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” Becoming a parent changes you. My experiences with parenthood is that there have been ups and down but that first month or two was very physcially exhausting for me.”
Episode 96 Sarah is married to Joey for 6 years and has a 3 year old son named Beckett. Sarah Argenal is the Founder of the Working Parent Resource, which is an online resource dedicated to helping frazzled working moms and dads slow down and finally focus on what matters most in their lives.
Background: Sarah was born in Cincinnati, Ohio. When she was 5 years old, her parents were divorced and she moved to California to a very small hippie town. Her mom and stepdad were hippies. She had an older sister and a younger brother and she was the middle child. She also had a couple of step sisters and half brothers. Sarah looks back fondly and says that she had a nice childhood. She was homeschooled for 5 years. Her family traveled from San Francisco, up and down the coastline in a sailboat for most of her childhood. Her dad lived in Cincinnati and she visited him for summers. Her family spent their time on a 52 foot sailboat, mostly in the Bay area. In the summers, her family sailed down to Santa Barbara and back up. Homeschooling was year round. In winters she lived near mountains and went snow boarding. She started off her day doing schoolwork and would then take off to the mountains and snowboarded all afternoon. There was no routine and no structure. This certainly does mean that Sarah was not well educated. She entered college when she was 15 years old. Looking back, it was interesting and different. While she does appreciate it now, she did not so much appreciate this lifestyle when she was in the middle of it. Back then, she just wanted to be a normal high schooler and go to the dances.
When she was about 10-12 years old she became obsessed with John Grisham and the law. She decided she wanted to go to law school. When she graduated college she got her para legal certificate and has been working in the legal field for 20 years now. That was her plan and she stuck to it!
Her mom breastfed her until at least 2 maybe 3 years old.
Breastfeeding for Sarah: Her sisters breastfed and she was able to see a lot of their struggles and their rewards. She definitely knew that she wanted to breastfeed and was committed to breastfeeding her son. Understanding that it might not be a perfect fit right away was very helpful for her. She is glad that she did not have only a rosy perfect image of what it should be like. Sarah realizes that if she did have struggles she knew that it was something she would have to work at. She realizes that if she did not know that this was common, she would had a lot of negative interpretations which would have made breastfeeding difficult. Sarah is glad for having had realistic expectations and excellent support.
Prepared for breastfeeding: Sarah took a hospital class, asked a lot of questions, researched anything and everything about breastfeeding, parenting and childbirth. Her mom and sisters were a wonderful resource and she felt very supported.
She was breastfeeding within 20 minutes or so of her sons birth. She remembers feeling awkward and not sure if she was doing anything right at all. She did have excellent help in the hospital. Once she came home, Sarah and her husband felt very nervous wondering if she was doing it right or if her baby was getting enough. After a phone call with her mom where she cried and expressed fears, her mom came right away and helped and guided her and very soon she began to gain confidence and feel like things were going really well. He was a snacker. She did not realize how physically challenging motherhood and breastfeeding was. Sleep deprivation and frequent feedings were very difficult. However, Sarah is quick to say that the rewards were great.
Getting through the early postpartum period: Sarah talk about how she dealt with the early days of breastfeeding. How do you get through the days when things are physically challenging and you are so tired. Sarah talks about how incredibly helpful her husband was. He did everything in the household so all she needed to do was hunker down and be with her baby. She also shopped a lot ahead of time and bought many non-perishable items so she did not have to run out to the store for these items. Sarah also used a supermarket delivery service so she did not have to bring her son to the grocery store. Sarah also talked about the beauties of breastfeeding a baby over a year old.
Words of wisdom to share: I went into motherhood with thoughts of being a Babywise mom. I was planning on this being very routine and scheduled. I really tried to force this at first and it was so frustrating. I would say to others: Take it easy, don’t judge yourself, don’t try to have many plans. She learned to tune in to her baby and what he needed at that moment. This felt so much better as there was a lot less crying and easier going. I felt like a better mom like I was giving him what he needed it, when he needed it and this felt so much better.
Business: Working Parents Resource which is dedicated to helping moms and dads slow down and prioritize things in their life. In September, Sarah is starting a 5 day challenge called Frazzled to balanced bootcamp for working parents, which is designed to help parents reduce stress levels so you can focus on what really matters most to you. Join her facebook group where you can get all the info you need to join the 5 Day Challenge.
I leave you with todays quote: Crazy-busy is a great armor, its a great way for numbing. What a lot of us do is that we stay so busy, and so out in front of our life, that the truth of how we’re feeling and what we really need can’t catch up with us. Brene Brown
Link to Brene Brown talk:
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All About Breastfeeding Community Facebook group link: https://www.facebook.com/groups/allaboutbreastfeeding/
All About Breastfeeding website: http://www.allaboutbreastfeeding.biz/
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