Parenting is full of such highs and lows. Today, coming off of yesterday, I’m on a high. Not because I had a good night’s sleep – heck, that was when I worked up this attitude, in my awake nighttime hours. It’s not because I haven’t had to take away one of Drew’s most prized possessions due to bad behavior, because he’s certainly missing his door (I differentiate because his hoop from his room is a different code red punishment) basketball hoop. It’s certainly not because I didn’t start my day with soiled sheets from an exploded pull up. It’s because I have some insight and a game plan with Noah’s lack of growth.
The doctor said that Noah must have at least six good feedings a day. I started thinking about the term “good.” I don’t think a good feeding constitutes nursing him at the breakfast table with kids screaming and him on and off his human vending machine. I don’t think a solid attempt would be cutting him short to break up a brawl. I’m completely guilty of the fact that there are times when he wakes up for a feeding and I’m in the middle of taking care of one of the other two maniacs and for some reason or another I literally cannot attend to him at that moment. It has happened (probably more times than I’m proud to admit) that he cries himself to sleep while I’m busy, and instead of waking him up to give him that missed feeding, I jump into the shower or put a load of laundry in the wash.
And for all those reasons, the self-loathing came. I have not been committed to making his feedings a priority. It’s not like I’ve exactly been on joy ride of butt cleaning, however I haven’t dedicated myself in the way I feel good about. In my defense the last time I bottle fed him and pumped, it led to this beautiful masterpiece (and in a couple more places) on our newly professionally cleaned couch…
I used to think the only times parents felt like they couldn’t be good at everything in their lives was when they were balancing a career and parenthood. If I was doing well in my job, I was slacking at home and vice versa. Words cannot explain how that predicament has transferred over to my life with three kids. If I’m good with one, I’m not with another.
After my sleepless night, I have re-prioritized. Call it hard headed, call it determined, call me downright crazy. I’m going to spend the next month making Noah’s six feedings a day good feedings. That may mean waking up twenty minutes early to pump (a success I experienced today). That may mean that I nurse and give a supplemental breast milk bottle when I should be making dinner, we all like PB&J…we can call that dinner! Whatever it means, I’m going to give it my all. And at the end of this month, if it’s still not enough I will know that he needs formula no matter what I do. I may just need to keep the couch cleaner on retainer.