Mar 21, 2017

Let's Talk Multi-Level Marketing

At some point Multi-Level Marketing (MLM) went from an occasional novelty to a pervasive influence in our daily lives. I'd estimate that at least 1/3 of my Facebook friends are or have been involved with an MLM company at some point and the sales party invitations are as incessant as candy crush invites used to be before I blocked them.

But I can't block the MLM invites and posts and not-so-subtle hints from friends. And I'm burning out on this whole sales party concept pretty hard. Which is the polite way of saying I hate it. Absolutely cannot stand it.

I'm assuming the prevalence of sales parties would indicate that the majority of people do not share my distaste for MLM. I was trying to figure out why it bothers me so much and I think there's a few different factors at play.

Part of it is the blatant consumerism. With the shift in my own priorities lately to deliberate purchases rather than spontaneous or spur of the moment shopping, the likelihood that I want whatever it is that's being pushed at this sales party is low. If I need leggings, I'll have already purchased them from whatever my company of choice is. I also prefer online shopping where I can compare reviews and shop around. While it is nice to have the option of trying clothes on before purchasing, Facebook sales parties don't offer that, so they're lacking both the benefits of try-before-you-buy AND the ability to compare different companies and read reviews.

One of the big things MLM does to garner interest is giveaways and freebies. I want nothing to do with that because as far as I'm concerned, giveaways are just a way to acquire more stuff for the Goodwill box. It's highly unlikely to be something I need or that will bring me joy, so why would I participate when it doesn't add any value to my life? And then there are charity sales parties. It's a great way to get people interested and collect donations (not unlike a 5K - people are more likely to participate in an event than to just donate on their own), but I personally don't want to buy leggings and have 10 cents of each dollar go to the charity. I want to donate outright or not at all. The cost of the leggings is just one more thing reducing the impact of my donation.

It's surprisingly difficult to explain this to the friends who are consulting for MLM companies. One of Ryan's pet peeves is sidebar ads, but in my mind sales party invites are far worse, because it's from your friends. You can't just ignore them, and it's hard to say, "No thanks" without feeling compelled to offer some sort of explanation. And that's exactly what MLM relies on - the feeling of obligation that comes along with friendship. It's easy to say no to a stranger, but a lot harder when it's your friend excitedly telling you how much they need this money or love the freebies or whatever other sales pitch they give you.

And I can't tell you the number of times that I've offered up some excuse automatically before realizing I have left myself open to attempted persuasion as the sales-friend attempts to explain away whatever my bullshit excuse was. "Oh it doesn't matter that you always ruin your nails - you won't be able to chip or peel this special nail wrap!" "Oh, but it doesn't matter that you're pregnant - you just buy clothes in the size you were before you got pregnant!" "Oh, it doesn't matter that you don't have money - this fitness program is really cheap and offers free resources!"

I'm a terrible networker. And part of that is because the idea of pressuring friends for sales and referrals just doesn't sit well with me. I hate it being done to me and I absolutely refuse to blast everyone with my own advertising. I'm not going to use a personal connection or friendship to guilt someone into buying from me. And that's for my own company that I run by myself and am trying to build into my sole source of income.

I'm probably snobbish about what I consider entrepreneurship to be. I get excited when one of my friends says, "I'm starting my own company" because I love seeing other people fulfill a dream or goal. Helping entrepreneurs and startups to build their identities and chase their dreams is what I do! But when I find out it's MLM, I can't help but feel disappointed because it's not your business. You're not running your own company by selling smoothies or nail wraps or sex toys. You're a salesperson for the smoothie/nail wrap/sex toy company.

There's nothing wrong with being a salesperson, but I hate that people act like it's their passion and make it into something big and grand and noble and use that to push sales. "Come support my company." No, I'm supporting LulaRoe or JamBerry or Pure Romance and you will get maybe a tiny fraction of the profit. Or more likely just free stuff and no money, despite the "make money with minimal effort" aura surrounding this sort of thing.

