In our series, “Mom’s Story,” members of our community share snapshots of their real, personal journeys through motherhood. Every story is different. We ask all members to be respectful in their comments on these posts. Offensive or disparaging remarks will not be tolerated.
The hardest part of new motherhood was my transition from working woman to stay-at-home mom. Before having my son Ian, I was a bank manager. My job was nonstop and high stress, the kind where you never really shut down, but I loved it. My resignation surprised people, but the thought of returning to work and missing time with Ian made me feel too guilty. Although being a stay-at-home mom can get a little boring, the career woman in me has goals to master this new job too.
Ian wants to play from the minute he wakes up. It can be exhausting, but we always have fun. He likes grocery shopping and running other errands in his carrier. Getting out of the house once a day keeps us both calm and happy.
Since Ian’s first birthday, I’m experiencing social pressure to stop breastfeeding and switch him to cow’s milk. Breastfeeding up to the first year seems to be a conventional practice, however, continuing after that is a controversial topic. I’d prefer to keep breastfeeding for as long as I can, but my friends and family don’t fully understand that concept because it is uncommon to them and to our society as a whole. I won’t do something just because it’s what everyone else does; I need to understand why I should do it. Right now, my milk supply is strong enough to keep giving Ian breast milk in Sippy cups along with his solid foods, so why would I replace my “liquid gold” with cow’s milk?
My lack of breastfeeding support goes back to the beginning. Breastfeeding is really uncommon in my family. When I struggled to latch him on, everyone suggested formula instead. I was stressed out, but my husband was incredibly supportive. I was determined to get it right. I reached out to Linda Hanna, RNC, MSN/Ed., IBCLC at My Nursing Coach, and she was amazingly helpful. After 2 – 3 weeks, Ian and I finally had it down. Before Linda, my only breastfeeding advocate was my husband, but now I have an expert to go to when I face new challenges and milestones with Ian.
Recently, Ian started refusing the breast during the day. Confused, I called Linda. She explained that since he’s learning to walk and explore his world, he doesn’t want to sit still and nurse. I decided to pump instead and give him the milk in a Sippy cup, which he seemed to prefer. I was secretly disappointed that he didn’t want my breast anymore, however delighted in the fact that this was yet another developmental change in my growing child. Now he prefers nursing when he’s sleepy, at night or before naps, and I’m glad we still have that time together.
The advice I wish I had heard sooner is, “It’s not a problem, unless it’s a problem for you.” There is no one right way to be a parent. We finally put down the baby books and created our own system. We change things up when necessary and don’t feel guilty when we do because it works for us, and that’s what matters.
In need of more support making the transition to motherhood? Reach out to one of the healthcare professionals on our team for more personalized care today.