Bring on the Calm

I need calmness in my life.

My head is swimming with thoughts about missing my husband. Is he safe? What is he doing? Does he know how much I love him? How can I be a better wife from so far away? How can I help Bud remember who is Daddy is? How can I let everyone know I’m not just visiting family in NC but trying to escape while dying a bit inside because my true love is away for the year. Are there any cute female soldiers over there I’m going to need to take down? Is he eating ok? Is he sleeping ok? What is his room like? Is it December yet?

All of the stress plus my child self-weaning MUCH earlier than I had planned has caused my milk supply to be affected. Bud has been nursing 4 times a day but lately, the middle 2 feedings, he is NOT into it. It’s like I’m wrestling a calf and he’ll only eat for a minute or two. After talking with the doctor it looks like I might have to supplement with a little formula after TEN MONTHS of exclusively breastfeeding. I didn’t see this coming. I’m trying to pump but my body just isn’t responding. I’m trying to increase my supply, but my body is failing me. I prayed, cried, and felt like a failure. I’m just being honest.  I believe every family needs to do what is right for their family and their child, and I thought that for mine, it meant breastfeeding for a year. It was important for me and for Sam. But I realized that my son needed more nutrition than what I was able to give him, so I went to Target to get my first can of formula. I started bawling in the middle of the aisle. I called my friend Betsy and told her to “talk me down” because I realized I was being irrational but despite what my brain was telling me, my heart felt like I was failing. I felt like I was failing myself and my family. I can’t explain it, it’s just what I felt. (*Note: Sam always pushes for what is healthy for both me and Bud, he would never make me feel like a failure for having to supplement with a few oz of formula, its completely self-inflicted)

And this blog. I’m not enjoying it anymore. It’s become something else I feel I’m failing. Whether its feeling insecure over a lack of comments, lack of interest, crappy writing, misinterpreted posts, personal information about me, or just comparison to other bloggers, I’m just not enjoying writing but instead, it’s becoming another thing in my life that I feel I’m failing at.

SO, I’m going to take a little hiatus from this blog. I’ll post some pictures of my adorable son. I’ll post things as they come to me but I’m not going to have it on my to-do list anymore. Until I remember why I started writing in the first place, I can’t be writing just for vanity’s sake.

I’m doing the same thing with singing at church. The only reason I was singing in the band was for selfish reasons. So, until I remember that my voice is to glorify God and God alone, I’m going to step back.

It sucks because these things used to bring me joy and currently are bringing me superficial joy, but thats no way to live. I need simplicity. I need peace. I need calmness. 

I’m going to use my time to continue running, reading books, working on my book (fiction), and pouring love on those around me. If I feel moved to write a post, I will. If I don’t feel moved to write a post, I won’t. I pray I find my voice in both song and pen and that it brings glory to the One who gave it to me, and no longer echoes within the selfish walls I’ve built.

 

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  • Leslie Petree

    Don’t know if you remember me from way back in the UNC YL days (I was Leslie Unger back then). I’ve been reading (lurking?) for several months now, having somehow found your blog through someone one Facebook. Buffy, maybe? Anyhow, I have loved reading and seeing your sweet family. Your passion and humor that I so admired when we were doing YL together comes through in every word and picture. My sister is an officer in the Air Force and so I feel a little bit of military kinship to you now as well. 

    I can’t imagine doing what you’re doing and I’m so thankful you were able to go back to NC for a while. I read this post and sat at my desk trying not to cry because…ummm… that’s kind of awkward when you have three work study students sitting in front of you at work.:) 

    There have been seasons where I’ve had to step back just like you’re doing now. IT IS SO WORTH IT. You’ll find that peace and simplicity you’re longing for, I promise. God will be faithful there, always. And as for the rest of it? Well, as my oh so southern Aunt Melba would say, “Be kaaaaaaahnd to yourself!” As someone who just had her own version of crying in the middle of Target (over spaghetti squash. seriously. but it was wrapped up in me feeling like a failure of a wife and ridiculous expectations I put on myself, but I digress…), I totally get it. It’s insane and frustrating and lies from the devil. God’s grace is bigger and oh, how lavish it is.

