11 reasons why I love breastfeeding

Back before I had Peeper, I felt ambivalent about breastfeeding. I resented the fact that people assumed I would breastfeed my baby (what if I wanted to use formula instead?), and I didn’t have a goal of nursing her for a certain stretch of time.

Two babies, two years and uncountable challenges later, I have a totally different perspective:

I love nursing my baby.

Despite the hard parts of nursing—considering formula, low supply, mastitis, clogged ducts, tongue tie and more—I love feeding my baby. Here's why I love breastfeeding. Ten Thousand Hour Mama

Here’s why I love breastfeeding—in spite of our troubles nursing.
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Every day should be Mother’s Day

Yes, I know that Mother’s Day has come and gone, but moms continue their hard work on the 364 days they don’t get cards and brunch and flowers—so why shouldn’t I write about an amazing mom I know? 

My dearest E,

I know this isn’t your favorite holiday, but I have some things to say, so suck it up!

You are a wonderful mother. That said, this whole parenting thing is effin’ hard. Thank you for not trying to hide that from me. Your transparency has made the transition into motherhood feel less difficult. Ok, maybe not that much less difficult, but at the very least, your letting me see you struggle makes me feel less alone when all I want to do is get in my car, drive away and never look back.

(I don’t feel like that very often these days, but I have felt like that. And when I did, I called you.)

I appreciate your advice. I appreciate that you wait for me to ask for your advice. I appreciate that you couch your advice in terms of what worked for you or what you read or what you wish you’d done differently instead of telling me what I should do or what will work for us.

I appreciate your support. I feel stronger as a person and mother because you are on my side.

I appreciate your willingness to listen anytime. You don’t remind me that I’ve rehashed the same issue a dozen times already. You let me vent even though you’re in the car driving with the family and they all have to listen to me on speakerphone. Have I mentioned lately that you’re one of the best listeners I know?

You will make a scoffing noise at this (STOP THAT RIGHT NOW), but I’ll say it anyway. You are the perfect mother for N. Not the Perfect Mother (and I probably wouldn’t want to be friends with you if you were—how boring) but the best-matched mama for your strong, fierce, lovable, sweet, hilarious, huggable, opinionated, determined, smart little one. I learn how to be a better mother by watching you two.

I am so thrilled for our girls to grow up together. I have a feeling that they’ll come to love each other as much as we love each other. And if the shenanigans we got into together are any measure, the two of them will have A LOT of fun together. (And perhaps cause us an ulcer or two.)

Enough mush.

Ok, maybe just a little more.

I love you! Happy Mother’s Day.

The girls' first kiss
The girls’ first kiss

Is there a mom you know who deserves a compliment, hug or mimosa today? Let her know! Share below, too!

I understand, sleep-deprived mom

Soon after I gave birth to Peeper last year, my grandma told me a story.

She had just had my mom and uncle, a set of big twins who went to 40 weeks. (My mom weighed about as much as Peeper did—and she was only half the load!) My grandma was doing her best to take care of them and an older daughter essentially by herself—my grandpa was of the generation that thought that he would work during the day at the bank and she would take care of family and home.

My grandma struggled but told me she was overjoyed at having twins, which had always been a dream of hers.

One night, they got a sitter to watch the children at home, which was a rarity. They went to a party. My grandma took their coats to the host’s bedroom. And then—then she lay down and fell asleep.

They hadn’t been at the party five minutes before my weary grandmother was collapsed on a pile of strangers’ coats.

I know that kind of exhaustion too well. Chances are that you do, too. Maybe you zonked out in an inappropriate place. (I fell asleep on the exam table while waiting for the midwife at my six-week postpartum appointment, for example. Awkward!) Maybe you canceled plans because you were too sleep-deprived to drive safely. Maybe you’ve feared dropping your baby while trying to get her to sleep because you could pass out at any moment.

I’m so thankful that Peeper and I have moved past that point, at least for the time being. I was reminded of the bleary reality of many other parents, though, when I read this article about a woman who happened across another mother who had fallen asleep at an indoor play gym.

“I won’t leave ’til you wake up… hopefully rested and ready to face the weekend with the warrior-energy us mamas need to parent with a smile on our faces,” she posted later on Facebook. She had kept an eye on the sleeping mother’s kids while the tired mama caught some apparently much-needed winks.

To the woman who slept slumped against the windy slide, and to any of you who have never felt more like a zombie, I get it. I feel you. I’ve been there, too.

It’s miserable to feel like a shell of yourself. It’s embarrassing to nod off in public. You might even feel a little shame that you can’t “keep it together” enough to parent your baby and manage to sleep—I know I did.

I’ll say it gets better, though you might not want to hear it.

But I’ll also say that you have my full empathy and compassion until it does.

As new parents, and especially as new mothers, we have to stick together. I’ve got your back, tired one. If I can do anything to help, give a shout. If not, I’ll continue to look out for you and hope your baby finally goes to sleep!