Before I became pregnant, I thought I knew all the things I’d do as a pregnant woman, and then as a mama. I’d eat super healthy, exercise, stay on top of all the things, keep my home lovely and lively, get my baby sleeping through the night long before everyone else… You know. #supermom
I wanted an all natural birth, staying at home to labor as long as possible. I dreamed of showing up to the hospital in “transition” and just — BAM! — having a baby.
I figured that I would follow all the “expert” advice on sleep training, feeding, playing, and diapering.
I was insistent on cloth diapering from the get-go. It’d save hundreds of dollars, plus help the environment a little.
(I’m not what some refer to as a “crunchy mama”, but I like to put some effort into eating and living well.)
I toyed with the idea of making our laundry detergents and household cleaning products, and switching to more natural means of air fresheners than store bought candles or wax melts.
I even thought about hang drying our clothes on a clothes line outside.
Yeah. I had big goals.
But you know what?
You got it — a lot of that didn’t and doesn’t happen.
I did give birth to a 9lb 8oz baby without an epidural (!!!) in less than 10 hours of actual labor. Not bad for a first time mom.
I do strive to eat healthy, and at least get up and move every day.
I do my best to keep up with laundry, dishes, and “life” for three + a dog.
I do read (A LOT), whether it’s “expert” advice or simply other moms telling their stories, and I use what I think will work for us.
I even tried cloth diapering. 😏
But, amidst all the “experts” and “crunchy mamas” and everything in between, I’ve realized that I’m the mommy, and my husband is the daddy. We make the decisions we feel is best for our home and our child.
It’s often difficult because I feel the pressure of modern society to get baby “adjusted” to adult life as quickly as possible. Sleep train! Self-soothe! Don’t nurse to sleep! Wake, feed, play, nap! No bed sharing! Wean as soon as possible! You’ll probably have to supplement!
Goodness. The voices are LOUD sometimes. But, I do pray that God will help me be the best mommy that I can be, and I believe that He will lead me in the right directions. I believe He created us with natural instincts that will help us care for our babies.
So, guess what?
I nurse my baby, and I will until she doesn’t want to anymore. Yes, she nurses to sleep almost always. No, I don’t feel like I’m stealing something from someone else by exclusively feeding my child. And no, I don’t “want a break”.
As a matter of fact, I LOVE nursing! It is a chance to connect deeply with my baby, to “get away” from the noise, to slow down and just breathe. Was it difficult at first? Yes. Is it difficult at times? Yes. Do I wake up multiple times at night? Yes.
But I love it.
I co-sleep. Yep — my baby sleeps right next to me in bed. No, she is not spoiled, and no, I’m not worried that she will never sleep on her own. I know she will, when we’re all ready.
But you know what? We sleep great. If I wake up, she’s right there for me to check on her. If she needs me, I’m right there — I hardly even have to move! There’s no late-night crying sessions, no going-back-to-sleep issues… nothing.
And you only what else? I don’t ever plan to make her “cry it out”.
Nope… I don’t cloth diaper, and I don’t know if I ever will. Considering I struggle to keep up with our current laundry load, it is too much mentally for me to add another source of laundry. Selfish? Maybe. But, my sanity is semi-in-tact because of that decision. My baby doesn’t deal with diaper rashes (🙌🏼), and we save a lot of money by purchasing Sam’s Club diapers.
I’d highly recommend them, by the way. We prefer them over Huggies or Pampers!
I don’t always eat healthy, and the house isn’t always clean. I eat ice cream almost every day. I struggle to snack on veggies or fruit over chips. Sometimes I just sit while my baby sleeps in my arms, instead of getting up and sweeping the floors.
But I don’t regret a minute of it.
There will come a day all too soon when my baby won’t want to be held all the time. She won’t want to snuggle for hours. She won’t need my constant attention. She won’t be so dependent on me. And she certainly won’t want to sleep in the same bed!
So for now, she gets top priority in my life. Yes, I usually drop everything (figuratively) if she signals that she needs me. I let her snuggle; I let her sleep in my arms; I let her nurse on demand.
Because, one day… I know I’ll miss these precious moments with my baby girl.
Words could never express how much I love you. Your smile is the brightest light in my life, and your squeals of delight warm me from the inside out. You are so precious to me, and there’s nothing I’d rather do than be your Mommy.