This baby thing is an emotional wringer! Every stage we reach hardly seems as though we are climbing that ladder but rather suspended from it, barely holding on, moments from slipping away into the abyss below. I was unfortunate enough to have several close family and friends who had babies of similar age who all seemed to be coping and whose babies seemed to be thriving. That is probably far from the truth but it honestly felt at though I was the only one furiously peddling beneath the water just to remain afloat for people not to judge me as a mother.
Our hardest critics though, are ourselves. We need to know that we are doing a phenomenal job with what we have. Just as we would not expect a carpenter to build a house with just a Phillips screwdriver in his back pocket, in the same way we can only build what we can with what we have…and actually that will create the greatest children with the brightest futures.
So know that no matter what you envisioned motherhood to be like, how you would nurse your baby until they are weaned, it is almost certainly far from the truth for the majority of mothers (there is a reason there is stacks of formula on those shelves at supermarkets). Fact of the matter is, you have to do what you can do then when all is said and done, if you simply cannot it is okay to use formula!
I struggled with breastfeeding.
I mean I Really struggled with breastfeeding. I did absolutely everything day and night for months. I had a little preemie (2months early) so while he was in hospital I double expressed, I expressed at home with something of his I could smell, I drank 1ltr of Oat milk a day, I ate fenugreek tablets, you name it and I did it. But in the end it wasn’t meant to be and having a little baby early meant my body just wasn’t ready to make enough milk to sustain this little growing baby. Eventually it teetered off and I had to be strong enough to concede defeat even though that was probably one of the hardest journeys I have ever taken and hardest things I have had to accept.
But actually formula is just fine. He is growing, he is healthy (as healthy as a child exposed to the big wide world can be) and formula is a whole lot more filling than breastmilk. This means one of several things:
Firstly, that other people can feed your child.
Secondly, even though its the bane of my life, you have to wash bottles constantly.
Thirdly, they sleep for longer in between feeds which gives you a little more respite.
Fourthly, there is no mastitis or cracked nipples or sore boobs because you simply aren’t using ‘the girls’.
Fifthly, you don’t need to give them extra vitamins because formula covers it.
So don’t stress, it will all work out in the end and your little baby will be just fine. You haven’t failed them so long as you just keep loving them. They know you tried and you have their best interests at heart.