Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Mama Bean thinks the shine is off the rose, as they say

Warning: I'm having a cranky day, so this post will sound equal parts bitchy and whiny. Huzzah & Enjoy :P

Breastfeeding group just isn't cutting it for me anymore. I used to really love my Wednesday afternoon time, but now I'm finding it a chore.

It used to be this weekly outing gave me Something To Do, which is important, in a string of days that all look suspiciously like the day before (feed baby, change baby, nap baby, make faces at baby, worry why baby isn't making development leaps on a daily basis, count hours until spouse or other suitable adult will be home, feed baby, repeat.) Now, it gets in the way of Magic Happy Afternoon Nap Time, when both children (*fingers and toes and fingers of my toes and toes of my fingers crossed times eleventy*) are having a Magical Happy Afternoon Nap at the same time. And momma goes skipping merrily to the cool cool dark dark basement where her computer purrs waiting, and mindlessly peruses her RSS until one or the other makes noises. When momma goes to BF group instead of having Magic Happy Afternoon Nap Time, it's just... not magical and happy, folks. It's, like, Road Rage and Caffeine Withdrawal, y'know?

It used to be a convenient time when all my mommy friends were in the same place. Now, most of my mommy friends have children Bean's age and are working again. Those with babies still needing/wanting to attend group are currently out of town. So, in the future, I think I'll be double checking that someone I know and love will be there. I also must acknowledge that I am not a Community Maker, I'm just a Community Sitting-There-er. I don't have the necessary extrovertism to, like, makes friends and draw people together, so I fully admit that my own introversion is getting in my way. But I can still get cranky about it :P

It used to be I had a baby with troubles breastfeeding and troubles with this and troubles with that, and basically, I used to be a first-time mom who worried about my ignorance regarding the most basic skills of keeping tiny humans alive. Every week was a revelation of some new thing I needed to be doing Right Now (!!!) to ensure the future success and wonderfulness of my little Bean's life. And with each passing week, I learned the catchphrases and communal knowledge that meant I could now contribute something Valuable and Worthwhile to the discussion. It was great. I really do shine when given a chance to be a know-it-all haha.

Now, I know for a fact that I know justalittleless than I need to know, and the rest, in the grand scheme of things, doesn't really matter. When I try to contribute, no one cares. And who am I to be the grumpy curmudgeon standing in the way of their time to be the know-it-all? Those moments were honestly, super important to building my momma-confidence. So, I'm okay stepping back, but it does make it a little boring not to talk. Also, I imagine my eyes and my tone lack the earnestness of first time motherhood. I'm well into the blase exhaustion of second time motherhood. It has not escaped my notice that no one comes to breastfeeding group with their third child...

My point is NOT that breastfeeding group is awful and useless and why did I ever bother with this. My point is that breastfeeding group was wonderful and awesome and exactly what I needed when Bean came along. And I'm guessing that experience was so great and so amazing that the present reality is having a hard time measuring up. Or maybe I'm just cranky and cynical. And it bears emphasizing that my second baby is way too adept at nursing and I barely concern myself with whether she's gaining enough because, like, srsly people, her thighs get stuck in the bumbo. She is gaining just fine. And in the almost two years that've passed since we embarked on this parenting thing, I've gathered various other resources to answer my questions, and I still have all those wonderful mommy friends from my original group, we just don't meet up on Wednesdays anymore. So maybe I've just outgrown (?) it, and it's painful to see that.

Or maybe I just need to give it another chance on a day when I've had more sleep.

Oh man, that could make up a lengthy aside. The Endless Talking About Sleep. Even back when I was going with Bean I got bored and frustrated with the weekly discussion about sleeping. There is just too much information to have a complete discussion about sleep every. single. week. Not to mention, uh, kid's gonna do what kid's gonna do. Every week, everyone's gotta have their chance to tell their story or the story of their friend or the story that they're telling themselves is what's happening just to make themselves feel better ("Last night he slept 2 hours and 20 minutes, which is five whole minutes longer than he slept, on average, the week before, so like, I really think it's getting better...") and that just takes up somuchfreakingtime and every story conflicts with the others and who the heck knows what fantastical forces of nature must combine with fairy dust and unicorn sparkles to make babies sleep?? augh.

Sorry, that was the bitchiness I warned you about...

It's just that I'm sleep-deprived ;) I understand, in a sincerely heartfelt way, the value of these discussions. Sometimes, we just need to know that we're all going through it, together, and we're all doing our best, together. And when the babies are ganging up on us it helps to find our sisters-in-arms. I know, I get it. It's only the pragmatist in me that sits impatiently tapping her foot and thinking "There are no solutions! It's all just luck!" And I say that as someone who's been exceedingly lucky, because, by all metrics out there, my babies are to be considered "good sleepers." So. What was my point? My point is... I know why breastfeeding/mommy groups are wonderful, because my group was wonderful to me at one point, and maybe that point has now passed, and it's making me a little sad and cranky, but we'll see how it goes next time, for now I have to go feed the baby, change the baby, nap the baby... you get the idea...

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