The story of our cobathing begins long before Asher was even born. I have always loved baths, to me they are warm, comforting and generally just a happy place to be. I’m not going to lie, I take one to two baths a day and have since before I can remember. Judge away but sorrynotsorry, it makes me the sane person I kind of am. I often get questions about Asher and our co-bathing. So I thought maybe I could tell our story here…
There is a direct tie between our breastfeeding journey and our cobathing. I truly am not sure I could tell one story without the other. As I have mentioned before, Asher didn’t breastfeed. He had a nursing aversion starting at two weeks due to a tongue and lip tie. He would literally scream as soon as I put him to my breast. I tried everything I could but ultimately we ended our breastfeeding journey when he was around four months old.
After I had Asher I definitely felt the Baby Blues. In retrospect I know those feelings were tied to my c-section and inability to breastfeed him. I felt I had fail at giving birth to him, as I had a c-section and then to add insult to injury I was unable to nurse him. I know now that those are variations of normal and there is nothing wrong with either. But as a hormonal new mother those two things completely broke me. I felt I had already failed the tiny, two week old, little human in my arm.
Something I had tried early on was skin to skin in the tub in an attempt to help him nurse, however, eventually I just started to enjoy having him in the tub with me. It was easier to bath him, it was fun but best of all we got the skin to skin we both so desparately needed…finally the haze of the baby blues began to lift. Those baths definitely helped heal me in those early postpartum weeks.
After I gave up nursing in full I started bringing a bottle into the tub with me. We would relax in the tub, get the skin to skin we both loved and he would get his last feeding in before bed. It became our evening wind down and as he grew we never stopped. Now at two he still asks for a “baba and take bath”. I know at some point we will need to stop. More and more he likes having the tub to himself, it’s something I’ve come to terms with long ago, but I love that we now share a love of baths.
Bathing with him to me was second nature. It help build a bond that I felt had broken after I failed to be able to breastfeed him, though ultimately I know we just formed a new and special kind of bond. I’m posting this hoping it will help clear up the multitude of questions I get when I post bath pictures of us on Instagram. But also to encourage other mamas who may be struggling with the same issues I did early on.
If you have made it this far, thanks for spending time here with me.
I’ve learned a lot during this whole motherhood thing. I’ve learned what diapers, wipes and bottles work best for my child. I’ve learned how to function on minimal sleep. I’ve learned the power of coffee, the mom bun and leggings. I’ve learned what it means to love someone unconditionally. Some of these things have come easier than others, but of all the things I’ve learned there is one thing I’ve had a hard time coming to grips with. Letting go of control.
Since I can remember I’ve been a planner. I’m one of those “5 year plan” kind of people. Honestly I would be a 25 year plan kind of person if I thought I could get away with it. I have always enjoyed planning and setting goals with my husband for our life together. But I loved even more that often our life went as planned… then we had a child. Don’t get me wrong it was literally the best thing that has ever happened to us, but I was no longer fully in control of my life and that was a scary realization for me. I had planned a natural birth, I needed a c-section. I had wanted to breastfeed, he a tongue and lip tie and developed a nursing aversion so he was bottle fed. I had no choice but to come to terms with these things for the health of my child so I learned to deal, despite the anxiety it wrought in those early postpartum days. These early instances set tone for one of the greatest life lessons that motherhood has/is currently teaching me. Letting go.
As Asher has grown older these lessons have come more and more frequently though perhaps on a lesser scale. Whether it’s our daily plans going awry because he refuses to nap, or dinner burning because I’m constantly being pulled on by a very busy 2 year old. It’s still hard for me to not feel anxious as these plans begin to unravel. I know they seem like petty little thing and no matter how many times it happens or how often I think I’ve become more flexible there is always this gnawing anxiety that things are not going as planned and I am not in control.
There is no twist or uplifting ending to this post. No solution being offered, because I have none. I constantly remind myself to relax and go with the flow and somedays thats enough, but more often than not it’s a daily struggle and the anxiety is real. My goal in sharing this is maybe someone else out there can relate and is comforted simply by knowing they aren’t alone.
But mostly this was just a cathartic entry into my mom diary. If you’ve made it this far I thank you for spending some time here with me.
Asher woke up cranky this morning, seemingly everything sent him into a meltdown. So I gave him the iPad to play with and he then happily laid on the floor and proceeded to play games on it for a half hour. I’m a bad mom I thought as I sipped my coffee and savored the quiet stillness. I cared… but not enough to make him stop until after I’d finished my first cup…. I’m a bad mom.
Several months back a dear friend who was newly expecting shared with me the fear we all have… “What if I’m a bad mom?”. Only weeks into her pregnancy and that fear was already there and making itself known. I assured her she would be a wonderful mother, because I truly believe she will be. But also because she cares enough to worry about being a bad mother.
I feel like we are so obsessed with what makes us bad moms and good moms. Like there is this tally sheet you tick off marks and hope by the end you are more good than bad. But it’s not that black and white. Honestly there are so many things I do now that pre-kid me would have been appalled at. Fast food, screen time, drinking wine in front of him, spanking him (something I swore I would never do) and the list goes on. To some of you all these make me a bad mom, others none of them do, but to most I imagine some combo of those do. To me most of them seem trivial now while others still give me a twinge of unease. But that’s the point, that twinge of unease… that nervousness that I’m screwing up my kid. All that tells me that I care, that worry drives me to try harder the next day because there is no good or bad there is only motherhood for better or worse. All we can do is our best in that moment, some moments will be better than others but we will always care, and that’s what makes us good mothers.
The inspiration for the name of this blog struck me over a year ago and has been rattling around in my head since then…until now. So here is a bit of an explanation of how this blog came to be…
“Sonder n. the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own—”
I have to say that technically sonder is a made up word, and give credit to John Koenig, the creator The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows- But I often have that realization in my everyday interactions. People are in essence just a summation of a lifetime of experiences. Whether it’s people I pass on the street, the checker at the store or the person at the table next to me in a restaurant, I always wonder what shaped these people into who they are now, for better or worse. Of course this thought process always turns introspective, leaving me wondering which experiences best explain who I am today, as a human being but more specifically as a mother.
Sonder has resonated with me as word that demands a person’s story be told. We all have a stories that make up our lives but few know them. This is my attempt to tell my stories and I hope those who read them may in turn share some of theirs. If we all share even just a few of our stories we cease to be strangers and find allies in this great big world.
But it’s not a typical mom blog… this blog will be more of a diary documenting my experiences in motherhood. As wonderful and rewarding as motherhood can be, I’ve found it also to be rather isolating. My intention right now is to share my stories in hopes of making it a little less lonely for myself and others.
If you’ve made it this far I applaud and thank you for putting up with my ramblings. This was typed over the span of a few days with frequent interruptions thanks to my two year old son Asher. I’ve also been head butted a few times today by said son of mine as well so I can’t attest to how cohesive this post actually is but regardless I thank you for the time you spent here with me.