When I had my son IV, I decided I would breastfeed him until he was old enough to drink regular milk. I figured it would be 4 months..6 months tops. On our first visit to the pediatrician, to my surprise it was much longer than that. Children aren't allowed to drink cow's milk until their first birthday. I was floored, but I was also committed. I was committed to providing IV with all the nutrients he needs to have the best health possible, and breastfeeding would accomplish that.
My Purpose: A healthy baby.
My Goal: Breastfeed my baby for his first year of life.
USE ALL YOUR RESOURCES TO REACH YOUR GOAL
At 3 months I was doing great. At 6 Months I was struggling with my supply. Between 6 and 9 months I tried all the tips to increase my milk supply: fernugreek, blessed thistle, multiple lactation teas, ginger, oatmeal, eating more, drinking more, basil oil, power pumping. I did it all. But as soon as my supply would increase, it would decrease with one missed pump. It was so finicky. It drove me nuts.
Sometimes you need more than what's in your backpocket to reach your goal. Take advantage of all that's available to you.
WHEN YOUR GOAL STARTS TO FEEL OUT OF REACH
At 9 months I knew that making it to 12 months would be a miracle. With the stress of work, the busyness of the holidays, preparing for my business, I started to lose it.
I was pumping my life away.
I would be late going places because I needed to stop home first to pump. I was getting little to no sleep because no matter how late it was, the last thing I needed to do before bed was pump, and the first thing I had to do before work was pump. I was drained and it showed. I knew that if something didn't give soon I was going to lose it.
The circumstances of life can get in the way towards reaching your goal. No matter how much effort you put towards something, sometimes it doesn't pan out the way you hope. Don't be afraid to adjust your goal, seek new paths.
WHEN YOU LOSE SIGHT OF YOUR PURPOSE
Reluctantly, I started looking up organic formulas and found one I really liked but couldn't bring myself to order it. I told friends and family about it as if I was waiting for them to ask why or maybe I needed convincing. Surprisingly, everyone understood even without the drawn out explanation. Even IV's father's response was simply, "Okay." No one was making a big deal about it other than me. Why?
One word: failure. I felt like a complete failure for not making it to 12 months.
I completely disregarded the fact that he's been having breast milk for the past 10 months and he's now as round as a rollypolly. I disregarded the factthat in order for me to be the best mom that I can be, I needed to be well rested, full of energy, stress-free and pumping was hindering that. I ignored that fact that I went through not one but two breast pumps. The second one broke on me and it now takes me double the time to pump, because I can only pump one breast at a time. I disregarded the fact I was doing the best I could.
You are the only one who truly knows if you've done your best, and usually when you have, those around you can tell. When we are committed to something we often feel that if we change courses or our minds, we have done something wrong in some way. When the truth is, life is forever changing. It's important to change along with it in order to enjoy it as much as you can. There's nothing wrong with making adjustments. You can only fight the tide for so long until it consumes you. Lettinggo of pride and stubborness is part of this process. Give yourself permission to allow your needs and wants to change.
BE FLEXIBLE IN ORDER TO REACH YOUR GOAL
All that mattered to me was my child being fully breastfed for the first year of life. That's it, nothing more nothing less. And when the road got tough, I was willing to sacrafice any and everything-- even my mental health in order to reach my goal. At this point, the goal was greater than the purpose.
When you have a goal it is imperative to completey understand your purpose. Your purpose will not only motivate you when times get hard, it will inform you of when you've reached your goal. The moment your purpose is forgotten, your ambission is now in the driver seat. And your ambission doesn't care about friends, family, health, or having a good time. All it cares about is getting to the goal by any means necessary. I forgot my purpose was to have a healthy baby, because I was so fixated on breastfeeding for 12 months. Not only is my child healthy, the formula I chose would also provide him the nurishment he needs to thrive. I allowed my purpose to take a backseat, while my ambission drove me crazy.
Don't allow your dreams and goals to hold you hostage. The further you go down a path the clearer you become about what it is you need. Things will come up that you had no way of knowing before. Be patient with yourself, you may be surprised that the new goal in mind was greater than the first.