The Milk Cow Season

With breastfeeding keeping me preoccupied nearly 24/7, it feels like I am getting nothing done. I am a very activity-oriented person, always busy with something, never bored, not one to lounge in front of a TV, or lay around in bed for longer than I have to. So the breastfeeding stage, especially the first month, is a very difficult shift in priorities for me.

I get cabin fever. I want to get out of the house but at the same time, I am so tired from sleepless nights. The other kids need me but I am in my bedroom most of the day, feeding my little one. It can be maddening and a bit depressing.

It’s not too bad when you have one child, but when you have five, you feel like you are being a bad mother to the other four. Thankfully, my kids can keep themselves preoccupied and they entertain each other. They haven’t complained at all. And we finished our homeschool year so this transition is like their break.

Of course I am totally enjoying bonding with Catalina. I love her and I want to demonstrate this by breastfeeding and being available to her. But I want to do a lot of other things too.

It was a little bit easier to sneak in some errands when she was confined at the hospital because the nurses would give me an hour and a half in between feeds. They would let me leave her and then call me when she was hungry.

So the day after I gave birth, I went to the grocery. It probably was not the best idea. But I felt like I had to get food for our hospital room and take care of our household. I could have delegated that responsibility or asked someone to help me out, but I wanted to do it myself. So I took advantage of the window I had in between feeding my baby and convinced Edric that we should walk over to S&R with the kids. And the day after that, I attended the site meeting of our house building project.

Now that Catalina is home, I take care of her all day. I do everything. And it feels like my life revolves around her. I have been through this stage before. For the first few months, life slows down significantly. And it’s always a struggle to stay put, rest, and be at the mercy of my baby’s feeding schedule. After a few weeks I start to feel guilty that I am not as “productive” as I would like to be. I am producing lots of milk but that’s different!

It wasn’t until yesterday that I finally confronted the guilt and decided that there is nothing wrong with embracing this season for what it is. I can’t really go out of the house (unless I bring Catalina.) My homeschooling is non-existent. I should nap during the day…several times if I can. It’s okay to watch a good TV series to pass some of the time. The kids’ brains won’t disintegrate if they watch a little more TV (good shows of course) and play educational games on the iPad. There is nothing wrong with saying no to commitments outside of the home. I don’t have to blog every other day. And it’s okay to eat like a 200 pound man. Exercise can happen next month. I should enjoy the quiet moments I have with Catalina because this stage won’t last long.

So I am writing this entry on my iPhone while feeding her and eating fattening popcorn, and I am reminding myself of the passage in Ecclesiates that says there is a season for everything.

There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven- A time to give birth and a time to die; A time to plant and a time to uproot what is planted. A time to kill and a time to heal; A time to tear down and a time to build up. A time to weep and a time to laugh; A time to mourn and a time to dance. A time to throw stones and a time to gather stones; A time to embrace and a time to shun embracing. A time to search and a time to give up as lost; A time to keep and a time to throw away. A time to tear apart and a time to sew together; A time to be silent and a time to speak. A time to love and a time to hate; A time for war and a time for peace. (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 NASB)

This is my milk cow season…

Listening to my youversion audio bible: YouVersion
Resting on my bed:

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Changing diapers:

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Wearing Catalina in a sling:

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Breastfeeding:

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Watching the TV series, Person of Interest:

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Eating popcorn:

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Taking photos of Catalina and her weird expressions:

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Comments

  1. I keep going back to “So the day after I gave birth…”!!! Joy, you are a supermom! Don’t let those guilty feelings get to you. And Joy, you look like Catalina’s older sister! You don’t even look like you gave birth a couple of weeks ago!

    By the way, I sent you that “care” package (more like a rescue kit to keep the older kids busy) yesterday. πŸ˜‰

  2. ooh she is gorgeous! my 3yo daughter is beside we are looking at your pictures together and she goes “ooh a baby! what’s her name?” are you going to give Catalina a nickname?

  3. Joy, truly you are an inspiration. Whenever I read your blogs I just can’t help but praise God for the life He has given you and your family. Indeed there is a season for everything and it is so sweet of God to remind us about it πŸ™‚ God bless you and your family more!

  4. You went to the grocery a day after giving birth?? Oh my gosh are you for real?? I could barely walk down properly to the nurse’s station 2 days after goving birth, my stitches hurt like /@&$?! and there was so much blood everywhere…

    I totally understand your feelings on having “cabin fever”, as I also went through that frustration while having to deal with my two older kids… Pumping breastmillk helped me somewhat, as well as having a really good yaya. Time really flies, though. My little one is now six months old, sometimes i get sentimental thinking it was just like yesterday when i gave birth.

    On another note, your room is so neat =) it looks like a hotel room!

