You failed – Press start to continue

Yesterday I failed as a parent for the first time. It’s not like I have always known what I was doing but I always felt it was a learning process with room for error. Babies are made for new parents after all. So when something hasn’t gone to plan or has been hard I learned from it.

But last night Stormy has unhappy. And after the usual trial and error I tried feeding him but I knew I was out. So we heated up some formula just in case and the kid downed it all and cried for seconds.

And suddenly I realized he’d been fuzzy in the afternoons for a while. And sometimes cried after eating. And it struck me. I am not producing enough. He wasn’t crying to show he was done, he was crying to tell me I was done.

I don’t feel like a failure because I’m not producing enough and I’ll tell you why: If I say I am a failure for not being able to breastfeed fully I am saying that moms who can’t breastfeed are a failure and besides being a rude, shitty thing to say it’s also not true. My (or your) ability to parent is not in the breasts. To parent is to care, love, raise and feed.

No. I felt like a failure because I didn’t notice something was wrong sooner. That my happy smiling baby turned into a crying and unhappy version of himself almost every afternoon and I thought he was just being a baby and babies are fuzzy. I feel like I should point out that he hasn’t been losing weight, he has made dirty diapers as usual, the only telltale sign was his unhappiness. But it should have enough.

I’m not looking for reassurance or for you to tell me I didn’t fail. I did but it’s okay. I will still breastfeed him as much as possible but we will also supplement. Because fed is best. I have no pride in my ability to feed with my body but I have pride in taking good care of my child.

I cried feeding him that bottle because for the first time I had let him down. But I know I will fail again. And hopefully I will also realize it and fix it. Because parenting is also that. Correcting your mistakes as you make them.

Making mistakes does not make you a bad parent. But thinking you can do no wrong might.

7 thoughts on “You failed – Press start to continue

  1. ❤ it can feel terrible to fail, especially when you let down the person/people who hold your heart, but you are a wonderful mom from what I have seen and your family is lucky to have you!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My daughter was born in the 50% and by 2 months was in the 20%. I never knew she was hungry. The first time I fed her formula for the first time and she got “milk drunk” I wanted to cry! I felt so guilty!

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  3. Asa weaned himself to a bottle at 6 months old and I was so disappointed. Not because I felt like I was failing him really, but because I loved breastfeeding and it ended too soon for what I wanted. But he was happy, and it made things so much easier, and really I mean… in motherhood if something makes it easier I’m all for it, haha! And then later I was blessed with a child who refused to wean until almost 2 years old. They were both good in their own ways, and they both had challenges in the ways they fed. But they were fed!

    I love reading your parenthood observations. There is nothing wrong with always writing butterflies and roses about motherhood, but it’s refreshing to read all the real-life things.

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    • I was the same. I wouldn’t give it up until I was 2 years old but my sister started refusing breast at 4 months. Funny how children are so different 🙂 Stormy is exclusively bottlefed now. I just went more and more dry and he got so frustrated because there wasn’t enough. So I just quit all together. And he seems to be thriving just the same 🙂

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  4. You can’t do more than your best and you are already doing that! I’m not a parent, I have my fur baby but no tiny human but whatever you do in life you do your best. And if something doesn’t work or you don’t notice something, especially when caring for a life it doesn’t mean you’ve failed. Everything is about learning. It’s how we deal with it that matters, to learn from it and amend what/how we do things. It’s not like you get a manual after you’ve given birth/adopted etc afterall. You are and will do brilliantly, as you have already pointed out that to love and care for your child is the best parenting. Xx

    Liked by 1 person

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