Friday, June 18, 2010

Waiting is the hardest part

I have spent my morning waiting to hear from Brett regarding the status of Maggie's ear infection. She has had an ear infection for about two-months, and has undergone three courses of increasingly strong antibiotics. I know it's a relatively minor thing, but it was upsetting me that my baby was sick and seemingly constantly. I know, she's in daycare and it's to be expected, but I also thought that she wouldn't have so many ear infections because she is 100% breastfed. So much for that theory.

Anyway, it just sort of highlights the difficulty for me of having to go to work. This is seriously like a totally minimal issue as difficulties go, I know that, but it's an example of the working-mom guilt that I have. I totally underestimated how hard it would be to be a working mom. This is, again, not news to anyone, but I honestly thought it would be great and that I wouldn't want to be a stay-at-home. Turns out I totally want to be a stay-at-home. I miss my baby when I'm at work, and more than that, the logistics of working and breastfeeding are just a challenge for me.

Pumping is not only time consuming and stressful to perform at work, but it's also consistently led to clogged ducts and inconsistent production that just stresses me out. I understand that a lot of women supplement with formula, and we tried this, but Maggie did not tolerate the formula. She had two bottles one day, and spent the following 24 hours projectile vomiting. I just didn't want to do that again, so I vowed to make sure that all she ever got was my breastmilk. She is seven months old today and that's all she's had. I am proud of this because it's been a huge commitment and struggle on my end. It wouldn't be if I didn't have to go to work.

I'm not a breastfeeding nazi. If Maggie had responded well to formula she'd be having it, but she didn't, so here we are. I'm just having trouble with the concept of having it all. In my situation, having it all means compromising somewhere all of the time. My job is not nearly as important to me as my daughter, so it gets compromised. I am by no means not doing my job, but I'm not going above and beyond and pursuing things in my career that would advance me quickly because I refuse to leave my daughter for any period of time. First of all that would be impossible given the breastfeeding and second of all it would be a huge demand on Brett because Maggie is a two-parent baby. She prefers us both to be there at night and I'm not really sure she would go to bed without us both. Maybe she's spoiled, maybe we're overly doting and crazy, but she is one awesome baby and she's doing so well that I don't mind.

I'm rambling like crazy, but it's hard for me to get a handle on all of this. I never thought I'd be saying that maybe having it all is not really the best goal for me. Maybe I wish I could stay at home with her and feel like I'm really excelling in one area instead of just getting by in all areas. This shit is tough for me.

And now on to a different topic. Health kick. It's off to a slow but steady start. I've cut way down on the sugar and white bread consumption and that feels good. I'm also going to the doctor on Monday and I suspect I'll be starting physical therapy for my back pain/sciatica again. Having a c-section really did a number on my core strength and I need help getting that back.

Oh, and the wait is now over. Maggie is free of ear infection! Hallelujah!


Alice said...

i seriously don't know how working moms do it. on the one hand, i feel like i'd go KEEE-RAZY if it was just me and my baby all day long. but on the other hand, i think i'd feel just like you - i'd miss her too much, i'd have too much guilt, and i'd feel like i was
half-assing everything. and i'm not even a mom, so i have no help for you.. just my sympathy and internet hugs :-)

glad to hear she's finally ear-infection free, yay!!

artemisia said...

I cannot imagine the difficulty, guilt, and all around craziness being a full-time mom, wife, and professional would be.

Please don't feel as thought this isn't a big deal and that you shouldn't write about it, struggle, feel icky. It is HUGE. From what I CAN imagine.

I am so glad to hear She is clear of the infection. Yay!

Jess said...

Oh, this sounds so challenging and frustrating. Figuring out how to balance all the different aspects of your life, and prioritize the most important without losing hold of all the others completely, sounds damn near impossible. I know you guys will figure it out, though. And in the meantime I'm glad that ear infection is gone!

Tess said...

It IS really hard, and I don't think most WOH moms would say they have it all, just that they have some of each. There is NO DOUBT that sometimes you have to half-ass one for the sake of the other. It just can't be any other way. I think the key for me is that I honestly don't care if I half-ass my job for my daughter. Even half-ass is usually good enough, and that's why I work the job I work and make way less money than most people who do what I do.

Anyway. I'm so glad the infection is gone. Ava had CONSTANT back-to-back ear infections until she was about 13 months old and it was HORRIBLE. Poor little monkey.

Sarah said...

I have SO MANY thoughts, mostly jumbled and conflicting and pointless, about being a mom and working and even bothering to go to college at the prescribed normal time because at least thirty percent of those women are going to get married, have babies, and take a hiatus if not a permanent leave from their careers anyways. Then their families will more than likely be strapped for money because they WILL still have their STUDENT LOANS to deal with, and there are lots of women (or men!)working while their kids are little when they don't want to be just to pay off those educations that they don't even WANT to be using right then ANYWAYS and.... yeah. Basically I question the Prescribed Order of Adult Events in this country. Don't think it works for everyone, and I think it often ends up being women and children that get screwed the most.
Um, anyhoo! Long winded much? But just know that I feel for you and I think it is AMAZING that you have been exclusively breast feeding for so long. I hate pumping with the fire of a thousand suns, and I think it takes real sacrifice to make that work.

Marie Green said...

Oh, man. There are no perfect answers. I *thought* I had the perfect-for-me solution figured out, and perhaps it was for awhile, but now once again I'm questioning everything. (I a SAHM but had a 2x/week very part time job, which was life-saving and a wonderful way for me to use my adult brain... but now I'm bored with my job and feel as if I'm behind others my age in terms of career development and ARRRG...)

Also, my youngest had multiple ear infections, so I totally hear that pain...

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