Which brings me to my final point. I hate how misleading the company structure is. I had a friend whose personality was about as unsuited to sales as you can get. Shy, not persuasive, small social network. I would never in a million years have pictured her in sales. But some "entrepreneur" running some sales party convinced her that it was easy and fun and the money just rolls in, and it was a great idea to invest in!

Now, to be fair, I don't think she lost much more than her time trying to get her "business" rolling, but free sex toys do not a second income make. And that's all you're going to get with a lot of these companies. Free stuff as a bonus for getting other people to buy. The company gets your work as a sales agent for the cost of manufacturing a few extra products. If you really think about it, is that a good enough value for your time?

If the answer is yes, then more power to you! But it's not for me, so please don't try to convince me to sell your stuff so that you can a bonus for my referral to give someone else a bonus for referring you and on and on to the person who actually makes money somewhere up the pyramid.

Oh right, and this is something I've never understood. Multi-level marketing sounds all professional and legit, but is this really any different than a pyramid scheme? I honestly don't know what differentiates the two.

Do you love or hate multi-level marketing and why? What's the weirdest sales party you've been invited to?


Jenn signature graphic | Business, Life & Design
Blogger Tricks

Mar 16, 2017

Mom-ing

Grammar Nazis beware. Serious abuses of the English language are to follow.

I've always been a fan of the slang "adulting." It's a humorous way to poke fun at ourselves for struggling to get through basic human tasks that everyone does.

As much as I love the phrase, in the past few weeks I have felt it doesn't quite portray some of my newer struggling-to-get-through-ordinary-life issues. It's not specific enough. So I'm adding moming as a branch of adulting, alongside choring, peopling, and healthing. Also working but that's already a word.

Choring is self explanatory and I'm sure all my introverts will agree that peopling is hard and we don't want to do that today. Maybe next week, at a specifically scheduled time so we can mentally brace ourselves. Healthing is yet another group of things we should do but don't wanna. Which leaves moming, my latest crime against linguists, editors, and copy writers.

Moming is new to me and I don't feel I've quite gotten the hang of it. It seems to involve an awful lot of pacing, shushing, and general troubleshooting. As Ryan put it, we still don't have a reliable soothing technique. Instead we have is a list of things to try and every day we start at the top of the list and go through, hoping that something will work.

The biggest challenge is finding time for design projects and chores. Orion might nap like a champ or he might be awake for 6 hours at a stretch. And if that 6 hours happens to be fussy time, nothing is getting done until Ryan gets home or unless my mom is willing to come over. (Which she frequently is and for which I am extremely grateful.)

Time for myself is slim (still better than the first couple weeks). I've managed to read a couple books which makes me feel much better! But that time was stolen during feedings and often guiltily extended by allowing Orion to fall asleep on me instead of finishing his meal so I could justify ignoring the mountain of laundry or client emails. ("Whaaat? The baby is eating. Clearly I cannot be folding clothes right now!")

Speaking of which, how much laundry can one tiny baby produce? That's what I thought, anyway. But in his 6 weeks of life, Orion has peed on everything. He also has the ability to teleport pee outside his perfectly dry diaper while soaking whatever he's in contact with: clothes, blankets, our bed. I tell everyone this because it still astounds me, and Ryan usually follows with a few poop stories of his own. All our stories are about bodily fluids these days.

I'm getting a bit off track. So moming... it's messy, physically (refer to previous paragraph) and sometimes emotionally (although I like to think I'm becoming impervious to incessant crying). So far it's relatively easy because we just have to keep this small blob of humanity alive without worrying about how we're psychologically screwing him up. Yet...

Moming is trying really hard not to pee yourself because your muscles haven't quite recovered from labor yet and the trickling sound of the sink is making its siren call to your bladder. It's getting irrationally angry at the dog for sneezing because it woke the baby up and guilty for your secret wish that your baby would stay asleep for just 10 more minutes because you are so tired of the constant soothing. It's feeling like a bit of a mess and knowing you can't keep up with everything and trying your hardest to loosen your vice-like grip on the need to control everything.

