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Stop, Rewind, Let’s Start the Day Again
Some days are like that, aren’t they?
I mean you’re out of bed a total of five minutes and you’re already wishing it was the end of the day and you crawled back in.
Buddhism explains that this is to wish our lives away, to wish the moment away. That by wishing our suffering away, we deprive ourselves of living in the moment. Of living our lives. To attend
That by immersing ourselves in our suffering, not fighting it, not wishing it to be something other than what it is, this is where we strengthen our spiritual practice. That, living in the moment, and not trying to make it something else, should be part of your daily practice. They say meditation is all good and all, but life, life is where the real spiritual practice is.
I feel this way when I drink vodka. I would never wish the moment to be anything else. I never fight the moment, and I never try to make it something it’s not. I am a true reflection of Buddhist philosophy drunk.
I just need to work on it sober.
I reminded myself not to make my suffering worse by focusing on my suffering as I opened the pile of bills that had accumulated on my kitchen table.
And as I peeled open envelope 45, this one from the car registration office, I did that double take. Where your brain reads information but doesn’t understand its content. So, in my case, I opened the letter and noticed that my car registration is up for renewal on May 11th.
I stared stupidly at it.
But we were in June. Could I honestly drive an unregistered car for more than a month?
I called Richard.
I put the notice in the BILLS PAYABLE.
(Now quite a strong look and mass).
Richard I knew paid bills; I would get an email from him with a copy of the mortgage payment. Or a foxtel paid email would show up in my inbox. I had no idea how he figured out what needed paying and what didn’t. Maybe vodafone sent him emails? Because one of those Vodaphone paid accounts also arrived in my email inbox from him.
And so, naively, I opened most of the bills thinking they had already been paid.
I opened maybe the tenth AGL Electricity bill.
Blah blah blah.
And I figured Richard must have paid that one too. I don’t know why. Maybe I thought he was working on intuition. Or using The Force?
But as I delicately tucked the 10th or 11th AGL Electricity notice into my pile the doorbell rang.
I wandered down the hall and opened the door.
There stood a somewhat pleasant looking man who gave me an AGL account.
“Could I leave this in your capable hands, please Madam? It must be paid for.”
And I took the piece of paper from him and smiled.
Who knew AGL was delivering outstanding accounts to be paid?
And what a coincidence I said to him, “I have about ten of these that I just opened.”
I smiled at him and closed the door.
Imagine AGL hand delivering invoices.
Well, wonders will never cease.
I picked up my cup of tea and prepared to address the rest of the pile of unopened tickets. I glanced at the photocopy of the bill still in my hand.
It was an offline notice.
The lovely man came to disconnect me.
His letter was to tell me that I was disconnected, that I would have to pay $99 to reconnect and then pay the outstanding bill to get up and running.
No electricity for me.
I took the Buddhist point of view. All things pass, the very nature of suffering is that it is fleeting; it moves only to be replaced by new suffering. Instead of immersing myself in this suffering, I should instead let it float, like a cloud, look at it and let it go.
I placed the disconnect on the table and resumed my envelope opening safari.
Not going to get upset about it I reasoned. After all, getting upset wouldn’t turn the electricity back on.
Kubo woke up from his nap.
And only after 20 minutes.
Since we got the Baby Whisperer in and fixed his stroller (teach him how to sleep), he always sleeps for two to three hours.
I was not impressed by this 20 minute effort.
Nor was I impressed by a whining, crying baby who was sad and wouldn’t let me finish my pile of letters.
God it was some amazing wonder that I could never open tickets when I have a baby who whines and goes on like a pig the moment I put him down to do something for myself.
I took his temp.
And that bothered me too, I do mean antibiotics are supposed to fix you. He was almost at the end of these and he seemed worse than ever. And hell, I had work I needed to finish and he only slept 20 minutes.
He refused any food, and shoved all the offered scraps from his high chair tray onto the floor.
Which was also bloody annoying because I had only just swept it and now it was covered in sloppy baby food.
I picked him up and tried to carry him on my hip.
But look. Cuba is not small fry. This little monkey is 11 kilograms.
And lugging around a squishy, hot, 11 kilo beef burger while you’re trying to open envelopes is no fun.
oh i know
I should have been nicer to him. I should be a lady cuddly mom. But I wasn’t. Ella first got sick a week ago, followed by Kubo, followed by Lola. I was up to three sick children every night for over a week, followed by caring for three sick, whining children all day. OH MY GOD it was all I could do not dig three holes in the back of the garden and stick them in it!
If you take one, the other cries because she wants to carry. If
I take the three year old, the one year old loses it. Then I find that the five-year-old fell on the living room almost dead and I drop the moaning ones and run to help her. I feel like Florence Nightingale meets an Egyptian slave. And in addition to all the mummy nurse time, Mr. Husband worked late almost every night. So I had sick kids all day and then had to put them all to bed every night on my tod.
