Tag Archives: Nursing

What We See

What do you see?

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Does it often seem like despite your efforts to do good, that the things you fail in…the one thing you forgot to do or just didn’t have enough time to do …is the one and only thing people notice. That your failure is the one and only thing people see.

I have felt this often throughout most of my life. The one time I forget to check to see if all twenty of Madison’s hair ties are in her backpack when I pick her up is the day her teachers also forgot to pack them… (She has an obsession with her bracelets aka hair ties). Or the one time I give the wrong show and tell, I’m reminded of where the weekly theme is posted.. Or even the one day our of the month I decide not to do laundry, everyone is asking for something from it.

It can seem as though no one sees or appreciates how I have made random stops at the store during a crazy day to buy more backup hair ties…Or usually have show and tells packed up and ready to go days in advance…Or how I have been doing laundry every day for years. And the reality is, we do so much each day that no one does see… that does go unnoticed.

For years, I found myself getting upset from these reactions of others, from what people saw or what failed to see. That was until I reflected on what I myself was focused on. What I was seeing and that was also when I learned to laugh… often at myself and “the irony” of life.

As a society, what are we focused on? It’s so easy to give into the negativity around us. It is everywhere!

The tantruming child…

the grumpy cashier …

the car honking obnoxiously to get out of their way …

the rude coworker who doesn’t say hi back or even acknowledge you in the hallway…

or even the deceitful family member who knows how to push your buttons…

That’s what I was seeing too. All the displeasing things that were happening around me… and everything that was not happening. How the garbage cans in the kitchen were overflowing again or how the empty paper towels liked to wait for me to replace them. However, in focusing on these parts of the day, I was blinding myself to what was being done.

All the times that the garbage was taken out …

the fact that I rarely brought those garbage cans to the curb…

all the times that the paper towels were put away for me when unpacking from the supermarket…

all the people who were saying good morning or smiling back…

the shoes in which those family members walk and why they hurt so badly…

the chaos most of us walk through each day that tends to zone in on the negativity thrown at us…

instead of the good.

Who has time for the positivity anyways?

There really is a lot of good all around us. But we must make the time to see it. It is our job to consciously choose what to focus on. It is our decision. No one can hold that power over us.

Sooo…

Let’s be conscious on seeing the good. Let’s ask that grumpy cashier how their day is or better yet give a compliment.

Let’s say hello first to everyone who walks by us in the hallway at work and don’t worry if they don’t say hi back. Learn to let it go!

Let’s call up that angry family member randomly just to say hi.

Let’s pray for peace for that road raging person in the car next to us when they flash us their “friendly finger.”

Let’s thank our spouse for something that always do.

Let’s see the good…and if we can’t see it, create it!

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We need to carefully decide what we zoom in on. There are a lot of perspectives to see from. It is not our job to transform the grumpy coworker or angrily shout back at the road raged driver. Instead, it is our job to stop the cycles around us and zoom in on the good.

See beneath the surface.

Pray for softened hearts.

Pray for communication barriers to be lifted and removed.

Pray to see the good in everyone.

We all have battles we are fighting all the time.

While we may not have been there exactly, we have all been somewhere similar struggling to stay afloat…

struggling to believe…

struggling to live.

Learning to keep your eyes open to those around you instead of closing them out, is how we truly begin to see each other and lift each other up. It’s how people start to see you too. Be the change you want to see. Let’s use eyes to support not to judge. Imagine what is possible if and when we work together and support one another. The possibilities are endless!

Soo yes, I promise I will try to see you past the layers of each chaotic day …

but right now behind this tower of laundry…

you may not see me.

 

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Who’s Watching

Eyes aboard all around
the shipwreck’s gossip
washes over the town
who nurses with breast
who goes straight to bottle
yet the tides all bring
currents that steal sleep
some train and others coddle
and still they all ask the question,
Who’s watching?

Minds coast to speed
the wreckage drama
blankets with greed
who pays more
who files away into the depth
of the sand’s debt that burns
fires upon their feet
some nap and others explore free
and still they all ask,
Who’s watching?

Charade of lies
sea marks it all lost
images gloss over cries
who labels it a spiritual hand
who coins it as religion
the island is huge
there is room for all to live
yet most find fault
in their way to stand
upon a deck
Where they still ask,
Who’s watching?