    Ok, thus ends the super long lurker comment 🙂 Praying for you!

    • OF COURSE I remember you Leslie. Thank you for getting in touch, and I can only imagine what your work study students think when I post pictures of me in unitards on the blog 😉 I love your aunt Melba already, thank you for reminding how much bigger God’s grace is than all of this. 

  • So sad to read this post but so understanding as well. you have to do what YOU have to do. I too, have been reading (lurking) for a good while now (since before you had Bud) and have been looking forward to your posts. I’m in NC (grew up in Raleigh, now live closer to Greensboro and work in Durham) – so if you’re ever in the area – i’ll throw it out there that i’d love to meet! i have a 5 month old daughter and I know she’d love Bud! 😉 Enjoy your time off and take all the time you need – we’ll all still be here waiting for your return!

  • Kk Larrabee

    Love you! And Im going to call you later because that would be a more appropriate response, but Im here, so Im commenting too. Im sorry the stress has caused you to need to supplement, I know how important breastfeeding for the whole year was for you. I know the feeling of guilt associated with it, I had to switch bennett to all formula by 6 months because my body just never caught back up after the infection and the poor child was starving. Bud knows how much you love him and how much nourishment you have and will continue to provide for him. Try not to let it weigh too much on you! In 5 weeks will be sit on the porch swing and have a big ol honking glass of wine or 4 since we wont have to worry about feeding the babies later 🙂 LOVE you so much and Ill miss your regular posts, but know you need to take care of you first.

  • Jessi

    sweet martha!  i love reading your blog, you make the everyday things seem hilarious!  you are not a failure, but you already know this in your heart of hearts.  i’m pretty sure if i lived near you i would stalk you out and we would be great friends (really, i’m not a stalker or crazy, i just really love your blog and enjoy your personality)!  you are a wonderful person, mommy and wife, that’s obvious just in your writing!  i’ll continue praying for you and your sweet family, thanks for being so honest with the internet world 🙂

    • I wish we lived near each other too! I know you’re not crazy… but maybe because I border on crazytown for both of us! 

  • JLambert

    Martha- you are an honest and brave woman. Far from a failure.I was delighted to find your blog a couple of years back. I make a point to check it daily and I do my best to vote for it as well. You have shared so many inspiring things about your faith, your life, and your marriage. Strangely I feel like if we sat down for lunch tomorrow it would be as if no time had passed at all. I find myself reading your posts and thinking ‘man I hope I can be more like her when I grow up’… (wait I’m the same age) 🙂

    I respect your decision to take a step back and I am all for re-evaluation of life’s joys, but I wanted to make sure you knew that your words touch more people then you think. So I hope in your time away your able to recall why you started this blog, because I sure would miss reading it if you gave it up for good. :)As far as the supplementing…you are not alone with your feelings. I recently had to start supplementing 1-2 feedings a day. I was embarrassed to tell anyone because I felt like I was a failure (which is ridiculous because thousands of babies thrive off formula and there is nothing wrong with it, but like you it was important to my husband and I that we breast fed exclusively). I had to realize that being a good mom is doing what’s best for my child and if my body isn’t capable of making enough milk to feed him, then the best thing was to supplement. I still feed him as often as I can from the breast. I pump. I take fenugreek. I make sure I’m doing whatever I can on my end to keep it up, but where I am lacking I have become grateful that I can supplement. You are a great mom. You should be proud for having made it 10 months.You are in my thoughts often. It is beyond clear from reading this blog, that you are a wonderful woman of God, great wife, AWESOME mom, and just all around great gal (who has imperfections and is willing to put yourself out there)!   