It's also experiencing all those mushy emotions you told yourself you wouldn't fall prey to. It's taking way too many photos of your baby and then resisting the urge to plaster them all over social media because surely everyone else thinks your baby is as cute as you do. Right? Right???

Moming is reminding yourself that you're not an expert just because you kept your baby alive for 6 weeks and it's sealing your lips to prevent yourself from becoming a know-it-all. It's wondering how much you've changed and hoping those changes that are inevitable will be for the better. It's being excited to watch the baby weight drop off but also feeling a weird disconnect from your own body because is it really even yours or is it just a baby carrier and milk maker?

Moming is wild mood fluctuations from midnight sobbing over your inability to make your baby happy or contain his bodily fluids all the way to blissful gazing at his cherubic face as you wonder when you should start the next one.

Or at least, that's what moming is for me. What is moming for you?


Edit: I got all the way to the end of this and realized there's already a word for this, too.  "Parenting."  Bahahaha!  Maybe I am still sleep deprived.

Mar 14, 2017

Boőøöœôóòoks!!!

SUYB!!!  Books and blogging are 2 of the things that make me feel the most like myself so I was bummed last month when I missed it.  But I'm slowly and surely figuring out ways to make time for my 2 favorite hobbies even with Little Dude around, and I'm super glad to be back for this linkup!  Going over my books for the last 2 months since I missed one and I haven't read a ton in the past month anyway.

♥♥♥♥♥ - Loved!



Ready Player One by Ernest Cline (Kindle)

So... I actually thought I'd be reading books during labor.  Silly me.  Anyway, I bought this for the hospital and didn't end up reading it until a couple weeks after but it was so good.


The Sword of Summer (Gods of Asgard #1) by Rick Riordan (Kindle)

I am on a huge Riordan kick.  Percy Jackson took me a couple books to get into but now that I'm in, I love all of them.  This series is with the Norse gods and they super weird and I love it!  I'm also enjoying a YA series that, while it touches on romance, isn't chock full of love triangles and other cliches.  I felt like the characters in this were much more fleshed out and I liked that we touched on their backstories and not just the main character.


The Hammer of Thor (Gods of Asgard #2) by Rick Riordan (Kindle)

Same as #1.  And, interestingly enough, you can see the effort Riordan is putting into his books to show a wide range of diversity.  Some of the conversation about "gender fluidity" came across a little preachy to me, but I still like that he's not afraid to make characters of every race, religion, and orientation.

♥♥♥♥ - Liked



1001 Nights in Iraq by Shant Kenderian (Audio)

Super interesting story.  Kenderian is an immigrant who visited relatives at home in Iran just in time for Saddam Hussein to invade and enlist all males to fight in his army.  Kenderian spends most of the story figuring out ways to get captured by the Americans so that he can return home, and after capture, figuring out how to convince the Americans that he really is a US resident.  A fascinating look into life in the Iraqi army and the American POW camps.


On the Edge (The Edge #1) by Ilona Andrews (Kindle)

I always purchase my Ilona Andrews books.  This series is set in the Bayou, which is interesting, but ultimately not my favorite setting.  I like Kate Daniels and The Innkeeper series more.  Still a good story!  Just a tad darker and less fun than the others.  And the cover makes me cringe just a bit...


The Amazing Book is Not on Fire by Dan Howell and Phil Lester (Audio)

Sooo... I was scrounging the library for something to listen to and the title made me curious.  It's actually just based on the 2 authors' Internet handles BUT the book surprised me.  I would never, ever have listened to this if I knew it was just 2 YouTubers talking about themselves, but they ended up being extremely entertaining and I laughed a lot.  My favorite part is definitely the part where they share stories from high school and pieces of their diaries/teenage social media angst.  Always good for a laugh.  Also, YouTube can be a career.  Who knew?!