Ship ashore, crashes upon its shouts
the baby falls captive
to the deception of the sea
as her wounds are deeper
than the fear of falling
it washes upon that same beach
the chaos of waves causes tidal doubt
overwhelm her belief
that she is just that
more than enough
and who still stands by
their fingers all pointed out
who fails to watch now, who misses the boat –
when all she needs
is a smile to swim upon her sinking oar
“Good job Mama,”
as she asks them back –
Who’s still watching?

For what were you really looking for?


© Jennifer Kosuda and The Art of a Messy House (theartofamessyhouse.com), 2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jennifer Kosuda and The Art of a Messy House with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


Surround Yourself

Who and what do you surround yourself with?

In a world inundated with negativity, it is crucial to surround yourself with the opposite, positivity. I’m not saying we should walk on a delusional path, ignorant to the realities of the world. I am simply saying that it is important we do not transform to them.

Even the Bible warns about it:

“Do not be deceived: Bad company ruins good morals.”- 1 Corinthians 15:33

“Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.” – Proverbs 13:20

and one of my favorites:

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” -Romans 12:2

But it’s not just about people, it’s about everything. What is your mind seeing every day? Whatever it is, it is setting up a platform on which you will focus.

Living most of my life with incredible anxiety, I know this all too well. The vicious cycle that captures our minds like prey. This was most recently experienced after my daughter was born. While I couldn’t admit it at the time, I suffered from postpartum anxiety which teamed up with the post traumatic stress disorder that still lingered from my son’s anaphylactic reaction years before.

During this time, the last thing I needed was more negativity, but it was everywhere. Every other post on Facebook had it. The news that was on television. The news that people told me. What I was google searching… what I was searching for… what I was reading… turned into what I was thinking… It. Was. Everywhere.

Until I had a huge wake up call, I was choosing what to surround myself with. Sure, it was all out there, the negativity our society sometimes seems to sickly crave, the accidents we can’t turn our eyes from. However, it was my own choice if I looked or turned away to something else.

So I decided then during a session of breastfeeding my daughter I would gradually take control back from this vicious cycle once and for all.

That was when I started to google search positive quotes and song lyrics, leaving them on my phone to see when I went to text. Or when I would try to search up something fearful, I would see Bible scriptures of hope in the search engine and screen, then reminding myself to put the phone down. I started to plant seeds of positivity everywhere… my phone, my phone cover, my keychains, my computer screens, my ID holder, my classroom, etc.

Unlike the keys we must carry to get where we need to go each day, we do not need to carry the weight of the world’s negativity with us. Instead, learn to surround yourself with positive people who empower you and your life with reminders of all that is good in this world. Because the truth is… there really is sooo much good, just waiting to be seen.

There is so much beauty in the world if you train your eyes to see it. And if for some reason, you don’t see it… create it, become it, be it! That is why I embrace the mess because it is surrounded by goodness.

Tbt: The Havoc of a Nursing Strike

Since it has been a tough week for me, I went back into my archives for some of my first entries.  As I was browsing through these, I found my entry about a nursing strike that my son had when he was 11 months.  While this topic may not be directly linked to food allergies, it was an extremely stressful phase that complicated matters a bit.   At 11 months, TJ was barely eating many foods due to his diet limitations and sensitivities to new textures.   Therefore, breastfeeding was still his main source of nutrition.  It had been about 4 months of my strict elimination diet of his allergies (wheat, oat, barley, rye, dairy, eggs, tree nuts, peanuts, soy, peas, coconut). I can’t lie… it was a difficult at times; however, I wanted to continue until another source of milk became an option.  I had felt confident that I would be able to continue the diet and breastfeeding until he had his first nursing strike….

I could not wait until March (2015) was over and done with. I know we aren’t suppose to wish away our days; however, March was filled with too many stomach bugs and colds for my liking. Anyways, with April’s arrival, we also welcomed another challenge.

Let me recap and share with you what I learned.

March 28

  • I was diagnosed with an ear infection and put on Amoxicillin for 7 days against my will. (I hate being on prescriptions and medication in general.  I even try to avoid Advil and Tylenol… just a personal preference.)
  • My son started to only nurse for 1-3 minutes, and if he got to 3 minutes, that was a lot! Before this, he would nurse between 3-5 times a day for about 8-12 minutes each time. However, he would barely even wait for a let down. He would still drink from bottles though.
  • He also started to drool a lot and bite everything from his toys to his crib to his bottles to my boob several times. Ouch! One of the first times he did this with his SIX TEETH, I instinctively yelled and startled him. He also had a cough and was getting over a cold. Because of all of these factors, my son was also super fussy and clingy.

