Monthly Archives: November 2011

Fading Friendships

I opened my inbox the other day and saw an email from What to Expect with this subject line: Fading Friendships.

It was so timely. I saw two of my mommy friends last weekend and we sympathized with each other over friendships that seem to have taken a hiatus with the arrival of our little ones. Different priorities, lack of free time and lack of sleep have all contributed to a loss of friends that once were close to us.

I understand that friendships change. With or without babies involved, friendships change over time, but I’ve never experienced such a dramatic change during one period of my life.

The person who I would have called my best friend a year ago has never met my son.

The person who I was friends with, but not especially close to, was the first person there when we got home from the hospital with food and love and the desire to rock my baby while I took a second for myself. And, even after the home birth debacle, she listened enthusiastically without judgement to our birth story.

The friendship that I thought would suffer the most has grown stronger.

An acquaintance has become a confidant, a safe place for a good gut check and good laugh when I need it.

 

Motherhood can be a lonely place at times. It’s not a surprise that I now gravitate towards other moms. It’s not that I don’t want to continue to have relationships with my childless friends. It’s absolutely the opposite. I love them still, I cherish the memories that we’ve made together.

I find when I’m around my childless friends I censor myself from talking about my baby and all the things that come with that. Part of me thinks its a desperate attempt to make them think that I am the same person. “I’m still cool! I’m still interesting! I’m still a CAREER!” And part of me thinks it’s because they can’t possibly be interested in the mundane (but fabulous!) things about motherhood.

What to Expect tells me that this is normal. That such a dramatic change of lifestyle is destined to lead to changes in ALL of my relationships.

Perhaps, it’s no where near as prevalent as the change in my relationships with the women in my life.

Anybody else going through or been through this? Did these friendships ever become normal again?

 

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Cool Stuff

A completely non-mommy post about things I am digging at this very moment.

1. Spotify.

Loving this music service. So much so that I’ve given up iTunes and am paying the $10/month. The thing I love the most is getting the chance to preview an entire album. Also, love discovering artists I’ve never heard of and goodies from my favorites.

Which brings me to…

2a. Ben Folds – The Best Imitation of Myself: A Retrospective.

Le sigh….

Ben Folds – J’adore.

I absolutely love this entire greatest hits-ish album by Mr. Folds. The track “Smoke,” which was recorded with the Western Australain Symphony Orchestra (WASO) is my fav. I missed seeing Ben Folds in Perth by a couple of months and that makes me so, so sad.

2b. Pistol Annies – Hell on Heels

Miranda Lambert has another band! Who knew? After finding this album, I couldn’t stop listening to it. It’s country, but kind of honky tonk, but kind of Dixie Chicks with more of an edge. The songs Hell on Heels, Trailer for Rent and Beige are so, so good. If I had the big bucks I’d head on down to Vegas on December 3 to see them in concert.

2c. Mayer Hawthorne – How Do You Do

This was one of the artists that popped up as being new on Spotify and I love it. Great music for a night on the couch with a glass of wine. Sounds like old, but new Motown.

3. Sons of Anarchy on FX

Oh Jax…what are you doing with this MC? And Clay you evil, evil bastard. The hubs and I have watched SOA for years now and this season is not disappointing. Last season was a bit Saved by the Bell Goes to Hawaii, with the whole let’s send the MC to Ireland plot, but this season is bringing it back to that edge of your seat drama that the first two seasons were known for. I can hardly wait for Tuesday nights.

4. Paying off debt.

In a previous post I mentioned how we’ve been following Dave Ramsey and paying off some serious debt. We aren’t debt free yet, but I can’t shout from the mountain tops loud enough how fantastic it feels to have so many bills paid off and how much this has helped to simplify my life. Not worrying about so many bills is nice motivation to stay the course and get this crap paid off.

5. Meaningful Beauty

I used my splurge spending money and signed up for the Meaningful Beauty line of skincare. A co-worker recommended it and she was right. This stuff is good. Not to go all infomercial on you, but my skin really does look more even and bright.

