The Loneliness Of Exclusive Breastfeeding: Plus Bonus Tips For Your Partner

Exclusive Breastfeeding; Tale Of The Lonely Mama. Plus bonus tips for your partner!

If you have read any of my previous posts then by now you know what to expect from me when it comes to breastfeeding. If you have never read any of my posts, first of all, why not?? Second, I will fill you in. I am a huge breastfeeding advocate. Although I am a huge breastfeeding advocate I will never formula shame. So don’t bring any of that negativity over here y’all.

Breastfeeding in general is hard. Worth it, but hard. There are several challenges breastfeeding moms face. So many in fact, I wouldn’t be able to list them all in one blog post.

Not only is breastfeeding hard, but exclusive breastfeeding comes with its own set of problems entirely. I’m here to talk about the main problem that I have run into.

Exclusive breastfeeding is lonely.

Of course, it’s worth it, and I absolutely love the bond it has created between me and my children. Sometimes though, you miss adult company. You will often feel left out. Sometimes you often notice people won’t even invite you to do things anymore.

Why? Well, it’s simple. Because you can’t. Let’s say your exclusively breastfed baby nurses every two hours. That means you cannot be away from your baby for more than two hours. Right there, limits what you can do while away from your baby.

Maybe your baby will take a bottle every now and then and you feel comfortable leaving your child for slightly more than two hours. There is another problem. Your boobs. Those giant milk filled fun bags are used to being relieved every two hours. If you are not back to your baby chances are your boobs are starting to fill up, very large, very leaky, and very tender!

Hang on everyone I have to run outside to grab my pump and find a nice spot to relieve my tatas. Should be easy at this outdoor concert, right? Ya, no.

The problem is the world does not revolve around you, or your milk filled tatas. Life goes on for EVERYONE ELSE. Just not you. Sometimes it does not bother you and sometimes it leaves you crying into a box of Oreos for an hour.

You are fully aware that you will not be nursing forever, you are also fully aware that it’s not anyone else’s problem that you are a nursing mama. But, you are still lonely. It’s natural to be a little upset when your husband gets to go do fun stuff without you. Okay, it’s natural to be pissed. It’s okay that your feelings are hurt because your friends stopped inviting you to moms night out. You know why they stopped inviting you, yet, it still gives you a little pain right in the ole’ ticker.

Let’s say there is an event that you can bring your baby with, chances are you still will be lonely. The moment the host of the house or event offers you a private room to nurse your baby (don’t be mad at these people usually they are just trying to make you more comfortable) you instantly feel separated from everyone.

I have no problem nursing in front of people. But my baby finds it difficult to concentrate when there is background noise. This is when I usually take the host up on their offer to use the private room and nurse my sweet baby. Alone. Are you seeing a trend here?

Alone, this is a word I know all too well. Again, I would not change the way I feed my babies but I feel this is a subject that EBF mama’s need to talk about. And sometimes it’s nice having someone to relate too. Hang in there ladies, remember the benefits outweigh the struggles; and know you are not alone!

Bonus Tips: How to support your spouse/partner who exclusively breastfeeds your child.

That’s just it, support her. Try to understand her. Don’t become angry with her when she is crying because her feelings are hurt. She is breastfeeding your child. She is a mother who is trying to do what is best for your children.

Let’s say your baby is now nine months old, do me a favor, think of everything you have done without your wife/partner in those nine months. No matter how small/big the event. Now think of everything she has done without you. Think of everything she has done away from the kids. If this list seems a little one-sided; here are some tips to support her in the future.

