I think it was last weekend, when I read an article of the five things to do ten minutes before you go to bed. I saw the title in my feedly feed and was like “what are these things that will make mornings 500% easier? Give me them! I shall win at them!” And then the first one is “do the dishes”. I don’t know what type of house the author has, but in my house, dishes NEVER take less than ten minutes. Specially the last round of dishes. But I try, I try very hard to have everything ready all the time. Which of course, tell me in what world?
I knew this but the last few weeks have been confirmation that HOUSEWORK NEVER ENDS.
A few weeks ago we survived one of those deadlines that required three days of zombie functioning; no sleeping, little eating and a bit of snapping at each other between manfriend and I. There was just too much work and we were too exhausted. Inevitably a couple of times during those gruelling hours our communication consisted of trying to eat a piece of the other one’s arm.
After that week I made the mistake of declaring myself Winner of House Domination. I thought I was going to start breezing through the easier days now that I didn’t have a two feet tall pile of paper work waiting for me. I was going to be valedictorian of the house and motherhood and all things that women can win at. Ha. I laugh at my ignorance. Those declarations came at the same time that baby J turned six months old. In case you have never been exposed to a six month old baby I will tell you, six months is the moment when parenting says “let’s mix things up a bit” and by that it means now that you learned how to understand that baby, why don’t you start over.
Lets start solids! It will be fun! Everyone wants to see the baby eating! Yay! Muahahahaha. Yes, that was a maniacal laugh, in fact at the mention of the word solids my left eye starts twitching and I have to go pop a Xanax. There are no words to describe the type of trauma solids are giving me.
The problem is magnified by the fact that I feel that I’m doing everything wrong and even though I try to find the information I need, all I get is vague instructions of basically feed her. Preferably food.
That’s why the other day when confabulationsbybritt asked for encouragement and breastfeeding tips (latching the baby and milk supply) I took a moment to sit down and write this to her:
I’m going to tell you first off that you need two things to breastfeed: an honest desire to do so and perseverance. Without that, you will simply give up.
So: You NEED to consult a lactation expert NOW. There are 24 hr consultants everywhere, call one. Now. Stop reading this and go call. Then meet with one: They can make the baby latch. They will take the baby and tell you how to hold your tit and literally latch the baby on to it by trying and trying and trying and TRYING.
Which brings me to your #1: each time the baby is going to have a feeding is a moment to try AND TRY AND TRY. Get him on different positions and rub your tit against his mouth and face over and over again. AND AGAIN.
You need to pump every time he feeds and does not latch. Even at night when you want to sleep and it’s uncomfortable and you want to sleep and you have to deal with all the gear and you want to sleep. Pump.
Don’t feel about bad about giving him formula, you are giving him food (not the one that’s made for him but it’s food). BUT: you really need to consult your pediatrician and check if he actually NEEDS the formula. Most babies that get breast milk and also formula supply (in one feeding) are being overfed. If you pump enough you will have milk for all his feedings.
If you don’t see a lot of milk in a pump session also remember that your baby is tiny. So is his stomach. He doesn’t need 5 oz of milk right now.
About motivation: Your milk is the milk that’s made for him. There is nothing as good as your milk. A teaspoon of your milk is worth about three oz formula. Also, YOU CAN DO THIS.
And also, PUMP.
When you hit a pebble while breastfeeding it makes all the difference to find a sympathetic voice. Now that I think about it, they should make a Solids Hot Line.
Anyway, all this to say; dear author of that article, my dishes pile is usually about twenty five minutes long on it’s own. I’m not the valedictorian of dishes and you know what? IT’S OK. Motherhood wins.