Friday, May 31, 2013

Living With No Regrets

Sometimes it's necessary to take a small step back, reassess your involvement in all those "extra" things, your motive for involvement, etc. That's exactly what I did! It kind of felt great, I have to admit. I think I was starting to get too caught up in the "comparison" game that is so easy to play as a blogger.

Why do we open up our lives for people to see? What is the purpose for an outlet like this little blog? I don't know if I can exactly pinpoint that, but I know that it's serving a great purpose in my life. It's allowed me to open up and share some of my personal struggles, triumphs, and just day-to-day living, and in turn hear back from others about their lives. What an extraordinary gift that is! I've reconnected with old friends, built new friendships, and found a great outlet for my desire to write.

I've been thinking lately about how I live my life. Having a baby has really forced me to be diligent about cutting things out that really don't matter. One of those things that has to go is my tendency to compare myself to others around me. I'm a huge people pleaser, and have difficulty making big decisions without getting input from everyone I know and trust (I'm the type of person who would love to poll my relatives and family every time I have to make a big decision! Ha!). But now that I have a baby girl to take care of, I'm starting to realize that it's important for me to focus on what is right for her, for our family, and not what looks good on the outside or pleases the most people.

One of the biggest issues I have faced this is with nursing. Wow, I have never had so many people (even practical strangers!) give me their opinion so readily. It somehow manages to sneak into conversation that I was unable to nurse our baby, and now (after pumping for five months) I am giving her formula. I've gotten every reaction from "Well, maybe if you had tried a little harder..." to "Oh, how sad," to "Don't you know that breastfeeding is best for your baby?" Seriously.

Even writing those words makes me feel hurt and angry, and I have all kinds of retorts and justifications for the choices we have made. But the truth is, I don't have to justify my decisions to anyone. No one knows the struggles that we have been through that have led us to make these decisions. Looking back, I can see how God orchestrated everything. And you know what? I'm really happy. I'm happy that I had a healthy baby girl, I'm happy that I was able to try nursing her for a few weeks, I'm happy that I was able to pump and give her milk for the next few months, and I'm happy that now I can feed her a bottle several times a day and gaze into her beautiful, adoring eyes.

No, it's not "sad" that I wasn't able to nurse Evie. It's just the way things worked out, and I've made the choice to look at it through a positive light. It's all part of living life with no regrets, and boy is that a freeing feeling.


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