  1. Don’t leave her out. It’s that simple. If you were invited to do something awesome that you know your wife cannot attend. (Be real don’t make her feel bad by half-ass inviting her even though you know she can’t go.) Don’t go. Don’t make her feel bad about you missing the event, simply don’t go. Remember you are in this together!
  2. If you feel you MUST go without your wife, explain to her why, and make it up to her. Again, don’t become upset with her if she becomes emotional. Explain to her why you feel you need to go to this event. Then try to surprise her with something special. Surprise her with something that will lift her spirits. You should know your wife/partner well enough to know what that is. This will show her that even though you are leaving her behind, you are still thinking of her and care about her feelings.
  3. Try to understand her and be on HER side. Sometimes people will become frustrated with you for not being able to attend certain events. You will probably become frustrated with her as well. Instead of saying “Ya, it’s all Debbie’s fault, she thinks she can’t go and will throw a fit if I do.” Say, “Sorry, I don’t want to go without Debbie, maybe next time.” You may be worried about letting your friends or family down, but try to remember she is your partner, you need to worry about not letting her down over anyone else. Stand up for your wife fellas, she’ll love you even more for it.
  4. Sit with her. Does she need to feed in a private room because she is uncomfortable? Or maybe your baby won’t eat with background noise? Instead of watching her walk into a room all alone to sit for 20 minutes, why not join her? Would you want to go sit in a strange room by yourself for 20 minutes? Uh, No. You wouldn’t.

Now, I am not saying that you have to pass up every little event. Or that you have to do everything together. Did you do everything together before your wife became an EBF mom? Probably not. But, did you BOTH get to have a life? I am asking you to put on your partner’s shoes. How would you feel? When she is done nursing things can go back to normal. I promise your wife will thank you for it.

Thank you for reading! Are you an EBF mom? Do you ever feel lonely? Tell me in the comments!

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Why Are Moms Always So Tired?

Being a mom comes with a guarantee that you will be tired for the REST OF YOUR LIFE.

Okay, I’m not sure about the rest of your life because my oldest child is two. I am convinced though, I may never sleep again.

My youngest is about seven months old now and finally sleeping through the night. She only woke up about three-four times last night for a boobie. Alright, so maybe she doesn’t sleep through the night. Why do I keep telling people that? She doesn’t wake up screaming anymore and doesn’t need to be rocked, bounced, swung, fed, changed, and the witness of an animal sacrifice just to fall back asleep. Thank God, we were running out of chickens.

So WHY am I still so tired? I mean my daughter usually wakes up between 5-6 am and my son usually wakes up between 6-7 am. With my daughter only waking up three-four times at night that should be plenty of rest, right?

Now that I think of it, I am getting plenty of rest. We start our bedtime routine at 7 pm usually. I don’t have super-mom powers, so sometimes it’s 8 pm..9 pm. Whatever, quit judging me. It doesn’t matter what time I start our bedtime routine because my son HATES SLEEP. If we happen to start our routine at seven and are in bed before eight, my son will usually fall asleep pretty quick. By pretty quick I mean around midnight.

Let’s recap. I’m getting plenty of sleep.

Falling asleep around midnight,  waking up three-four times with the baby throughout the night, then waking up between 5 and 6 am. Okay, I am seriously not seeing the problem. Even if I was not getting enough sleep at night it’s not like I do anything during the day except lay around. I’m a stay at home mom for goodness sake.

The only things I do all day with the kids is feed, bathe, dress, play with, teach, read to, care for, and change their diapers. Then I only do a few things around the house, such as cook, clean, laundry, dishes, vacuum, and sweep. None of these few things I do all day are tiring. I should have plenty of energy to accomplish those things I might do that day.
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I absolutely can not wrap my mind around why I am so tired! Maybe I am oversleeping. Maybe I have too much time to myself. I can usually go pee by myself once a day and get a shower every three days. That has to be the problem. I am relaxing too much. A body at rest tends to stay at rest, right? I’m pretty sure I just hit you with some physics.

I guess I will never know why I am so damn tired. It’s okay though, that is why God invented coffee. That is why God invented Starbucks. God invented coffee for moms. For lazy moms who oversleep and do nothing, like me!

Are you a tired mom? Are you like me and have absolutely no idea why you are so tired? Tell me in the comments!

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Why are Moms always so tired?

How To Add Breast Milk To Baby Food Without Pumping

Yes, I Just Milked Myself.

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My five month old daughter has recently started on solid foods. So far she has tried rice, oatmeal, and avocados. I like to make my own baby food at home (I know, shocker right!?) and in making my own baby food I mix everything with breast milk.

