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My baby boy is 6 months old, and breastfeeding is stressing me out.

I'm a stay at home mom. I have a five year old and a six month old. I feel like I am ignoring my oldest because I am spending so much time breastfeeding. I feel as though I would be a failure if I don't continue to the year mark, but I'm so stressed. I am falling behind on house work and home work (I'm also a full time college student). Any advise would be very helpful.

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Asked by ashleydawn333 at 12:53 AM on Jul. 12, 2013 in Babies (0-12 months)

Level 1 (3 Credits)
Answers (11)
  • Do you have a sling? That and a car seat are the two pieces of required equipment when there's more than one child in the mix. Having the sling lets baby nurse whenever and wherever and you can do whatever.

    Never mind the house. If it's not a health hazard it will wait; no one worth being had "World's Greatest Housekeeper" on her tombstone. Homework must be done, though. Where's dad? Housework goes to him. So does a lot of the caretaking for the older child. It's OK; your five year old likely feels this much less than you do. Consider this: In the era when most moms were SAHM, they didn't spend that much time directly with their kids. The kids were in their rooms or play rooms or yards or at the park; anywhere but with mom! I was raised in that era; the most time we spent with mom then was during dinner, and that was the neighborhood norm.

    Answer by gdiamante at 1:00 AM on Jul. 12, 2013

  • What are you studying? Might be able to brainstorm some homework ideas too.

    Answer by gdiamante at 1:03 AM on Jul. 12, 2013

  • I do have a sling, but my little one wont breastfeed while he is in it. I suppose I could but him a bit harder. My husband works twelve hour days, so he wakes up early and gets home late.

    I am studying Psychology.

    I guess I just feel as though it might be easier just to give him a bottle, but the fact that I am a stay at home mom just places more guilt on me. I feel my job as a stay at home mom enforces me to be with my kids all the time, keep the house clean, have dinner on the table, and keep up with school work. I suppose I may just be stressing myself out even more.

    To put icing on the cake my little one is such a momma's boy, that when he is not eating he is insisting that I am within his view or else.

    Comment by ashleydawn333 (original poster) at 1:10 AM on Jul. 12, 2013

  • " I suppose I may just be stressing myself out even more."

    Yes, you are. And sorry, I have no pity for your husband. I used to work two jobs, 5:30AM M-F and 2PM-11:30 PM on Sat & Sun. One hour commute each way for both jobs, and a really ugly turnaround from Sunday to Monday. Still did my share around the house, which was 50%. Hubby did the other 50%.

    You don't have to be with the kids every minute, you don't need a spotless house (it's overrated and no one cares) and DAD can do his own darned dinner. I do suggest checking out for great housekeeping shortcuts (15 minutes a day and DONE), and picking up paper plates and plastic forks. Not environmentally great but right now you're in survival mode as you hit the dreaded six month growth spurt.

    Your little one is quite normal.

    Answer by gdiamante at 1:19 AM on Jul. 12, 2013

  • Thank you for your input, I've been really stressed lately and it is nice to hear another mother's point of view.

    Comment by ashleydawn333 (original poster) at 1:31 AM on Jul. 12, 2013

  • It's ok to stop if its causing that much stress - if it stressing you it stressing your baby. That's the advice my doc gave me and it really was the best for my whole family!!

    Answer by Crafty26 at 1:34 AM on Jul. 12, 2013

  • And Crafty is right; it's OK to stop if it's stressing you that much. ONE DROP = SUCCESS. Long term goals are for the birds.

    Keep in mind, however, baby's demands will not disappear and you've still got school to deal with.

    A bigger question, though: Will baby take formula? And will adding formula to the mix cause you more stress (having to buy it and mix it and clean up after it)?

    Answer by gdiamante at 1:38 AM on Jul. 12, 2013

  • It sounds like baby is needing/wanting YOU and even if you were to stop nursing, I don't think that would resolve the issue of his "demandingness" which is what it sounds like you're struggling with.

    Growth spurts, teeth, fussy stages (linked to developmental/cognitive leaps, described in a book like "The Wonder Weeks" but also summarized multiple places online) all can increase a baby's neediness. The more off he feels, the more cranky, and he tries to soothe himself. This typically means upping his demand for mom. For me, pushing against that always resulted in intensifying the demand (baby reacts to mom's resistance by becoming more insecure/unsettled.)

    Shifting out of struggle can help, but it's also possible to address the issue of the coping involved. The demands for soothing contact (nursing, being held) are driven by feelings. If he can express those with your support, he'll need less in terms of constant comfort.

    Answer by girlwithC at 10:17 AM on Jul. 12, 2013

  • For that, I'd direct you to developmental psychologist Aletha Solter's book "The Aware Baby." Also to the Aware Parenting website/network. I have never used that site, beyond visiting it briefly, so I'm not familiar with the resources there, but I have read several of the articles written by an "Aware Parenting" practitioner who blogs at "Parenting With Presence." There are some wonderful articles listed by topic in the sidebar.
    Also (when I was looking for that blog, lol) I found this detailed description/overview that might be informative for you: Aware Parenting.

    The concept is that babies cry for communication (hunger, discomfort, etc.) & also to heal (from hurts, upsets, stresses, frights. It's an inborn healing mechanism, to offload distress.) When they cry for

    Answer by girlwithC at 10:34 AM on Jul. 12, 2013

  • the second reason, they just need warm, caring contact that supports them while they express the upset around the experience. When instead, we focus on STOPPING the crying through soothing (nursing, holding, rocking, bouncing, jiggling, distracting), they learn to want those things whenever they feel upset or off-kilter, unsettled. This works well for parents & babies, until the load of unexpressed feelings grows. When the feelings are "coped with" or managed, they don't get expressed & resolved so they get carried around, and other feelings accumulate. This tends to drive increased demandingness & compensation. When babies are stressed with normal things like growing, teething, cognitive leaps, small separations, they tend to up their demands for those soothing distractions, as a coping mechanism. Because that's what they've learned to do when they feel "that way."

    Doing some listening can drain that reservoir.

    Answer by girlwithC at 10:42 AM on Jul. 12, 2013

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