When my friend told me she cried the first time her little one took a bottle, my first response was to try and encourage her. "Don't worry," I said, "It will be nice to have the option, and nobody is forcing you to give it to her if you don't want to!" In my first couple weeks as a mama, when I was on the couch/bed/rocking chair with an infant on my boob constantly, the idea of a bottle every now and then sounded glorious.
Well. Now I get it.
Last night my tiny baby boy drank from his first bottle. He did really well. And mama cried.
There's just something about knowing he doesn't fully and completely rely on me that makes me feel like a little piece of my heart is broken. I have a nagging voice in my head reminding me this won't be the first milestone that makes me feel like this...Oh my gosh. There's still kindergarten. His first sleep over. A driver's license. College.
All this is making me search my heart. Am I putting my faith in myself as his mother instead of in God -- his creator? Is my pride taking over and insisting I can raise him and keep him safe in my own strength? Do I accept that Oliver is God's little boy; a precious gift that God chose us to take care of? Parenthood is very humbling. It takes daily reminders, like a bottle of breast milk, to keep me focused on my first purpose: to worship God. All of my other purposes will fall perfectly into place if I keep that one at the top. I can't be everything Ollie needs. And he can't be my everything, either. It's a huge calling to raise children. And while it's a top priority, motherhood isn't the only one on the list. I'm a child of God, Camillo's wife, and Ollie's mama. Isn't that a lot to take in? It can be overwhelming! But I'm thankful that Jesus wants to walk with me and teach me how to live a life that He's proud of.
As for the bottle: While we plan to breast feed for at least a year, we know there will be occasions where I might be away from Oliver for more than an hour and a half at a time. For instance, this weekend is my mom's birthday and we want to go to see Wicked! I'll be able to enjoy the evening knowing that Camillo and Ollie are doing just fine having a boy's night in. And neither of them will be starving. Note to self: get Camillo something quick and easy to make himself for dinner..
It might take some getting used to but I think we'll all do really well having a second option to feed Ollie when absolutely necessary. Now date nights don't sound so impossible. And, to be honest, I feel better knowing it's okay for me to have a bit of time to myself every once in a while.
Plus, it's really really sweet to see Camillo feeding Ollie. That man loves his boy.
Let's hear it, mamas! Do you remember your first bottle experience with your littles? How did you feel?