This is not a post about Conneticut. Well…not directly.
One of the greatest struggles I’ve undergone since becoming a mom is nursing. The following is a list of google searches I’ve performed over the past 5 months, mostly concentrated between months 2 & 3 (which is about the time I began to lose the ability to breastfeed my first daughter): why am I not producing enough milk, what to do when my production is low, is my baby getting enough to eat, what to eat to help milk production, will my baby stop nursing if I supplement formula, how can I tell if my breastpump is working properly, are some people just not meant to breastfeed.
Not a single link or article that I found during one of those frantic searching sessions has stuck with me or made me feel more encouraged as an insecure breastfeeding mom.
You know what would make me feel better? Having someone sit beside me while I’m feeding my daughter, chatting and helping to take my mind off of the struggle, offering to hold my daughter when a particularly frustrating moment arises so I can take a few deep breaths. Can you even imagine? Who has the time?? Who would even think of invading my personal space, potentially seeing me at my scrubbiest, hanging out for no other purpose than to simply be there. And would I ever ask?? No way.
With the recent events in the news, so many people have felt the need to sound off on one of the many modes of communication available via the internet. Our feelings are validated by likes and affirming comments. While I think it’s normal to want to express our sadness and emotion when something terrible happens…and Facebook has become the outlet for doing so, in the words of one of my favorite movie characters, “I do not think it means what you think it means.”
I don’t believe people are winning souls by posting condemning pictures. I don’t think votes are being swayed by sharing critical videos about the other side. We are not changing anyone’s opinion regarding gun control by posting a blog post that matches our views.
Our virtual presence is taking over our lives. Our living, breathing, human, physical lives. We are deceived to believe that likes and comments on our posts and pictures create meaning for us and add value. We are not taking the opportunity to truly connect, to sympathize, or to reach out when all of our interactions are happening in front of a computer screen or handheld device.
One of our family goals is to start having other people over to share in a meal. This is extremely hard for me because I feel uncomfortable if my house doesn’t look amazing and the food prepared is not the most delicious thing a person has ever tasted. I struggle to keep up with the constant messes made by my 3 year old (yep, it’s all her – wink, wink) or having any groceries on hand beyond our staples. Last night, John’s family came over and we kept it really, really simple. I still got huge compliments on the box of Campbell’s Sweet Potato Tomatillo soup that I whipped together (it’s sooo good….go out and buy it immediately. GO…I’m serious!) but I did not spend hours peeling and chopping and coordinating. It was a great night. We shared stories, we played games, we ate good food, and we ended the night with the most awkward group hug that had us all laughing as we moved toward the door. None of this happened over email or text message or Facebook chat. It was a precious moment…and we simply can’t know how many of those we will have in our lifetime.
Hug someone. Look someone in the eye. Schedule a coffee date, a lunch, a dinner. Squeeze a shoulder. Ask someone how they are doing, let them give a one word response, and then ask them again. Let your physical presence encourage someone today. I believe it will impact them more than a hundred blog posts, a thousand likes, or a million sought out answers on Google.