What to Expect When You're Expecting by Heidi Murkoff (Paper)

FINALLY DONE!  I actually didn't like the format when I started this, but when you read something for 8+ months you adjust.  I think my rating is probably skewed by the sheer amount of time I've spent with this book, but there were definitely times throughout my pregnancy when I'd be having some weird symptom, get caught up on the current month in the book, and then all my concerns would be discussed.  It is super thorough, and at some points you have to skim through the huge lists of symptoms that don't necessarily apply, but you'll never be left wondering!


The Magicians by Lev Grossman (Kindle)

We watched the show first, which made this a challenge, because I'm terrible about comparing and nitpicking.  The book is very different and in the beginning the main character, Quiton, drives me up the wall with his whiny teenager self-centeredness.  BUT the ending goes to a very interesting place and I had to concede that this might be one of the most unique worlds I've read about.  It didn't remind me of any other book series.  Although they did have a book in their world that was kind of Narnia-esque, but it wasn't even the story itself, it was a story within the story.

♥♥♥ - Ambivalent-ed



Before Beauty by Brittany Fichter (Kindle Unlimited)

Meh.  It's a Beauty and the Beast story.  I wasn't inspired by it, but I didn't hate it either.  I didn't bother to rate it on Goodreads because I just didn't have anything to say about it.


Bayou Moon (The Edge #2) by Ilona Andrews

I'm just really not feeling this series.  There's a 3rd and I'm not even going to buy it (gasp!).


Beauty and the Beast: Lost in a Book by Jennifer Donnolly (Kindle)

A cute story, but I actually didn't like the Disney aspects.  I either wanted it to be true to the Disney version or diverge completely, instead of kind of being half Disney with all kinds of weird embellishments.  Part of the problem was that I was picturing the Disney characters and then their dialogue didn't match the way they talked in the movie.  And the story was cute, but it wasn't anything amazing.  I'm giving 3 stars because I think my biggest hangups were my own fault rather than the book's.

♥♥ - Mildly Disliked

None!

In part because I did not waste any time on things I didn't want to read.

 - Did Not Finish or Wanted to Burn in a Fire

None!

I quit all kinds of books.  None for noteworthy reasons, just because I ran out of time at the library or I wasn't feeling it, or because I got distracted by having a baby.

Currently...
I'm trying really hard to finish Stiff, but it's rough going.  I don't necessarily mind the morbid content, but it's not fun to read and it's hard to make myself choose it over something more fun when my reading time is so limited.  And I like to munch on something while I read, and obviously a book about cadavers is NOT a good choice for that.  I own this so I'll probably finish it eventually but in the meantime I'm going to keep going through the various Rick Riordan series.

Challenge Updates

Officially resigning from all challenges, self challenge included.  It's hard to find time to read right now and I selfishly don't want to use any of my precious reading time on "good for you" books vs what I really want to read.

What have you been reading?  Have you read anything from my list and what did you think?


Linking up with Steph and Jana
Life According to Steph

Jenn signature graphic | Business, Life & Design

Mar 9, 2017

Harry Potter Themed Time Wasters

I was reminiscing about some of my favorite Harry Potter memes and Internet things (for lack of a better word) and I thought, "Everybody loves Harry Potter!"  So here's my collection.

Harry Potter Puppet Pals



Hermoine/Katniss Rap Battle



This Ridiculous Reddit Thread

A Buzzfeed List of Memes

And, of course, Pottermore!  This is the holy grail of time wasters, but if you just want a little bit of a distraction, at least go get sorted.

Naturally I googled "Harry Potter memes" after starting this post and then after an hour down that rabbit hole, I decided this list was long enough.  Enjoy!

What are your favorite Harry Potter themed time wasters?  Or do you have another fandom you prefer?


Jenn signature graphic | Business, Life & Design

Mar 7, 2017

The Science of Tardiness

Confession: I have become one of "those people."  You know, the obnoxious friend you can pretty much count on to keep you waiting for 15 minutes.  The late friend.

I know this because a friend of mine literally said, "You're my late friend."

And I was distressed and appalled by this because I had thought I was improving!  I'm definitely trying, and in attempting to address this problem, I have identified a few key mistakes that people with chronic tardiness habitually make.

