Tag Archives: breastfeeding

Groaning in the cold, dark

I lay in bed and the world around me is silent except for the sounds of life, resting.

A few feet away I hear tiny baby breaths and sighs. Next to me I hear heavy and rythmic husband breaths and sighs. And through the open internal door to the next room I hear toddler breaths and sighs.

We share rooms and a heater between the four of us.

Everyone sleeps but me.

Moments later baby stirs. I lay still, barely breathing, hoping he will not wake.

He rolls over. Back asleep.

I sigh with relief just as he stirs again, this time waking with an abrupt cry.

It sounds angry.

After eight months I wonder when he will ever sleep through the night. Except for a few nights he regularly wakes up all throughout the night. Sometimes every two hours, leaving me with four or five or sometimes six hours of sleep, usually broken into several chunks.

I groan and move, not wanting to face the cold night air.

No one said parenting would be easy.

I pull him into bed with me and nurse, nurse, nurse. Wondering how long I can continue on interrupted sleep (and insomnia in between).

I remember that mothers all over the world and all throughout time have done as I’m doing.

Strength.

The days are long but the years are short so I don’t want to waste this time being anxious about the dark hours.

And yet I’m so tired. So, so tired.

I remind myself that this time last year I was about to find out that his life might not be what we thought or expected. And now him being here with us, just like he is – healthy, perfect – is a miracle. Surely I can find the grace for one more night.

And perhaps tomorrow night too.

But my goodness, I’m so tired.

STOP.

 

Q for you: How do you cope with less-than-ideal seasons of sleep?

 

Love,
A

 

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited

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Breastfeeding: God-ordained “coffee breaks”

I always joke that since moms don’t get “time off” or to clock out or take coffee breaks, time spent breastfeeding is God’s way of giving us an excuse to slow down.

My problem is that I tend not to slow down; I only sit down.

If it’s during the day I’m feeding Judah while playing with Levi with my free hand.

If Levi is entertaining himself then I’m on my phone, reading emails, making lists, or scrolling through facebook or twitter.

Always multi-tasking.

We moms like to brag about how good we are at this. (Or complain when we aren’t doing so well at it.)

But lately I’ve been craving more margin, more room to breathe.

I’m tired of multi-tasking.

Yes, I know I will never completely escape the vortext of the multi-tasking compulsions that I have as a woman and mom. (And that’s probably a good thing – we really do need them.) But I am looking for little ways I can cut back and be in teh moment.

One of those ways is taking my God-ordained “coffee breaks”.

Instead of grabbing my phone or a piece of paper to write the grocery list while I breastfeed Judah, I’m leaving my hands free to hold my baby. I’m leaving my eyes free to watch him or even close them for a few moments. I’m leaving my mind free to think and pray and wander.

Even though I’m not succeeding at doing this every time I feed Judah, I’m doing it more and more.

Such a small thing. But a big thing in that it really is helping me to pause, breathe, and be.

 

Q for you: What’s one simple way that you build margin into your life?

 

Love,
A

 

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited


Do you think it’s possible to spoil a baby?

I’ve sometimes wondered…

Do I love my babies too much?

Do I hold them too much?

Do I think about them too much?

Do I talk about them too much?

Do I dream about them too much?

Do I look at them too much?

How much is “too much”?

But then I think about God –  The way he looks at me, thinks of me (so many thoughts), pursues me. The way he loves me.

I’m pretty sure I’m always on his mind.

I’m pretty sure that I’m his favorite.

I’m pretty sure that his heart wells up with pride as he talks about me whenever given the chance.

(Sort-of like he does with you, too.)

And if my role as a parent is to reflect the heart of God to my children…

Then perhaps there’s no such thing as loving and hugging and holding and thinking and dreaming and kissing and snuggling and caring and nurturing too much.

After all, my “too much” is woefully less than His “enough”.

I’m so glad He holds and hugs my children with me.

Our love, together, is complete. (And it’s soooo not too much.)

STOP.

 

Q for you: You know, I really do try to not write about parenting or motherhood too much on this wee blog since that’s what the other one is for… But sometimes I just can’t help myself. When I took that photo today it made my heart well up with this I-love-my-baby-so-much-I-don’t-want-to-even-put-him-down-when-he’s-sleeping kind of warm fuzzies. And even now, at midnight, after he’s been up several times already tonight with teething pain… I think to myself: I’ll never be able to hold him and comfort him and nurture him “too much”. Do you think it’s possible to spoil a baby? Not a child, a baby? (Clearly, I do not but you are free to disagree.)

 

Love,
A

 

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited


Nursing babies to sleep

When I first had Levi I was taught not to “feed him to sleep”.

If I did that, I would create a baby who was dependent on me.

…Kind of a funny thought considering of course he was dependent on me. Um, he’s a baby.

Yes, there’s something to be said for teaching children to sleep independently.

There is a certain liberating feeling putting your baby down for a nap when they are awake and happy and then seeing them drift off to sleep happliy minutes later. (I used to love watching the process on the baby monitor with Levi after he learned to sleep on his own.)

But freaking out about creating a “dependency” in terms of holding or feeding your baby to sleep is kind of silly.

I’ve never heard of a 12 year old that still needs his mother to rock him to sleep. (Have you?)

So why all this fuss about “sleeping independently” anyway?

it will come.

Partly with our coaxing and teaching, partly as a developmental milestone like any other thing babies or children learn.

With my second baby I let him fall asleep in my arms all the time.

In fact, I encourage it.

He loves it and so do I.

Do you know that breastmilk actually induces sleep? (God’s clever like that… So why wouldn’t we want to go with it and take advantage of this amazing sleep elixir?)

These months race quickly. Quickly. Soon, I will be aching for one last chance to hold him in my arms.

So why wouldn’t I take advantage of the time I have now to let him fall asleep in teh most pleasant way possible for both of us?

I love it. And so does he.

STOP.

 

Q for you: Getting babies to sleep can be tricky, I know that, and every parent needs to discover the best way to help their child to sleep in a way that honors the child and fits with the family values. I just happen to have a wide opinion on what fits within “right”… and it defininitely includes feeding and rocking my baby to sleep as much as he needs or I want (in addition to encouraging him to learn how to sleep by himself as he’s ready/able). When’s the last time you nursed/rocked a baby to sleep? Was it as beautiful and therapeutic for you as it no doubt was for baby?

 

Love,
A