How Switching to Formula Made Me a Better Mom

I have to say that I have been dying to write this article for over 6 months now. I know, I know – it’s not really “HumbleDuck-y” but I like to think I am a more carefree blog-when-I-want on what-I-want kinda blogger now!

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I’ve have been telling friends and moms that I meet that if I could, I would write an article called “How Switching to Formula Made Me a Better Mom.” I never really thought I’d write it but lately I’ve been doing a lot of looking back at the first year of The Duck’s life and thinking about maybe… one day… doing it again with another tiny human. I have been thinking about getting up at night again and feeding the infant again and going back to the “dark ages” as I like to call them. The first 6 months is no walk in the park for me, that’s for sure. Breast feeding, did NOT help. For me, breast feeding was one of the sun-killers during the dark ages when Ducky was 0-6 months. I’ve been doing a lot of reflection as to why that was.

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Why Breast Feeding Sucked (get it ;))

For the first 6 months, my son ate, and ate, and ate, and ate… around the clock for 2 hours. Then he switched to about 3-4 but that didn’t change for 6 months. Now, to make matters worse, often he would squirm and cry after a feeding. For a while, it was a dairy intolerance. I stopped dairy and things got a little better but not much. He was just always hungry. One day, my gut told me that a 5 month old baby should not be this hungry all the time. My friends kids were sleeping and mine wasn’t. I told myself not to compare.

Every child is different right?

Well, kids need to sleep just as much as adults do. My son was eating too frequently, not sleeping and worst of all, not happy. After one attempt to convince the doctor that I had a low supply of milk, I was sent home and told to take some herbs and just relax. Second appointment resulted in a check of my milk supply and low and behold, I was LOW. Declan, for 6 months wasn’t eating near enough food. My poor 2 week early peanut was STARVING all the time.

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The Crossroads

If you are a mom, you know that there is this imaginary but yet very real pressure to breastfeed. From “breast is best” slogans to my husband really wanting me to stick with it for a year, I was not excited to make this decision. I could keep trying, push through, take herbal teas, get massages, do a rain dance, and everything else you do to talk your breast into producing the very thing that keeps your baby alive but I was miserable. Emphasis on the “I” part.

I dreaded every feeding. I had immense amounts of anxiety in the night to wake up and feed him. I rarely slept 3 hours at a time. This affected not only my kids happiness but just as importantly, my own. I always believed that when you have kids, they come before you. And a lot of the time they do. You do have to get up and feed them and change them and make sure their needs are met and to see their smiling, adorable face makes it all worth it. But I can not, at the expense of my own well being and peace of mind, continue to do something for them that sacrifices my overall sanity.

The first 9 oz bottle of Similac that I watched pour down my son’s throat like a water slide, changed my life. He was six months old, slammed the entire bottle, looked up at me from underneath it, and smiled 🙂

Thank you, Mommy.

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That’s how formula made me a better mom. My son could truly eat and be satisfied now. I could take shifts in the night with Sean and actually get some sleep (We couldn’t do that with breastmilk because pumping for 20 minutes produced 3-4 oz). I was more awake during the day and had more energy to play with The Duck. Declan deserved a happier, peaceful, rested mom.

For the next baby, I decided to be open. I will try breast feeding again. Maybe this time my supply will be better. Maybe it will be worse I just don’t know. But even if all of a sudden my breast rain milk like mana, I will probably switch to formula at some point because, frankly, it makes me peaceful and the thought of it brings me joy. I love to see the visible ounces in the bottle diminish because I have something to measure. No, I don’t love my boobs being tugged on 50% of the day. It stresses me out. And that is ok. 

Because The Duck deserves a mentally happy and peaceful Mama.

Feed is best.

A happy mama makes a happy baby

and

A happy baby makes a happy mama.

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Love, Us ❤

2 thoughts on “How Switching to Formula Made Me a Better Mom

  1. Great reflection Ann! 🙂 Thanks for sharing! My mom formula-fed all 12 of us kids. And I supplement with my kids. Formula really is a great gift, and makes this mother hood thing a lot less stressful. For me it means I can leave my kids with my mom without “hoping” I can pump enough extra, and helps my kids sleep through the night 🙂

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