Oh, and I should also confess that my blog title is misleading.  There is, in fact, no science in this post.

The Real Reasons My People Can't Be On Time to Save Their Lives


1. We Underestimate the Base Time Needed

When estimating time to get somewhere, we look back at the fastest we've ever made the journey.

2. We Leave No Margin for Error

Traffic?  Whaaat???  This never happens and is clearly not my fault.

3. We Forget that Walking Across the Parking Lot Isn't Instantaneous

I was arguing a time estimate with my mom one time and she gave me her reasoning for her (in my mind excessive) travel time.  I was completely flabbergasted when she mentioned leaving 5 minutes to get from the car into the building.

4. We're Not Trying to Be Early - Just On Time

You know that saying, "If you're 15 minutes early, you're on time.  If you're on time, you're late"?  We don't.  Unfortunately this also removes yet another safety margin.

5. We Find Last Minute Things to Fill Any Extra Time

Because we don't particularly want to be early, if we ever find ourselves with extra time, we say, "Oh good!  Now I can clean the toilet/tidy up the bedroom/pack myself a lunch/etc."

6. Some of Us Are Just Horrible Procrastinators

I'm cutting the "we" because I don't think I'm guilty of this one, but I've argued extensively with Ryan about it.  Maybe it really does only take you 10 minutes to get ready, but if you're going to goof off for an hour before going somewhere, why not get ready and then goof off after?

Here's an example of how exactly an evening with me and Ryan goes down.

30 minutes prior to planned departure time...
Jenn: I really want to be on time this time.
Ryan: I only need 10 minutes to get ready.
Jenn: Well I'm going to go get ready now.

10 minutes prior to planned departure time...
Jenn: Please go get ready.
Ryan: Yep, just let me reach a stopping point with whatever derpy phone game I'm currently obsessed with.

8 minutes prior to planned departure time...
Ryan: Now is a good time for a shower.
Jenn: We're not leaving in 8 minutes but thankfully I built in 5 extra minutes to the travel time I based on the minimum time needed to get there without any margin of error!  Surely we'll still make it.

0 minutes prior to planned departure time...
Ryan: La la la, throwing on my clothes, so ready to leave and totally on time.
Jenn: Well, since he's not ready, let me just...

10 minutes after planned departure time...
Ryan: Are YOU ready to go?
Jenn: I am irritated that we are late and OBVIOUSLY I have been waiting on you even though I did 10 extra unnecessary minutes of makeup.
Ryan: Well, I'll just go get in the car...
Jenn: WE NEED TO TAKE CARE OF THE DOGS AND WE'RE LATE NOW SO WE HAVE TO START POWER WALKING AROUND THE HOUSE AND WHERE IS MY PURSE?!?!?!


I was out on a coffee date with someone a while back and we were talking about this.  She said she pissed off some of her Facebook friends by flat-out accusing chronic late-comers of a lack of consideration for other people's time.

As much as I'd like to defend my people, I think I have to concede this point.  But let me explain!  It's not that, in the moment of getting ready, I think to myself, "Should I be on time or should I make so-and-so wait for me for 15 minutes?  Aw, fuck 'em."  No!  BUT if I truly, really cared about the impact my actions had on others, I would take the time to think it through and figure out how to fix the problem.

Which is part of what I'm doing here.  Obviously I've spent a lot of time analyzing my reasons for being late, but I need to spend more time in corrective action.  I've gotten to the point where I'm on time about half the time, but I really want to get back to being the consistently punctual friend I was once upon a time.

In addition to being more considerate of other people's time, it's a much less stressful way to live.  I don't enjoy rushing around and driving like a jerk because I'm trying to make up a couple extra minutes.  I don't imagine too many people do.

I didn't really want to turn this into a goals post, so I won't list my corrective actions, but I think it's fairly obvious anyway.  Leave extra time, don't procrastinate, etc, etc.  I know what my problem areas are now, and I swear I'm working on it!

Next social faux pas to address: remembering names.

Are you a late or early person?  If you're late, do you have the same reasons I do or a whole set of different ones?