6. Spinning

A few years ago I was a spinning fool and sometimes would hit 4 spinning classes in one week. Recently, I’ve started going to spinning classes again and I remember that I really, really love them. With limited sleep, spinning doesn’t require a lot of coordination. It feels good to get the heart pumping.

Breastfeeding Guilt

Remember that post where I was all – Breastfeeding Rocks! Eff yeah I’m going to breastfeed until a year! Look at me! I”M A BREASTFEEDER!

Yeah…about that.

In the last month or so breastfeeding has become more and more difficult. Not because of a physical issue, but because of a I’m a Working Mom with HUGE projects on my plate kind of issue.

When I came back to work I pumped 3 times a day. I scheduled it on my calendar and it was an unspoken rule in the office that no one would book meetings with me during those times. It worked for about 4 months.

Then things started to get busier, my workload slowly returned to pre-maternity leave status, I got a new boss, and I started to notice that I was cutting at least one pumping out a day. No big deal as I had an entire freezer drawer full of excess breast milk. Then things got even busier and pumping only once a day became more like the rule than the exception.

If you know anything about breastfeeding, then you know that it’s a supply/demand kind of operation. It shouldn’t have surprised me when I noticed that I simply wasn’t producing as much as I used to. We decided to introduce a bottle of formula at night.

Yes, my child has had formula.

Yes, your child (who you breastfed until he was 5) will probably win the Nobel Peace Prize.

I’ve accepted that.

First, supply dips. Second, I have a week of issues with my pump. One day it won’t turn on. The next day a bottle I am pumping into leaks 2 ounces of breastmilk all over my pants leaving me practically in tears. Third, pumping is taking longer and leaving me with less milk. Fourth, I am still pumping in a bathroom stall.

Boo-Hiss!

Henry is almost 9 months old and I’m facing the reality that I might not make it to the one year mark. We’ve now added a a few bottles of formula everyday and within my freezer supply is almost non-existent.

The hardest part of this whole thing is the enormous amount of guilt I feel. I hadn’t expected this, and I’m blaming it on all that breastfeeding bonding that has taken place. My heart breaks a little when I think about quitting. I can’t stand the thought of not having that cuddle time anymore. I know that, inevitably, we would come to this point. I don’t think I’m ready for full on weaning yet, but I’m having a tough time coming to terms with the thought of NOT breastfeeding anymore.

I’ve given it a lot of thought and I think the root of all this mommy guilt is coming down to the idea that NOT breastfeeding to a year means I’m a failure. And, let’s face it – I don’t do well with failure.

Even though I am still breastfeeding a couple of times a day, I still feel like a failure. The logical part of me knows this is not the case, but the emotional/control freak/Type A part of me feels like unless I am 100% breastfeeding him then I am not #winning.

And winning is everything. As all of you know.

I joke, I joke.

Kind of.

I’m realizing that this new feeling of breastfeeding guilt is probably the way a lot of moms out there who couldn’t or chose not to breastfeed feel. My neighbor had her second baby girl in June and tried so hard to breastfeed, but for whatever reason her body would not make enough milk for her baby. And she tried. Boy, did she try. She saw a lactation consultant, rented a medical grade pump, drank a stout beer, pumped day and night to increase supply. In the end, nothing worked and back to formula she went.

“I feel like such a failure,” she said on my front porch. “Everything you read says breast is best. Where’s the support for the rest of us?”

She’s right. There’s no support for the non-breastfeeding mom. No support groups for formula fed babies. No books about formula feeding.

The weirdest thing is that no one really talks about this guilt. I had to summon up the courage to bring it up with another friend of mine (shout out Jill!) just to see if she felt the same way. And she did! And I wasn’t alone! And I’m not a bad mom! And I’ve done the best I could!

Everywhere you turn it seems that people will spout their judgement on what is best for you and your baby. That judgement has to be the worst way of cultivating a culture of supportive moms. If we don’t support each other, then who will?

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