29 October 2014

Never Quit on Your Hardest Day

I felt kinda crummy leaving my last post full of such whining and complaining, so I thought I'd write a little something else while I nurse a hysterical Eleanor to sleep. Abigail locked herself in her bedroom with something she stole off the kitchen table, but we're going to just run with it for a minute.

This one night during the hellish first two weeks of breastfeeding, I was "this close" to begging Matt to run to the store and buy formula. It like 2:00 in the morning, Eleanor had been waking up every two hours to nurse, and watching Matt fast asleep on his half of the bed infuriated me in that irrational way that all rested people infuriate new mothers. We live about a 1 minute, 45 second drive to Meijer, which is pretty much a Target meets grocery store and is open 24/7, for those of you who've never know the pleasure of shopping at a Meijer. In about 10 minutes time, I could be sound asleep and Matt could be feeding Eleanor. It sounded downright glamorous to my sore, tired, mastitis-ridden body at 2am. But I remembered this line I'd read somewhere during one of my frantic Internet searches, looking for tips on surviving breastfeeding:

Never quit on your hardest day.

I repeated it to myself over and over as I nursed Eleanor and tried to convince her to stay asleep in her little basket instead of at my side.

Never quit on your hardest day.

I somehow survived that night, and all the subsequent nights. I now considered sleeping with Eleanor to be quite enjoyable and nursing to be one of the easiest parts of parenting. I'm so glad I didn't quit when things got tough, and it's led me to realize that "don't quit when you're down" is spectacular life advice. Never go grocery shopping when you're hungry. Never punish your kids when you're angry. Never blog when you're emotional. Never make decisions at night. It just makes sense: don't make decisions when you're weak, tired, discouraged. Wait until you've had a good meal, a few minutes to calm down, a vent-session with a friend, a night of good sleep.

So now I try to apply that advice often. I don't call Matt and beg him to come home in the heat of a meltdown. I don't make cookies when my blood sugar is low. And I especially don't have serious discussions when the post-partum depression is raging.

I file it away with the only other piece of advice that has never steered me wrong:

Never wake a sleeping baby. Waking up Abigail in hopes of adjusting her nap schedule or out of fear that she might ruin her bedtime has never once worked out for me.

The first native woke the second native and now even the cat is done with life.

C'est la vie.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

" I don't make cookies when my blood sugar is low."

You cut me to the quick! My soul shriveled a little in guilt when I read that line!

So, I made PB chocolate chip oatmeal GRANOLA BARS instead...

Because I don't have your willpower. TB