Jenn signature graphic | Business, Life & Design

Mar 2, 2017

Quarterly Goals - Spring!

Disclaimer: I knew I would struggle with goals once Little Dude made his appearance (he doesn't feel like a Reptar anymore and I almost never call him by his real name so... hopefully I'm not confusing you too much) and I did.  As in, nothing happened in February whatsoever.  I'm ok with that.  I'm also recovering from the shock of, "Holy crap I have a baby!" and I'm ready to start setting goals and living my adult life again.

Winter Seasonal Goals (December, January, February)

1. Broaden My Cultural Horizons

December: Read The Girl with Seven Names, January: Hidden Figures (this is more historical but it's such a good story and we could all stand to know more about our country's not-so-distant history) and 1001 Nights in Iraq, February: Ehm...

2. Attend 1 Networking Event Per Month

December: Polka Dot Powerhouse, January: I was registered but then they moved the event to 2 days before the induction so... :'( BUT I did TA an HTML class for Girl Develop It and someone actually asked me for a business card, February: Blergh

3. Try Something New Each Month

December: Parenting classes (this is a little lame, BUT it was definitely new and quite interesting. Picture of our fake baby below), January: Had a baby! and TAed a class, February: Bloop


Our "baby" for the newborn class.  We learned how to diaper, bathe, and swaddle!

4. Have a Baby; Don't Freak Out

Well, I would love to say that we handled this all smoothly and no freak outs occurred, but... let's just say I'm glad delivery and the first 2 weeks are over and we're feeling much more comfortable with things like, "OMG he's so tiny and fragile and how can I even pick him up without breaking him???"  Lol!  It is definitely getting easier, as evidenced by the fact that I had to time to write this post.


2.5/4 - In case you're wondering about the math here: 2/3 * 3 (for the first 3 goals) = 2 + .5 (for number 4).

Spring...

Spring Goals (March, April, May)

  1. Business Collaboration Project (Just got wind of this today, so hopefully it goes somewhere! But if not find something else to work on.)
  2. Have 1 Baby-less Outing Per Week (Can be super lame dog park or running errands, BUT go be an adult and not just a mom.)
  3. One Social Event Per Month (Baby permitted because he's adorable and e'erbody wants a piece of that!)
  4. Write Some Non-Baby Blog Posts (Back on the theme of being my own person and having thoughts outside of my new role in life.)
  5. Sign Up for a 5K (Ran my first post-delivery mile the other day and it felt so good!  P.S. Don't tell my gyno - I haven't technically been cleared to work out yet.)
And that's it!  I was considering making more, but I think that covers the areas I really want to focus on: health, business, and trying to avoid tunnel-vision.

Do you make seasonal goals?  What are you planning for this spring?


Jenn signature graphic | Business, Life & Design

Feb 27, 2017

What It's Like - Breast Feeding

I want to have things to talk about that are not baby-related, but I'll be honest: it's a bit of a challenge to think of other things when I'm all sleep deprived and I have this little being who takes up so much of my time.  Not to mention the fact that I have literally done nothing else besides take care of him, run some errands, and visit the dog park a couple times.  (Edit: and client projects - I've done like 5 mini projects, so... kudos to me?)

We did visit some friends the other night and I realized at one point that the most entertaining things we had to say were all poop stories.  Oh well.  I'm sure we'll find ourselves again at some point when the newness wears off.

For now, however, I thought I'd share some of the things that I was super curious about when I was still in the family planning stage.  I don't feel the need to defend any of my choices here and I haven't even really felt judged necessarily.  I think the majority of the pressure I've felt to do things "right" or a certain way have come from myself.  And maybe that's because very few of my friends have made the motherhood transition thus far, or because I don't participate in any mom communities online or in person, or because I just have good friends, but I'm thankful for that.

That being said, breast feeding is WEIRD.  And hard.  And prior to Orion's birth I had no clue.  Silly me, I thought it was a natural process and we'd have a quick chat with the hospital's lactation consultant and be good to go!

