I've learned that for me, as a mother, people commenting on my daughter in public can both be an extreme delight, and a total stressor.
Some people have such sweet things to say about her, and I always want to hug those people.
"She is so cute!"
"Look at those eyes!"
"I love her hair!"
Thank you so much I heartily reply.
It's just so sweet & as her mama it makes my heart soar.
I literally grew her from scratch- so for someone to compliment her is very kind.
But there are some things that people say that completely stress me out.
Partly due to my insecurities as her mother.
Partly due to the fact that sometimes it's communicated very rudely.
Number one on that list is, "She is so tiny!"
Now, lest you think this is a passive aggressive dig towards you if you have called my daughter tiny or small or whatever- I can assure you it's not. I promise.
People love to comment on the size of babies. Myself totally included.
He is so chubby!
Look at those yummy legs!
What a little peanut!
She is so petite!
The problem is, her tininess is a big struggle for me.
And nobody knows that but me.
Well and my friends, and family.
But the stranger at Costco?
They don't know the struggle I go through to get this girl to eat.
They don't know what 3 and a half months of trying to breastfeed a screaming child did to me.
The crazy awkward moments I went through to try to get her to like breastfeeding.
Hello La Leche support, my name is Kirra & I am so uncomfortable I could puke.
They don't know how sad I am to this day that I'm not still nursing my baby.
They don't know the hundreds of tricks I've tried to get her to drink her bottle.
The countless different nipples, bottles, positions, formulas, etc.
The fact that I sing to her, walk her around, bounce her, all but stand on my head to try to get her to eat.
The hundreds of hours that I've worried about why she won't eat more.
The countless weight checks at the doctors.
I have had people say, "Wow what exactly are you feeding her? She is so tiny." Others have said, "Wow she's so small are the doctors concerned about her?" But mostly it's just the common, "She is such a peanut! So tiny!"
And yup. She is.
It is no secret that chubby babies make my heart go crazy. I think they are just the dang cutest. Their rolls kill me. And to me- they seem healthy & thriving. When I was pregnant it was one of the main things I told T I wished for. "I hope she's chubby babe!"
For some reason- having a small, petite baby with a tiny birdy appetite makes me feel like I am failing her terribly in the nourishment department. Which is basically my biggest job at the moment.
So it's a loaded thing when someone says, "Are her doctors concerned about her? She's so small." Especially when said someone is not a friend or family member at all.
She was born a healthy 8 pounds 9 ounces & 21 inches. 11 days late will do that.
Her doctor is very happy with where she is at on the growth chart & I am learning to just accept that she is small. That her appetite is not huge. She eats. She's hydrated. She's growing. She's healthy & thriving on every account according to the doctor, our friends & family.
She's just not a chunker.
And my insecurities about that are mine alone.
I'm not saying people should coddle me & never comment on how she's a peanut (I call her peanut butter cup all day). I'm more just learning that words are so packed. When I comment about someone's kid to them I'm learning that I have no idea what that mama goes through with their baby. That words that can seem so innocent can really be taken the wrong way. I didn't really understand when moms would talk about this before I had Eliana. But now I get it. It's personal. Everything you say about someone's kid is so personal to them. I'm not saying that's right or wrong- but it is what it is.
Today I took these pics and I realized how tiny she still is as an almost 8 month-er. She's been fighting her bottle all day, probably because she's not feeling well, but it continues to be a struggle for me to understand her. I wish she loved her bottle (or had loved nursing), but she just doesn't. She eats because it's a necessity. And that stresses me out & I continue to have to go to the Lord with it.
It's ok she's small.
It is so difficult for me to be her mama but to remember that God is her God.
I am just His vessel for taking care of her.
I'm not left alone doing it.
And He created her perfectly.
I have so many wise friends who have helped me along with this struggle. Friends that have helped me step back & gain some fresh perspective. It's so hard to have perspective on your own life when you are so close to the issues. Putting her situation in a global perspective- it is so amazing that I have the capacity to feed her. When I labor over hours of researching the best way to get nutrients in her it is good for me to be reminded that I have an option of what to feed her. Money. Ability. Those are things so many children are living without. And it is heartbreaking.
The fact that she is small can be a concern which is good that her doctors watch her- but it's also a minimal concern in light of many more serious medical conditions & possibilities. The reason it bothers me so often is because of my pride- not because I think she's actually suffering. Do they think I just ignore feeding my kid? Do they think I just feed her crap?
At the end of the day it's my issue I need to let go of. People can think whatever they want about how I'm doing as her mama. I know before the Lord how hard I've worked & that needs to be enough.
So. I have no idea why I just shared this. But there ya go. My kid's tiny & I'm sensitive.
P.S. It's so weird the things you get sensitive about being a mom. Am I the only one?