MARCH 28-APRIL 4

  • Nursing strike continued. I would attempt to nurse and he would only stay latched on for about 1.5 minutes at a time. Based on the fact that my breasts were still full afterwards, I knew it could not be that he was just super efficient and quick with it now. So, I would offer and attempt to nurse. When he would refuse or only latch for a minimum amount of time, I would then go and pump to keep up my production. I was worried about my production dropping and us not making it until next month when we know more about his food allergies and if he had outgrown any. Therefore, I emailed his pediatrician and my breastfeeding friends for guidance. I was feeling so emotional about all of it, wondering what was causing it since it could be sooo many different factors.

Was this all because of his cold?

Was this teething? Getting molars a little early? (I did notice swollen gums on the top.)

Was it the cough/cold plus teething?

Was it that he preferred the bottle over nursing now? (I was worried about this one because I already pump two to four times a day. Now, I was pumping about 6 times a day. It was very difficult to keep up with. I give all you Mamas who exclusively pump A LOT of credit!!!)

Was he becoming more efficient or did he need less milk and feedings?

Was it my medication?

And the question I was worried the most about was…

Was he weaning himself from breastfeeding before we had a new plan of what he would drink at a year?


APRIL 4: Time for a New Plan

  •  How could this be so stressful for me?  I was an emotional wreck inside all week while trying to hold it together on the outside. I kept praying for strength. I would stay so strong all day until the evening when I would finally have a meltdown about everything.
  • I needed to figure out something, a solution to all of this. Therefore, on the 8th straight day of this, I finally stopped panicking and looked for answers instead. During his nap, I searched online and read a lot of websites and blogs. Some of the ones that I found most helpful are the following:

http://www.lalecheleague.org/nb/nbnovdec92p173.html

http://kellymom.com/ages/weaning/considering-weaning/how_weaning_happens/#childled

http://forums.llli.org/showthread.php?104647-11-month-old-nursing-strike-help/page2


With these links, I came up with a new theory and plan:

  • First of all, I learned that most babies don’t wean themselves from breastfeeding until closer to 18 months, definitely not at 11 months. Reading that was a major relief to me because I felt like I had recently taken for granted how amazing nursing and breastfeeding was. Hopeful that this was not weaning, I felt confident that we could get back on track so I devised this theory and plan.
  • The Theory: I think that originally this nursing strike all started because his gums were bothering him badly because of teething. Then, he bit me and my reaction startled him. Therefore, I had to make nursing a comfortable, relaxing, stress-free environment again. I, myself, had become extremely anxious when feeding for the past 8 days, worrying about everything and anticipating that I would get bit again. Therefore, I had to be the one to change this back.
  • The Plan: When he woke up from his nap, I went right in when he was still drowsy. Singing a song that always comforts him and rocking him in the glider, he nursed for 11 minutes on one side and 5 minutes on the other! What an amazing feeling!

APRIL 5 AND THROUGHOUT THE REST OF THE MONTH

  • As I continue to rock and sing to my son when nursing, his nursing strike appears to be over! It definitely made me appreciate this whole breastfeeding and motherhood journey even more than I already did. It reminded me of how fast these past 11 months flew by and how fast the next months and years will go. This nursing strike really opened up my eyes. Since you never know when the last time with anything in life will be, it is extremely important to live in the moment instead of allowing the everyday stresses and routines to overshadow what really matters. I think I needed to be reminded of this.

Like One Republic says in their song “I Lived,”…I want to be able to say this one day…

“I owned every second that this world could give. I saw so many places, the things that I did. With every broken bone, I swear I lived.”

While a nursing strike may seem like nothing to most people, it was truly a broken bone to me. However, I owned it, lived in the moment instead of my to-do lists. Heck, we even made it until 13.5 months of breastfeeding, 6 of those months on a strict elimination diet.  At that point, he passed a soy oral food challenge and started to transition to soy.

Looking back at this memory, we smile on… learning to embrace the moments… for they make some of the most amazing memories….