I will usually pump breast milk to freeze and then pump some more to use to make baby food. Since my daughter is just starting out I really haven’t pumped much to make baby food. Pumping is so exhausting to me and it is extremely time consuming! So if I don’t have to do it, I won’t.

Since I haven’t been pumping to make food, I have two choices. Defrost something I have in the freezer, which I hate to do because I have a fear I will someday need all of that, or I can just milk myself! I obviously go with number two, because why not?

The only problem with milking yourself (hand expressing if you need a more proper term) is it’s extremely embarrassing if someone walks in on you standing in your kitchen with your shirt up and boob in hand. I’ve started just telling my husband before I do it. He’s got to think I’m the laziest or the craziest woman in the world. Another problem is if your ‘let down’ starts you have to run and grab baby and hope she is hungry! You don’t want to get a clogged duct!

It’s just so easy to do it my lazy way! I put some avocados in a bowl mash them up good, then pull out my milk makers and squeeze until I have enough liquid gold in the bowl to make the perfect consistency for her baby food! Bam! No 20 minute pumping session, no defrosting what you have stored.

A little advice if you are going to try this. Make sure no one is going to walk into the kitchen and see you squirting milk everywhere. If you have guests, or you are afraid your husband will see and make fun of you then quickly run to your bedroom and do some squeezing. (Seriously it usually takes me one minute to get enough milk!)

The more I write this, the more I actually think I might be losing it. Is it normal to whip out a boobie to squeeze out some breast milk?  Am I too comfortable?

Have you ever done anything like this? What all do you use your breast milk for?

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You Can’t Pour From An Empty Cup

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Have you ever heard the saying, ‘You can’t pour from an empty cup?’ I’m here to tell you that I think that is BS. If you are a mother, you can pour from an empty cup. You HAVE to pour from an empty cup because sometimes you ARE an empty cup!

I’ve recently put this to the test. My five month old daughter was hospitalized for RSV. It was the most stressful week of my life. I got a total of 5 hours of sleep in 3 days. (Not an exaggeration.) I hardly ate or drank anything the entire time we were in the hospital because I was there by myself most of the time. I handled almost everything alone. My cup was empty, I was empty. But somehow, I kept pouring. Every little thing my daughter needed I was there. I was alert. Delirious, but alert. I never let her see how tired and beat down I was.

As I sat there in the hospital bed with my baby girl, covered in her vomit and mucus, all I could think was how I would do anything in the world to keep her safe. How even though, I feel I have nothing to give, I would still give everything I could to her. My body was so tired from no sleep, and sharing a hospital bed with my baby, but if she wanted to be held, I held her. If she wanted to nurse, I nursed her. If she wanted to play, I played with her. I have no idea how I was able to do this. No idea how I didn’t just pass out on the floor and die. I really thought I was going too.

This is why moms are superheroes. We defy the odds. We go against the laws of nature. If it comes down to it, we don’t need sleep. Moms don’t need to eat. We don’t need to shower. A mother will do WHATEVER it takes to keep our little ones safe. Even if that means giving more than we have to give.

I know, I know, when given the opportunity we need to take care of ourselves. But in a situation like this, there was no taking care of myself, and somehow I still was able to give. I hit rock bottom, then kept digging. Because I am a mom. I’ll never stop. I’ll never quit. I will drink a cup of nasty hospital coffee and force myself to squeeze a drop of something into my “cup”.

When God created women he put something in our hearts that activates when we become a mother. Something that kicks in when our children need us. He created us to be able to give when we have nothing. I can’t tell you how it works. I can’t give you advice on how to keep on giving. It’s just something inside of us that happens. Most of all it happens when you love someone more than you love yourself.

This is why I believe you CAN pour from an empty cup.

Have you ever been in a situation like this? Have you ever felt like an empty cup? Let me know in the comments!

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Teething and Breastfeeding

Teething And Breastfeeding

My daughter is 4 months old and decided to get two bottom teeth at the same time. It is a fun little milestone, “Oh, my baby got her first tooth!” But it’s not very fun when you are a nursing mother.

