Change is hard. It’s also true that the only thing that’s constant, is change.
We deal with change in our lives all the time. But it seems that little presents as much change as having a child. In your normal life, you go through a series of changes. Sometimes they’re sudden, but many times they happen slowly, over time. You have time to work up to that change. Graduating college, for example, is a change 22 years in the making. All of your choices lead up to it. You know it’s coming, for years.
With children, the changes happen rapid fire.
Just as you seem to get something down, it changes. I realized this firsthand when I had my little guy. What I realized though, is as hard as each change is, once you get through it, it’s amazing.
When my son and I finally got breastfeeding down, it was empowering to feel that I could feed my son and soothe him. I remember feeling trepidation with introducing a bottle. I felt this possessiveness about being the only one who could feed him. I mourned the end of that period. Anxiously, I worked with the little guy to get him used to a bottle. And then I realized how amazing it was to be able to give him a bottle.
It meant I could leave him and not worry about him getting hungry. It meant that I could have a drink or two and not worry about him getting a little roasty-toasty. It meant that when I was exhausted and just didn’t want to feed him, my parents, in-laws or husband could do it.
It became clear that I needed to supplement with formula and I fought it hard. I didn’t want him to have a drop of formula. I was working from home, spending my weekends cluster pumping in between feeds. I was filling up my Amazon Prime account with orders of fenugreek, Mrs. Patel’s bars and other supplements. I finally had enough one day and popped open the can of formula to feed Little Buddy. The stress melted away and I stopped spending all my time pumping and feeding him.
When I finally stopped breastfeeding and switched to formula to attempt to counteract the postpartum depression, it was with major reluctance. Finally, out of desperation, I started weaning. Gone was the exhaustion from waking myself up to pump at night. I had an extra hour in the morning when I didn’t have to pump, clean and prepare the equipment. Our bottle cleaning decreased by half because daycare cleaned his formula bottles for us. I wasn’t strapped down like a pack mule with all of my bottles, pumping equipment and frozen packs.
Quitting each of these stages was hard…but so very worth it. Whenever I am on the cusp of a new change, I remind myself of each of these changes. It helps pave the way to the next wonderful step.