So here's some things I didn't expect.

1. Neither of Us Knew How to Do It

Babies are not born knowing how to breast feed.  When you're doing your initial skin-to-skin contact, if they seem hungry you have to kind of poke their little mouth with your nipple and hope they latch on.  Even then, he was clumsy, I was clumsy and it certainly didn't feel natural (or magical).

2. Nipple Damage

I thought they'd get a little sore and roughed up for a couple days and just heal, but apparently A) You can legit damage your nipples pretty well and B) You don't have to suffer!  On the first note, yes I did have blisters and scabs and you can imagine it didn't feel too good having those things get mauled every couple of hours.  On the second point, if you have problems with this, get help!!!  It doesn't just go away on it's own.  I went to a breast feeding support group and they showed me how to latch Orion on properly and that greatly minimized the pain and let my nipples heal.

3. Magic? What Magic?

Obviously this is different person to person, but for the most part, breast feeding hasn't been a magical bonding opportunity for me and my son.  At its best, I've laughed at his silly, sleepy face, or enjoyed cuddling him when he falls asleep while eating (which he does constantly).  At its worst, it's been painful, upsetting, stressful, and I've definitely sobbed through a couple feedings, especially before we talked to a consultant and learned that he wasn't getting enough to eat.

4. Experts Aren't Always Right

I was reassured by several people that you "can't run out of milk."  Your body will always make more!  It's great how that works out.  Except it didn't.  I'd be feeding Orion for 2+ hours at a go, he'd be fussing and falling asleep, but waking up the moment I set him down wanting to eat again, and we were exhausted and had no idea what to do or if this was normal.  FINALLY I had a lactation consultant come out to the house and she watched the whole 2 hour process, weighed him before, during, and after, and concluded that he wasn't getting enough to eat.  A mere 2 hours after telling me that I can't run out milk, she admitted that maybe I did have a problem with my "letdown" and yes, we should probably supplement while we worked on that.  (And to verify, our pediatrician said the same thing after noting that it was taking Orion too long to get back up to birth weight.)

5. Formula Has Benefits, Too

So the best thing about that consultation was not that it magically solved all our feeding problems, but that it made me feel better about supplementing.  The moment I learned that my child was not getting proper nutrition, I stopped giving a damn how I felt about being able to provide food for him.  That didn't matter.  And in the weeks since, I've learned interesting little tidbits like the fact that it's recommended to give Vitamin D and Iron supplements to babies who are solely breast fed because they don't get those from mom.

6. My Own Emotions

This was probably the biggest surprise.  I didn't expect to be emotionally attached to the idea of breast feeding.  Prior to having a child, I didn't care.  I knew I'd give it a try, because I wanted to do the "healthier" thing for him if it was possible, but I really didn't think I'd put much emotional attachment on this action beyond that.  SO WRONG.  I cried so many times when we'd give up after 2 hours of feeding or when I'd skip a feeding in order to get 3 consecutive hours of sleep and let Ryan bottle feed him because "I gave up on him" or I wasn't being a good mother or some other bullshit.  And here's the thing.  No one had to say anything to make me feel that way.  I did that entirely to myself.  So, like I said in #4, getting more information was really the best thing we did because I realized the best thing for my child was to get those supplements.  And after that I stopped giving a crap about all the "shoulds" and "coulds" and other bullshit and started focusing on what worked for us.

So... yep.  That's the sum of my newfound knowledge of breast feeding.  If you've got baby plans for your future, hopefully some of this is interesting or informative and if you've already had children, I'm sure you can empathize.  It's been quite the adventure!

Side note, for those interested: Orion is over birth weight now and gaining steadily.  I'll probably continue to do combination BF and supplement, because it's convenient on the occasion that I want to go out or have Ryan feed him so I can sleep AND because I doubt my milk supply is going to improve without pumping after/in between every feeding and frankly, who's got time for that???

Have you breast fed and what was your experience like?  If you haven't, is it something you could imagine yourself doing?


Jenn signature graphic | Business, Life & Design