A Step Forward is a Step Away From Mom

Sarah Strapp

Posted By: Sarah Strapp

I am eager, anxious, nervous, and exciting to get this baby to my breast.

My family has reached a crossroad. We have outgrown our current one-bedroom apartment and are ready for the next step. Our only problem is we don't know the direction we should choose. Sammy is nearly six months old. He is rolling over more and more, he is sitting up, and he looks pretty anxious to start moving around. As Sammy has grown in the past half-year our life as a family has grown in kind. What I keep coming back to every day is that my milk has nourished Sammy and brought him this far.

There are so many changes in store. In a couple more weeks we will start giving Sammy solid food. It actually makes me sad to think that Sammy will be getting food from somewhere other than my breast! On the other hand it makes me proud to see my little boy so grown up. I have become accustomed to our routine of eating, playing and napping. I have become comfortable in my role as nurturer, teacher, friend and leader. Even so, as Sammy goes through each new stage of development I am surprised by how emotional I become. It is, again, battle of emotions. I am conflicted with feeling proud of my son as he conquers each stage and sad as he grows further away from me.

I endeavor to raise Sammy to be happy, healthy, independent and well-balanced. It would not be natural for Sammy to need me in the same way his whole life, but it is sad when each separation happens. As he progresses on to solid foods Sammy will be exposed to a whole new world. Yes, the flavor of my breastmilk changes from feeding to feeding, but it is nothing like eating real food. I'm excited to find out more about my son, what kinds of foods will he like, what will he not care for, what will be his favorite? As he goes through these changes, I will still be nursing Sammy and in the beginning I will still be nursing him just as much as I am now. It probably will be some time before we will cut back on the amount of mama's milk Sammy's getting. Maybe I just hope it will take some time.

I search for balance in my world of conflicting emotions and teetering decisions. It is a challenge to feel confident in anything I do as a mother, but I know that I can't be doing too badly. At the core of my being my confidence comes from the unending love I have for Sammy and from knowing that I am giving him the nourishment and building blocks for a strong and healthy body. With each passing day I know Sammy a little better. As I realize I am able to distinguish his different cries I grow more confident as his mom. I have come to understand that I am not mom to any child and Sammy is not any mom's son, we are each other's. Sammy and I are a team and as we get to know each other better, our teamwork gets better too.

When I am troubled with the challenges of new motherhood I stop to remember that it's barely been six months. I love Sammy so much and my love for him grows exponentially every day. With that being said, I know that I must encourage Sammy to grow and explore the world for himself. Yes, as he grows he grows further from me.... But, look at him grow!

12:00pm on Thursday March 17
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