Monday, August 25, 2008

Working Mother

I did some reflecting this weekend, in between trying to comfort a fussy, teething baby, about how I've chosen to mother my child. I'm pleased to say that I haven't had to compromise much of what I wanted for my daughter.

Originally, while I was still pregnant, I new I wanted to breastfeed my daughter as long as I possibly could. I went into her birth knowing I would, but still bought a few cans of formula "as a back-up". I tried her on formula twice in the first few weeks. Since then, she has been exclusively been breastfed or drinking expressed breastmilk during daycare. My first goal was 3 months - and it came and went, then 6. My next goal is 9 months. I broke up my goals to give me some short-term milestones to reach and to congratulate myself with. My ultimate goal is 1 year at which time I'll wean her onto cow's milk during the day and probably nursing at night and for comfort for a few more months after that (or as long as my supply lasts).

I really have no desire to nurse her into toddlerhood (although I applaud women who do), it's just really not my thing. Pumping has been very hard and very demanding and I really do look forward to hanging up my pump horns. I savor the times when I nurse Natalie, although she's more than often fussy and squirmy, which makes it hard to have that magical bonding time. We rarely have a quiet, peaceful nursing session. Through it all, though, I know I'm giving my best for my child and I haven't had to compromise my wishes and desires for her.

The same is true now with baby food. My daycare provider really started me on this one. She makes all her own baby food. I figured if I was putting forth the effort to breastfeed her because it was so much better for her, then why would I want nothing less for her once she started whole food? Again, making her food is demanding of my time, but I can see already the rewards. Natalie is learning what food actually tastes like instead of eating jarred food that tastes nothing like the real thing (everyone remember that horrid game of "guess the baby food" played at baby showers?). I'm hoping that this will help her gain healthy eating habits and have her eating a wider range of foods into toddlerhood and beyond.

I realized the demand these things take on my time this weekend. When I wasn't comforting a fussy baby I was pumping (because she wasn't eating well) or making baby food to freeze when I really wanted to just sit down and read a book. I'm exhausted, but my baby has a full belly - my milk and wholesome food in the freezer and she's HAPPY.

So... I am able be a working mother AND still be able to provide for my daughter without compromising. Are there other things I could do like cloth diapering, etc...? Sure... but I'm exhausted. I've made my list of my absolutes and I have to make peace that these things will be enough.


Lauren said... Best Blogger Tips

I have a lot of respect and admiration for working mothers. Sometimes I even wish I was one because I miss my career, independence and suffer from baby burn-out from time to time.

It's amazing that you've been able to work, pump, make your own baby food and take care of your hubby and 2 older children. Kudos to you- I think it's pretty awesome that you do all of these things.

Trish Chibas said... Best Blogger Tips

Good for you for reaching all your goals. Your baby will definitely thank you for it later! That's so funny, I had those same mini goals. Now Brianna's past 1 and refuses to take any other kind of milk. We're still working on it. I admire how you are able to juggle all your responsibilities. I don't think I could do it. You are a very strong woman.

Lauren said... Best Blogger Tips

Me again. I was just checking out your slide show at the bottom of the page. You are an incredible photographer!

I love the angles of the shots that you get. The photo of Nati sleeping in the swing is so sweet. I also love the one of her crawling towards the camera and the one of your hubby pushing her in the swing. you have a real good eye and a knack for capturing the moment.

Christy ~ Munch75 said... Best Blogger Tips

I'm so glad you posted this.

I've always admired your ability to do all that you do. I hope other working moms see that it can be done and it takes dedication and determination.

I wish things were different for me, I still miss nursing Alex. Enjoy the special time with Nati.

And thumbs up for finding a daycare provider who is on board with your nursing and feeding. That's great!

Danibee said... Best Blogger Tips

Thanks ladies. The problem is.. I'm not really making it work. I'm allowing a lot of other things to suffer so I can provide for her in this way...

see next post...

I'm amazed by you SAHM. You literally don't get a break. At least I have work to go to where I can be away.

Permission to Mother said... Best Blogger Tips

Dani, I think its great how you persisted on by doing what's BEST. The best way is not always the easiest way.
Everything in life is about sacrifices for those we love. We always are faced with choices as we move thorugh different phases and stages.


Ann Marie said... Best Blogger Tips

Rock on Working Momma! I too am a working, pumping, wishing I were home with baby Momma. We haven't started solids yet, but I've been giving lots of thought on the making vs. buying baby food thing. It feels good to know there are other mommies out there who are right on the same page as me and leading the way.

Nice to meet you by the way :)