I exclusively nurse my daughter.  She hardly ever takes a bottle, which didn’t bother me a bit. That is, until she got her first teeth. Those little razor sharp teeth of death erupted over night and they HURT SO BAD.

I swear, either she is trying to show me that she is in charge or she thinks my boob is a big hunk of the juiciest steak.  She likes to sink those little teeth right into my nipple and she isn’t satisfied until I’m screaming out in pain! Then she looks up and smiles at me with those big, beautiful eyes, like she knew she was causing me pain but she doesn’t care.

I now have the fear that every time my little one latches on it will be the last time I ever see my nipple attached to my body. When my boobs see my daughter coming for them, they automatically invert and hide behind my spine.

I put a teether in my baby’s mouth and she grabs it and throws it as far away from herself as she can. I think she really prefers the taste of flesh.  She constantly keeps her fist in her mouth; how she doesn’t bite herself into a bloody mess is beyond me. If it’s not her fist, she wants me in her mouth. I must have boobs of the gods, they soothe the pain, relax, and fill the belly. I just wish she would understand, biting mommy’s god-like boobies isn’t nice.

This is just another thing that makes women so badass. We can handle so much pain that most men don’t even know about. Does it stop us from breastfeeding? No way.  It’s just pain. If she bites my nipple off, oh well, I’ll grow another one. I think that’s how it works.

Have you ever fed a teething baby? Tell me your stories!

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The Painful Truth About Breastfeeding

Wonderful, perfect, healthy breastfeeding. Or at least that’s how I see it. I am a huge advocate for breastfeeding. (Don’t worry.  I will never shame anyone for formula feeding.) It is, however, my hope that every woman who gives birth to a child at least tries. (Again, just my hope, not mad if you don’t.)

I love the bond that breastfeeding gives you and your baby. It’s a feeling I can’t describe. It’s a release of happiness and love. Knowing that your body is giving this baby everything he/she needs to stay healthy.

Here’s the thing. I love breastfeeding but there are some downsides. Everyone tells you what I just told you above, but rarely mention the other parts! So below I will give you a few examples of what’s actually going to happen, or at least what happened to me.

  1. Your poor nipples are going to bleed. Oh girl, that first time that baby latches on it will be pure bliss, then after a few more times you start to notice it hurts.  You take a look at your elongated nipples that now look like little worms and notice little blood blisters, skin peeling, and blood. OUCH! I mean, you may have let someone get rough with your nipples before, but to make them bleed?? Be sure to use that nipple cream.  Don’t be scared. Lather that stuff on girls.
  2. Your milk will come in. On top of having long, bloody, nipples, something else will happen to you. You are going to wake up about two days after having your baby and notice your hospital gown is soaking wet. You look down and there are puddles of milk on the floor.  Then sitting up you notice your boobs are slightly bigger, and by slightly I mean you went from an A cup to a XXX cup. Holy crap! You could knock someone out with those big ol’ things!
  3. Leaks. A week or two later you decide to run to the store. It takes three years, eight cups of coffee, and a xanax to get ready to take your baby into public. After arriving at the store, everything seems to be going smooth when a little old lady approaches you and says “sweetheart, you sprung a leak!” You look down and there are two huge wet spots over your massive boobies. Aaah! And you thought everyone was staring at your gigantic tatas! No, they were definitely not checking you and your unproportionally large fun bags out. Breast Pads ladies, don’t forget the breast pads. They will save you a ton of embarrassment.

If you come across any problems, breastfeeding, whether it be; baby not latching, pain, or any other problem. I strongly suggest contacting a lactation consultant! DO NOT BE AFRAID TO ASK FOR HELP! These women are AMAZING! They are angels sent down from Heaven to help you and your baby! If you ever feel like giving up just call one of these ladies and they will help you through any problems!

These are only just a few problems you will come across when breastfeeding. I’m sure I will be writing about 1,000 more posts on this subject alone. Do you have any breastfeeding stories? Any embarrassing times you sprung a leak? Tell me about it in the comments!

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