At this point with Joshua, he was totally off the boob. He’d decided he couldn’t be bothered to drink from the tap because he didn’t have to work as hard with bottles. I was exclusively pumping and he was combination fed. I knew exactly how much he was getting and how often. He’d sleep for two good stretches a night, usually only waking up once. MAYBE twice. And I thought I had it bad.
I complained and whined and moaned about how my kid didn’t sleep through the night and I was so tired.
Emma has only slept longer than three hours at a time, at least at times when I have also been able to sleep, twice in the past two months, one five hour stretch and one four hour stretch. Twice. In two months.
NOW I’M TIRED.
And when I look over the fence to the other side of the motherhood pasture, I keep thinking that if she were bottle fed things would be different. I wonder if I’m doing the right thing. If it would be easier to just stuff my bra full of cabbage and close up shop.
I look at breastfeeding moms with babies who sleep through the night and even though I know I shouldn’t, I compare myself and my baby and just think that I’m really screwing this up.
Why do they get to sleep and I don’t? What are they doing that I’m not?
And to further my latest existential crisis, why does everything in my life have to be so hard? And why do I have to work so hard to get anything good?
I thought things were supposed to get easier. That as Emma got more mobile, she’d be more content to not be held all the time. She’d wear herself out during the day exploring and start to develop a regular sleeping pattern. She’d sleep for longer stretches when I am also asleep.
I thought that as time went on I would be a better mom. That Joshua and Emma’s schedules would sync up and I’d have just a little time to decompress. That I wouldn’t want to snap at both of my children for whining and crying and needing me. That I’d be able to actually finish the laundry instead of washing the same load three times because I can’t ever seem to get it switched into the dryer.
Things aren’t getting any easier. In fact, I think they’re just getting harder and harder every day.
And I’m really starting to doubt every decision I’ve ever made about parenting, especially breastfeeding. The thing that should be so easy. So portable. The thing that IS so easy except for when it’s night time and I can’t settle her any other way.
I love nursing her. I love looking at all 16 pounds of her and knowing that I did that. My body did that. I grew her and I’m continuing to grow her and there’s a beauty in that.
I do not love being up five times a night to nurse her. And I just keep thinking maybe she’d sleep if I were doing something else. But she gets so unhappy and uncomfortable that this is the only thing I know to do.
I know I won’t just quit breastfeeding. But I definitely think about it.
If I said I weren’t struggling at all right now, I’d be a lying liar. Because I’m struggling.