Monday, October 31, 2011

I'm Blessed: By a Wonderful Mother-in-law

I have decided to start writing some I'm Blessed posts as part of He sows, She sows I'm Blessed series. I realize that I can sometimes be a pessimist and  think that writing a I'm Blessed post will get me thinking about the good things in life. 

This week I am going to write about how blessed I am to have such a wonderful mother-in-law. I know you may be thinking did you just write mother-in-law. Yup, that's what I wrote. 

Truth be told my mother-in-law and I have not always seen eye to eye. When I first starting dating Chris, I am sure she was thinking he son was crazy for dating me. You see I know that I can sometimes be very opinionated and that did not go well with her. I also think some of it had to do with the fact that Chris is her baby boy and she was just being protective. Anyways we got into a few arguments and when Chris told her we were getting married I am sure she was not that excited. But awhile after we were married things started getting better. I was learning to keep some opinions to myself and I think she was getting used to the idea her son was a married man now. Then, we told them about being pregnant with Scarlett and things got kind of tough again. I think it was hard enough for her to see her son as a husband, but now she would have to see him as a father. Add into that the fact that I was super hormonal! But I prayed that things would change.

And they did the day Scarlett was born. Her and my father-in-law were such a support. My parents had gone south for the winter and Chris went on a business trip 3 weeks after she was born. Scarlett was colicky and they would come over to hold Scarlett so I could sleep. My mother-in-law also came over to clean for me! That was the best. She also supported me in breastfeeding when everyone else, including my whole family kept telling me to give it up and bottlefeed. She even came with me to appointments in Fargo with a lactation consultant. Even when I talked to her about my birth she just listened. She never butted in and said just get over it at least you have a healthy baby. And for that I am so grateful. She held me when I cried and listened when I wanted to talk. Through all of this we have become close and she has become like another mother to me. She is so good with Scarlett and watches her all the time. I think next to me, both her grandma's are her favorites (shh, don't tell dad). Even now she never tells me how I should be raising Scarlett even though I do things different from what she is used to. She is truly a blessing and I am lucky to have her in my life.

Grandma and Scarlett

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Guilt and Mommyhood

Do guilt and motherhood just go hand in hand? It was a question asked one day in my mom's group. According to many of the women attending, they do. It was refreshing to talk to other women about this because it is something that I believe we all struggle with from time to time.

 Lately, I have been feeling guilty about not continuing to try and breastfeed more. I know that I did the best that I could and after 5 1/2 months I just couldn't do it anymore. I did the whole pumping thing but I still felt bad about not being able to nurse her. And when people ask me if I am still nursing I get sad when I have to say no. If they are bottlefeeders they give me the "well, its okay breastfeeding is hard for almost everyone" and if they are die hard lactivists they give me a look that says well if you would have tried a little harder or hung in there a little longer it might have worked. Both responses make me feel sad. I know breastfeeding isn't hard for everyone and alot of times if you stick it out for awhile things will get better and I know that. But I feel I did the best I could in the situation given to me.

So I guess the question is why do we feel guilty? If we know we are doing the best we can why do we still feel that way?

While I don't necessarily have the answer for you, I have some thoughts on why guilt can be a good thing. I believe having some feelings of guilt means we care. It means that we want the best for our children and being imperfect people we cannot always give them the best. However, I also believe we should not let guilt consume us. We need to realize that we did and are doing the best we can in the situations given us. And I am trying to take my own advice!