Reflections on a Year: Moving on

As you know, Ruby recently turned one. While passing such a huge milestone I can’t help but think about growth and development. I’m looking back at the evolution that was this past year, and I’m wondering, “What’s next?” What does life have in store for… me, of course. Didn’t you catch my blog tagline?

Just recently I’ve been feeling like it’s time to move on. No, I do NOT mean ON to another baby. Ruby’s finally becoming a tiny bit independent. (Which, by the way, is AWESOME.)  And she’s become a pretty proficient walker. While still quite baby-ish in a lot of ways, the combination also makes her seem kind of like a little person doing her thing. And it just feels like the right time to put some of our baby ways to rest.

We’re finally moving naps from the boob to the crib. Mostly. Her naps are so much shorter in the crib, and she has a tendency to wake up tired and grouchy. So sometimes I nurse her again and we do round two on the boob. Sometimes getting her down for a nap in the crib is easy and sometimes there’s a lot of screaming (on my part… kidding… mostly) and crying (on her part). I hadn’t felt up to those difficult days until now. My readiness sort of snuck up on me. One day I thought I’d give it a shot and then I just up and decided that’s what we’d do. Twice a day. Every day.

So far I haven’t really missed the extra snuggle time. I think because I’m also feeling ready to breastfeed less. Neither Ruby nor I are interested in giving it up entirely. But a month ago I was still nursing every 2 hours during the day and 2-3 times during the night. And that just felt like too much. Since making the decision to mentor for Team Challenge, my calendar has filled up with baby-free activities. And, quite frankly, the idea of pumping and prepping all those bottles makes me a bit nauseous. I need some more freedom!

So I’ve been trying to steer things in that direction. Ruby’s been eating a ton, and can go for a good stretch in the middle of the day without nursing. Of course, she’s still nursing in the morning when she wakes up, around 9:00 am, and before her morning nap around 10:30 am. I’d really like to drop that 9:00 am feeding, but Ruby really doesn’t, and I’m having a hard time saying no.

I’ve also stopped nursing her between bedtime (7:00 pm) and 2:00 am. She usually wakes up around 11:00 pm. Sometimes she’s able to get herself back to sleep, sometimes she only needs a minute or two of parental consoling and other times she cries and flails, smacks my chest and cries some more.

My self-diagnosed over supply makes even this super gradual weaning feel like a dangerous endeavor. I’ve had three plugged ducts since we started (including the one that hurt so bad I couldn’t sleep last night), and I’m praying to Gods I don’t believe in that I don’t end up with another infection.

So that’s breastfeeding. I’ve also been feeling like it’s time to go back to work. I’ve always thought of myself as an introvert, but I’m beginning to think otherwise. A couple hours of social contact a few days a week at various play-date-like activities just isn’t enough. I’ve managed over the last year, sure. But I’ve reached my limit. Plus, I can tell the pressure I put on Jason to be ALL OF MY FRIENDS is starting to wear him down.

will-work-for-friends

This is an original friends, and I am absolutely pleased. Let’s just pretend there are things in the room besides pea green drapes and Ruby has legs. Also let’s pretend I’m holding up that sign at an intersection that gets more traffic than Coffee Table and Window.

And since I can’t seem to convince Elsha to move into my neighborhood (There’s a house for sale, by the way.), I’m thinking I’ll just go back to work. Don’t worry. I have a few other reasons as well. I would like some organized space away from Ruby. I think I will better appreciate our time together, and I think this will make me a better mom. I’m also eager to regain some control over my productivity.

So I’m working on the work thing. It may be a little while still. Jason’s still working that crazy rotating shift schedule, and I don’t want to return to work while he’s doing that. Turns out I would like to see him occasionally. But the ball’s starting to roll, so to speak.

We’re growing up. Ruby and I. (Mostly me, but Ruby some too.) Growing up and moving on.

Note that this is my second reflection on a year. You can read my first reflection here.

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11 thoughts on “Reflections on a Year: Moving on

  1. That is a mighty impressive drawing. Can I have your autograph?

    I hate to say it, but one of the benefits of Charlotte taking a bottle is that I CAN get out of the house and she’s not entirely dependent on me to feed her (although she just started this thing where she refuses to eat when J feeds her, so that’s great). I think adult time is pretty crucial for you to FEEL like you, ya know? You probably don’t always want to feel like the milk machine.

    • That’s not terrible to say at all. That’s one of the biggest benefits of formula feeding… In my inexperienced opinion. And you’re right. As much as I do genuinely like breastfeeding, the milk machine is getting a little burnt out.

  2. I can sympathize with the burn out, but I only made it six weeks before going back to work and six months before giving up the boob for the bottle. I am happy for you that you’re still breastfeeding, I miss it.

    Good luck on the work thing! I know I need “real” humans around me to stay sane …

    • We all have different clocks and limits. I don’t think there’s a “right” length of time to breastfeed or stay at home. It’s whatever works for each family. And yeah, I need real people too.

  3. As I read each paragraph of this I thought, “Good for you!” Every time. I’m happy that you got to the “I’m ready for these changes” point, and I hope that having more normalcy in your life is making life with kids not seem so bad. You’re a great mom!

    • First of all, I don’t know how you’re managing to read blogs with a newborn baby. You are AMAZING!!!

      Also, this baby gig gets easier (or should I say less hard?) the older Ruby gets. I’m still definitely not as well adjusted as you are, but at least we’re headed in the right direction. Right?

  4. I’m with Kari, making it to the “ready for these changes” point is great. Also, I’ll totally move to your neighborhood if Brian gets a job there. And if you want any advice, @arwenelizabeth on twitter has much experience with oversupply.

    That picture is my favorite part of this whole post. Tell Ruby she doesn’t need legs anyway.

    • I’m happy I’m feeling ready for these changes too. I was really worried that stopping breastfeeding was going to be this hugely traumatic thing… And I suppose it still may be… But I’m starting to think the freedom will help me cope.

      Also, I will Twitter follow.

      Also, thanks! I sort of like how really pretty crappy it turned out. Kind of makes it endearing.

  5. I’m not sure if my comment went through. Anyway – I feel the same way about friends. It’s tough. Wish we lived closer. Jake probably does too so he could just be the hubs and not all the friends 🙂
    I went back to work half time and it did give me that adult time I needed. I hope you find something equally as rewarding.

    • Thanks for sharing that Erika. In my mind you are 100% happy and grateful about everything 100% percent of the time. Basically how I wish I was. Ha! I wish you did live closer! AND I’m glad going back to work part-time worked for you! For your sake and because it gives me hope. 🙂

  6. Anyone have any kind of ingenious ideas for outside storage?

    We have some good outdoor chairs however I am sick and tired
    of the cushions getting drenched from the weather and I don’t have anywhere to store the Mellissa.

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