Monday, September 13, 2010

Which is Worse, Failing or Never Trying?

Happy Monday! Good Mondays usually follow great weekends, which is what I feel like I had. My husband took a break from his busy work and school schedule to take our daughter and me to the Metro Richmond Zoo, where I was able to accomplish the task of feeding a giraffe for my Day Zero Project. What fun! I'm fairly certain that just having the 101 in 1,001 list is making me a productive person. I'm currently 2% complete, with 982 days to go. Here's a short video of our zoo experience. (Don't worry, I sanitized the stroller tray immediately following the filming of this segment.)

video

As mentioned before, one of the tasks on my list is to answer all of the 50 Questions That Will Free Your Mind. Today's question:

Which is worse, failing or never trying?

I can see how this question can easily go both ways. For some people, the very thought of failure is scary enough to make them not want to try. For others, a huge failure is seen as a very successful try. For me, never trying is worse, and this question automatically makes me think of my experience with breastfeeding my daughter.

There is a lot of pressure to new moms to breastfeed these days. From the birthing classes, the pediatrician, the nurses in the hospital, other moms who have breastfed, I kept hearing "breast is best," "the only way to go," "so much better for your child." Luckily, I didn't feel much of this pressure because it was my intent to breastfeed all along, for my own reasons (cheaper, more organic, bonding, etc.) I did know a lot of new moms though that grudgingly began breastfeeding against their own wishes because they felt they had to. Not the case at all. The truth is that there is no right way to nuture your baby. Some ways work better for some families than other ways. But no matter what you decide to do, there are definitely people who will have an opinion about it. Make your own decision and don't worry about what anyone else thinks. After all, mother knows best, and when it comes to your own children, YOU WILL KNOW BEST, I promise you.

All that is beside the point though. As it turns out, breastfeeding is one of the hardest things I've ever done. It's awkward, meeting this new little life and trying to do something that neither one of you have the slightest idea about. I remember when my daughter was 4 or 5 days old and things just weren't working out with the breastfeeding for us. I was sitting in her room rocking her as she cried, I cried, and neither of us knew what to do when I told my husband that I was done trying, that after months of planning, I had decided I wasn't going to breastfeed after all. What he said next changed everything for me.

My husband reminded me why I wanted to breastfeed in the first place. He reminded me of the books I read, the very expensive breastpump I'd bought, and my plan I had in place for her first year even before she was born. And he encouraged me to try, because he knew how important it was to me. "Try one more feeding, one more day, one more week. And if it doesn't work out, then you can say you gave it a fair shot."

One of the many reasons I love my husband. He's amazing, and I can always count on him to back up my decisions, even when I have zero confidence in myself. The next thing we did was probably the best thing any breastfeeding mom can do for herself- we visited a lactation consultant. Her help was beyond what I could have received from any book or mommy blog because she was right there showing me what to do. (And yes, it is true about all modesty going out the window once you have a child!)

Flash forward 10 months and I am still nursing my very active baby, only these days she is working on using a sippy cup, and we only nurse at sleepy time. I keep telling everyone that she isn't totally ready to wean yet, which I think is true to a certain extent, but in the long run I know it will be harder on me than her. I will miss it!

So definitely, in my opinion and experience it is worse to never try than to fail. I'm glad that I stuck to my initial instincts because it worked so well for our family.

1 comment:

  1. First off, love the video of the zoo, so fun!! And what a great experience for your daughter.

    I completely know how you feel about breastfeeding, I had no idea it was going to be so difficult but it turned out to be one of the hardest things I've ever done in my life (at least for the first 5 weeks). But I am so glad that I stuck with it and didn't give up when I could have. We have now been nursing for almost a year and I don't see any signs of weaning. It's so important to have a support husband during it all too! LOL about the modesty, so true!!

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