Walk Softly and Carry a Big Diaper Bag

February 1, 2012 at 8:13 am 4 comments

And so it goes: my son is now entirely fed via SnuggleMilk. This was in part a conscious decision to save my sanity from pumping and hastened by a stomach bug that left me dehydrated and empty in many ways.

The thing about life is that there are always a million possibilities. Well, there are always at least two. And of those possibilities, it’s up to you to choose the one that’s best for you. Maybe you seek guidance from God in making these decisions, or parents, or friends, or trend reports, but ultimately you choose YOUR best. Those choices do affect people other than you, but at no time has this been more blatant in my life than when I became a parent. Suddenly the choice to work, the choice to stop pumping, the choice to do anything is about choosing myself over him.

It’s not that black and white, of course, and if it were it would really be more like choosing to be my best self to give him the best mom I can. But it’s hard to think like that when I’m sitting at my desk, wishing I had the freedom to finish the mountain of work in front of me or wishing I had even an extra hour or two for last minute beers with colleagues and friends, and at the same time missing my kid so hard it’s taking every ounce of strength I have not to bolt out the door. At not yet 3 months old, E is developing at an amazing rate. This morning his pacifier started to slip out of his mouth and he popped it back in with his hand. Incredible. But he’s still so helpless in so many ways, and it’s hard to not feel selfish for not sacrificing more for him.

Huge transitions like this feel fast, and they certainly may peak suddenly. But this transition started when I first thought about becoming a mom, continued through my pregnancy, got really tough and left deeper scars than I realized during bed rest, and has been a road filled with heartache and fear and beauty and joy mixed in every second since I laid eyes on my son. Every day is different and every day is a new step in the transition. It will never, ever be over. And I’ll never be the same.

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On Dads And Cooking Pump Up The Volume: Pumping Exclusively

4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Meg  |  February 1, 2012 at 10:35 am

    Such a small person with such a massive impact on every aspect of your life. I can’t imagine quite how it feels to have both the conflicts about where you want to be — but I think it all means you’re sane. I think it’s absolutely right to want to be challenged and to develop as a person (work) and also to want to be eternally present for your son (home.) I think if you felt no conflict in either direction, it wouldn’t make sense. Eli changes everything, but you’re still Jenny. You’re still good at the same things, have the same strengths, and bring the same intelligence to the work you do — that wasn’t going to disappear or stop being a part of who you are when you gave birth. I think you’re doing the best you could be doing. I’m really proud of you for being honest about the conflict.

    Reply
    • 2. Jennifer Spencer  |  March 13, 2012 at 7:56 pm

      Thanks, love. I read an article recently about the joy and heartbreak of falling in love with your kid. Oh, man, is that true. Our boys will break our hearts one day, but it’s impossible not to be in love with them.

      Reply
  • 3. jessicaesquire  |  March 9, 2012 at 6:36 pm

    That sacrifice/selfishness tightrope is tricky. Being aware of it is half the battle, though.

    As the mother of a SnuggleMilk fed son, I feel you. It’s a tough decision, but you’ll be happier with less stress. It was hard for me, but I felt much better afterwards.

    Reply
    • 4. Jennifer Spencer  |  March 13, 2012 at 7:55 pm

      You’re right – so much happier every day that goes by! As his system changes there are lots of surprises and I’m grateful to not be beating myself up, wondering if it’s something I’m eating or doing. I’m grateful to be able to eat what I need to and maybe have a second drink on date night without worrying about how it will affect my son.

      Reply

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