    • I would love to get together Jamie and know we’ll pick right up where we left off. It sounds like you are an amazing mama and there is no room for guilt! 

  • Good for you for listening to youself and taking a break when needed – sometimes we just need to get away to remember what’s important, it’s ok!! As for BF’ing, the same thing happened to me when Sky was 10 months old. At that point, we started supplementing with goat milk (because he was old enough to be getting enough nutrients from food and mostly BF so formula wasn’t essential). Supposedly, it’s the closest type of milk to human milk – he didn’t even notice when we mixed the 2 together. I hope you take some time to relax and rejuvenate. I, for one, love your blog. You’re one of the most hilarious (in a good way), writers out there! Take care sweet mama!

    • ALK

      Yes, Goats milk is awesome. It is in fact the closest thing to human milk and though pricey worth every cent. I started my son on it around 11-12 months and gave it to him till he was about 2 and then switched to Cows (much cheaper). Also, just LOVE LOVE your blog, know that….you are a breath of fresh air!

    • Thanks Em! Lets hook up when I get back out to PNW…. or we can go ahead and move you to NC 😉

  • Angela

    Sad to hear this but like so many others have said you have to do what’s right for you. I have become addicted to your blog and check it daily. Your blog has warmed my heart, cracked me up and inspired me to try and be a better person. There’s my two cents.

    • I like your two cents Angela 🙂 Thanks for writing!

  • Lauren Morton-Farmer

    Oh sweet girl, even though we’ve never actually met I consider you a friend and wish right now that I could just give you a hug. I know there are few words of comfort anyone can give but just know that no matter what, all of us out here in blogland support you and are praying for you, for Bud and for Sam. God has entrusted you to use your strength to show the world what courage in the face of worry and fear looks like (and from where I stand, you are living up to His challenge!). Your son will hear about this year when his daddy was halfway around the world being brave, but he will also read back over this blog and know about how his mama was just as brave and let her faith be bigger than her fear.

    Do what is best for your family and know that we will be here when you get back – eager to know the latest adventures of the Metzler family!

    Praying for all of you and sending love!

    • Um… you better consider us friends! You always have such an amazing way with words. I have this secret dream that you end up with Don Miller and you both live in Portland together and woo me with your writings 🙂

  • Gretchen

    I hope you have a restful break, it’s hard to step back and refocus. You’re awesome for bringing on the calm – I need more of that too!

    • Gretchen

       Also – I totally feel your pain with the changes of breastfeeding. Jem self-weaned right after her birthday and I had hopes of going into her 2nd year. It was super stressful and emotional 🙁 You’re in my prayers!

      • Thanks Gretchen! I’m learning to embrace the self-weaning and bracing myself for Bud developing that strong will! 

  • Laurian Roediger

    Hi! I just wanted to let you know that I, too, have loved reading your blog and hearing your unique and amazing perspective on life and all of its challenges.  You are one strong momma!  I’ll be back in Winston in a couple weeks if you want to meet up.  I’d love to meet the little man I’ve been reading so much about! 
    Many prayers heading y’all’s way!  

    • SO good to hear from you Laurian!! Let me know when you’re in WS, would love to see you!

  • I love reading your blog! You are such an encouragement to me! I know what you mean about feeling blah about your blog – I often feel the same way about mine. I compare myself to others, feel like no one cares and I’m always afraid some anonymous person is going to stubble across my blog and read one of those posts I made on a weak day and slap me around with text…
    Be encouraged! God has already equipped you with everything you need. And I think you’re pretty amazing and brave. 🙂
    I am right on the same page with you-I too need simplicity, calmness and peace. We all go through these times and while your husband is away and can’t hold your hand God will.
    I’ve been listening to this song on repeat and I want to share it with you. And if the link doesnt work its “Come To Me” (Bethel Live, The Loft Sessions)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A1wZf5trI84

  • LParks

    I guess I’ve never commented on your blog because it seems so weird to be all up in someone’s business that I don’t know. I must tell you, though..my first baby boy recently turned 4 months old and I tell myself everyday that God put us together and I am exactly what he needs (you said that surrounding Bud’s birth). I also tried with all my might to have that natural birth I’ve always wanted and, you gave me courage. Pitocin got in the way of all that, but still…I tried! I’m also making plans for ice cube baby food. Now I’m back at work pumping away and I know if it just so happens that my milk production starts to lack I’ll probably think of this post and know it is okay. 