    • Joy T Mendoza says:

      I recovered easier in that sense with this pregnancy. I know what you mean though. With previous pregnancies the episiotomy stitches hurt alot more! Alot! I could not have walked around so easily if they hurt that badly.

  5. Joy Magtanong-Madrid says:

    Reading this came at a perfect time and sums up what I have been feeling since my little one was born. My son is 7.5 weeks old and just finishing a feeding as I’m writing this on my iPad. He’s my first and like you, I’m itching to get things done and have been feeling guilty about wanting to do other things besides feeding him. This was an excellent reminder that there is a time for everything.

    Thanks Joy!

    • Joy T Mendoza says:

      Congratulations! That’s not too long ago. Don’t worry, it gets easier and easier with breastfeeding πŸ™‚ and you can sleep train by 3 or 4 months which helps alot with your own rest at night

  6. April Marquez says:

    Hi Joy,
    My husband and I are an avid reader of your blog! You’re such an inspiration! Thank you for sharing your thoughts and reflections with us. I must say, you’re the most good looking mom of five I’ve ever seen! You don’t even look like you’ve given birth to one child! Haha. May you continue to be a blessing to more families as you have been to mine. God bless you, Joy!

    • Joy T Mendoza says:

      Thanks April! I am so glad this blog ministers to you. As for the not looking like I have had give kids. It’s really God’s grace. I try to be careful about what I eat during pregnancy and I exercise. That helps alot. But lately…I have been eating everything!!!! And exercise has been put on hold. He he

  7. Catalina is so cute. Congratulations. πŸ™‚ and you’re really beautiful even after five kids.
    There is indeed a season for everything. Your life ministers to me. You’re an amazing woman. Thank you for sharing your life with us.

  8. Thanks to my mommy friend Glaiza for sharing your blog..
    Oh, i can super relate.. & i just felt like i’m the one writting this particular blog..
    Except for homeschooling thingy ofcourse..

    I have also given birth thru c-section 5weeks ago..
    Well, knowing that a certain mom is feeling the same towards another child while spending more time with a new born that demands plenty of feeding time, makes me empowered..
    Guess i got to always remind myself that i am sharing the same exact experience with another mom πŸ™‚

    Can i make a suggestion with the nickname?
    My kids are half Russian & are both are having Russian names..
    Catalina can have either ‘Katja’ (KAH-tya) or ‘Katjusha’ (Kah-TYU-shah)
    Though there’s no ‘Catalina’ name on Russian language.. It simply sounds like ‘Jekaterina’..

    God bless to you ang your family!

  9. Wow, that’s just the Bible verse that I need right now. Thanks for reminding. Your blogs are an inspiration. Keep it up.

  10. All I can say is… I.can.so.relate! πŸ™‚ Ha, ha! Here’s to being “milk-cows” for our little babies and “teacher mamas” (though admittedly, I haven’t been a good one lately) to our kiddos! πŸ™‚ God bless always, Joy!

    P.S. I got the same reaction, too, when I was walking around the day after giving birth to Anne! Ha, ha!

  11. Only when you understand the seasons in your life are you really liberated from the expectations you set for yourself. How timely that I read this one on the week we learned we are pregnant with baby #2. While I’m still far from that newborn stage with this new hitchhiker, I’m already anxious about getting all my to-do’s done before our new baby arrives. Ain’t it just amazing how the Lord designed motherhood in this way? The right pacing for you to get back slowly to your usual routine after giving birth. I’m sure with the grace from the Lord and the strength He gives you daily, you will keep things in order the accordingly. Enjoy this season Joy, for I’m certain you know how fast this phase goes. With much love and prayers to you and your family! πŸ™‚

    P.S. Catalina’s expressions are too adorable! She knows how to pose for the camera already!

  12. Hi joy,

    I’ve been feeling like a milk cow for the past year with my baby. She does direct breastfeeding! we tried so many brands of bottles and nipples and she would cry as if we were trying to poison her. haha. Now though she has some solid food but she still feeds from me directly when needed. I dont know how i lasted this long breastfeeding, considering I have every reason to give it up after going through a breast abscess surgery just a month after the CS. The only explanation: God sustaining me to do my best so I can keep breastfeeding my baby girl. like you, I continue to seek comfort and joy in the Lord and in spending time with my baby. I keep surrendering to God my desire to go back to doing my business or to be out and about like I was before. But right now, accepting and doing what I can, obeying God’s word to me to be a full-time mother now.

  13. hi joy

    congratulation to your new baby girl πŸ™‚ you are so blessed indeed!

    by the way, mind asking if where did you bought your DVD of Point of Interest, i wanna buy one πŸ™‚

    continue to be a blessing to many

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