can imagine, hearing that my baby had lost weight was really difficult to process. What had I done? Why couldn’t I take care of my baby? Is this why he has cried SO much since he was born? Is he just hungry all the time? I battled a lot of emotions.
My doctor encouraged me to keep trying to nurse and then supplement with formula. I left the doctor determined to keep nursing. It was my goal and I knew I could do it! Unfortunately, this wasn’t what my little dude needed. For a couple of days he would not STOP crying. ALL DAY LONG! So you can imagine, I cried A LOT too.
Finally I said, “This is ridiculous.” I’m just going to feed him a bottle of formula.” So I did, a big 6-ounce bottle. He drained it! I cried…and cried. My poor little guy was so hungry. It was at that moment I decided that it was better to have a fed baby rather than breastfed or bottle-fed. I gave up my expectations and decided to do what was absolutely best for my baby.
Since switching him to formula, my baby has gone from a fussy, exhausted booger to being happy and well rested! He has been gaining weight and thriving! And my husband has told me that I’m happier. I agree. I’m not as stressed, and I’m much more relaxed! The change to formula was actually best for our entire family!
So what expectations do you have with your baby or older children? It’s great to have goals and ambitions. However, I encourage you to hold on to those loosely. Things happen that are out of our control and we have to change our desires to meet the needs of our children.
And lastly, let’s encourage mothers with whatever they choose for their baby. If you want to nurse your baby, give it all you’ve got! You can do it! If bottle-feeding is best for you, then go for it! Just remember that a FED baby is the happiest baby of all!
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