Honestly, at the end of the day I’m ready to book flights to Mozambique and be one of those mummies that just walked around one day and they never found her.
So when Kubo woke up, sicker, and even whinier. Well I was not impressed. And his moaning. Well it’s like a buzz saw. It’s in that exact pitch, eeeeee, eeeeee, eeeeeeee. Drills into your brain….eeee, eeeee, eeee.
I tried to give him Baby Panadol and he threw it across the room.
Don’t get me wrong, I really dig that my kids are brave. I like brave children. I like kids with personality. But I don’t dig kids throwing stuff all over my CLEAN kitchen floor.
And before you knew it, I was suffering in my suffering.
I wallowed in my suffering.
Why did I, as I looked down and the little slime monster grabbed my leg, “eeeee. eeee. eeeee.”
I took him.
I gave up on opening the rest of the letters and decided to take a walk.
After all, the sun was shining for the first time in weeks.
Why not get some fresh air, and I wiped the fresh mucus off my jumper where Kubo rubbed his face into my chest.
Yes, fresh air.
I took a deep, long, slow breath.
Must remember not to wish my life away. Gotta remember not to wish he was 18 and moved out. Must remember to enjoy the moment, or at least embrace it. Don’t try to make it something it’s not.
I will have to walk to pick up Lola from Preschool and walk to pick up Ella from school. Which meant leaving over an hour early to make the return trip. Damn bloody car for not being registered.
Tried Richard on the phone again.
I bundled Cuba into a pram.
He screamed his head off in protest. (Cube is not a fan of the stroller.)
I took a deep breath, do not wish life away.
And I passed our car, lifeless, useless.
What I wouldn’t give to strap QB into a car seat and drive around the block until he fell asleep and then get up in the sunshine and read a book.
Instead I looked down at my little man, face scrunched up letting out his Tyrannosaurus Rex scream.
One must not wish that a moment is something other than what it is.
I looked at an auto-rego sticker.
Deadline: 30 DEC 2009.
December 2009????? I have been driving the car unregistered since December last year? Holy Farkamoly! Almost 6 months!
I could drag you through the rest of that day. But why torture yourself too. And frankly, I’ve already lived that day, why torture me too.
I called my friend and explained that I would have to skip meditation class tonight because I really needed some red wine.
I decided that I needed a moment (well several hours, if truth be told) to participate in an event where I really wouldn’t want to. And red wine consumption fit that description well.
After all, it’s easy to be Buddhist and spiritual and not wish a moment away when you’re actually enjoying a moment.
I informed her that I would be at her doorstep at 7pm with wine and a packet of cheese and onion chips (good to bring dinner too I thought).
I was overjoyed as I prepared dinner for the three sick hedgehogs.
I even stepped on it when Kubo dumped all the scrambled eggs from his bowl onto the floor.
I even smiled when Ella pushed her plate away and said “I hate scrambled eggs.”
And I even hugged Lola when she knocked over her glass of water, soaked the table, the floor, all her eggs and half her dress (I mean hugged as opposed to strangled).
Because you see, I’m going to enjoy a bottle of red (I just mentally upgraded one bottle to two bottles) with a girlfriend in a little over an hour. I could do it. I could do it on a horrible day and come out the other side.
And then Richard called to say he was working late.
On my night of wine and cheese and onion chips?
At my disconnection of electricity night. My car has been unregistered for 6 months at night. My children are sick for 7 days at night. My I’m going to have a nervous God damn break a night?
I mean how nice of him.
Here I was surrounded by screaming children all demanding my attention, food all over the floor, water spilling from one end of the kitchen to the other, trying to administer antibiotics and baby Panadol, trying to get Cuba into a clean diaper as he tried diligently. to pick up his own poop. And where was husband? Richard, Richard, why was he sitting at work in a nice quiet office, doing nice graphics, designs, artistic things, while I was in the fucking trenches. I was in World War II and he drank champagne on the Love Boat.
Where was my LOVE???
And so I dug deep.
Well, you must not.
You have to dig deep to find strength, compassion, spare change to buy a bottle of Absolut.
And I gathered up my whiny, whining little clan and threw them into the bath.
Took some chai tea out of a top cup and made himself a cup with two teaspoons of sugar (let’s face it, I needed some sweetening).
And I have to say, I felt a lot better after texting a nervous breakdown to hubby. I think why suffer alone? (Think this needs to be added to Buddhist texts.)
And soon, all three were in bed. And I was happily placed before watching TV MasterChef. Ignoring incoming phone calls from Husband (obviously worried about my repeated references to digging holes in a garden), I felt myself cheering up beyond measure. The day was finally over.
I decided, however, that next time I wake up like this, I’ll skip Buddhist philosophy, and go right back to bed.
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