the Why of your commitment
Confession: I feed my babies formula.
I wanted to breast-feed. I took the classes and bought the books and the pillows and the bras. I was Committed.
But nature conspired against us: I hemorrhaged during my c-section (partly due to how big the girls were) and lost a lot of blood. This, combined with my having two babies to feed, made me an underdog straight out of the gate.
We started supplementing with formula on day 3.
Fast forward to two weeks postpartum: I was still exhausted. Still doing my best to feed the babies. And still trying to make the breast-feeding happen.
Why? Because that's what a good mother does.
In my mind, a good mother does whatever it takes to feed her children the food that her body creates for them. Because breast is best. Because why wouldn't you want to give your babies the best?
I kept it up long after I knew I wanted to stop. Every time I got out the breast pump, I would think “Really. Am I really doing this again?” and wonder when I could let it go.
I talked to my midwife. And the girls’ pediatrician. And my OB - they all gave me their hearty blessing to move to 100% formula and assured me that a sane, happy mama was what was best for our girls.
And yet, I could not come to peace with my decision.
Yes, I was an emotional new mama. Yes, I was completely sleep-deprived. Yes to a lot of things.
But then I realized, I was hanging on to the breast-feeding not because it was the best thing for me and my family, but because, to me, breastfeeding equated to being a good, caring, willing-to-make-any-sacrifices-necessary mother to my girls.
Which it does not.
I realized that, while committed, I wasn’t committed for the right reasons.
I was committed to a story that I was telling myself. And once I was able to let the story go, I was able to let the commitment go.
As we go through life, we remain committed to all kinds of things. Especially those of us who might be more stubborn than others (ahem…).
But how often do you step back to examine the why of your commitment? (click to tweet)
How often to you look at everything, not through the lens of a story you tell yourself, but through the lens of what is best for you, what actually makes the most sense and what you really want for your life?
What you really want for your life.
When was the last time you took a step back from it all to examine what you really want for your life?
Today, start there. If you don't know what you want, start digging. Start thinking. Start trying. And failing. And learning.
Because without knowing what you want, your commitments mean nothing.
(Trust me: crying into a breast pump does nobody any good.)
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*photo by me; graphic by Erin Cassidy for Tiffany Han Coaching