    What a beautiful woman of God you are! You are an inspiration to many others. Take a break to breathe, but don’t for a second think you are a failure at any of this….and by the way… I’ve tried to run with a jogging  stroller. That shiz is hard. Take care!

    • You’re a rockstar for even TRYING with Pitocin! Let me know if you have any questions with the baby food stuff. You’re my hero for pumping, I seriously don’t know how you do it and don’t even get me starting on running with the dang jogging stroller! 

  • Alicia

    I used to blog some years ago, but stopped because I ceassed to have a reason at one point, so I completely understand your words and your feelings. I have never commented before, but have been following your blog all the way from Spain for some months now. I have a 7 month old little boy. I spent so many long hours breastfeeding him the first months that I used my ipod to read, and eventually stumbled across your blog. Thank you for sharing and for being creative, sincere and funny! I enjoyed it every day.
    What I’ve learnt so far from motherhood is that one can have some clear ideas on what one wants to do but in the end, each baby and each family is a world in itself, and too often our ideas have to adapt to the circumstances. Initially I wanted to exclusively breastfeed till 6 months, but I had to return to work before so my ideas was to pump enough to go. But I just didn’t make friends with the pump. Ever. Lucky me in the end, because Aimar never accepted a bottle till a few weeks ago (my milk, other milk, water… nothing!). So it would have been a waste of my time, which instead I spent with him playing. Then I considered quitting because many times it became, or so I felt, a battle with him, he wouldn’t keep still, he’d cry in the middle, who knows what was going on. So we began solids earlier, that made him instantly happy. He now breastfeeds without complaining, ever, three times per day (two at night and one in the afternoon) and according to the doctor and his growth charts, he does fine with that and three meals per day (morning, midday and night). I did try giving him 4-5 times per day like I read many of you did, but he just didn’t want to. So I’ve decided to go with the flow, enjoy him and not worry about what I cannot decide. 
    With all this I meant to say that please don’t feel bad, take it as it comes, who knows, maybe he’ll be more relaxed, you too… or something positive will come of it all. As momma’s we tend to feel guilty all the time, and it really makes no sense, we all do our best, always!
    I was apart from my hubs for a while too, what helped me was running, lots! Enjoy the break, the calmness, yourself, your little boy and the beauties of where you live. If and when you come back, there are a bunhc of readers, I’m sure, that will be real happy to hear from you again!

    • You are amazing Alicia! LOVE Aimar’s name! Thanks for your sweet words. 

  • Ahowell9498

    Both my girls self-weaned earlier than I wanted, around 9 or 20 months actually. I understand your sadness at the passing of this bonding time and the longing it brings onto your heart. I kept sending expressed milk in a sippy cup to mother’s morning out for Mirielle until one day the teacher VERY gently said to me, “I don’t think you need to send that in anymore sweetie. I’m sorry, but she’s not drinking it. I cried all the way home, and a couple weeks later, M made it clear that she didn’t really want that last night time feeding that put us both to sleep either. WAH! Lots of tears. There are new adventures for you two to explore together, new milestones to overcome, and it sounds like he is saying, “mom, I love hanging with you but let’s move on to a new adventure together! 🙂 We’ve got stuff to do you and me!
    Love, Andrea

  • Claire Ruth

    so thankful for your honesty, martha!  you’re shedding light on things that stifle us gals out here.  praying you feel comfort and peace.