#momsofCandS: Reema

The experiences you have in motherhood are different with every child – every birth, every milestone, every situation is unique and looks different from another. What may work for one baby & her mother may not work for another.

Meet Reema, a mother of 4 children aged 5 and below. Reema’s story on relactation with her 4thchild and her optimism in juggling motherhood, listening to her own instincts and body, and self-care is a story that I hope will encourage another mom to try again, even if she doesn’t get it right the first time. Your path may look different from another mother and that’s okay, whatever yours looks like, it’s the best choice for you and your baby.

*Hello! tell us a little bit about yourself and your little family and how long you’ve been breastfeeding for?

Hello!! I'm a FTWM in the Government Sector. I've been together with my sweetheart of a husband for slightly over a decade now, married in 2016 and blessed with 4 wonderful children aged 5 and below! I have been breastfeeding for…. 5 years on & off? Hahaha!
My firstborn, Rikhaiyla Rose, used to latch on me for hours, 8-14hrs straight sometimes! This made others assume she was probably starving! As a first-time mom, I was under a lot of pressure that my milk was not enough. With her wanting to comfort latch so much, this also meant that I never quite had the chance or time to pump. She was glued to me. And the only moments that I managed to have a little time to myself would then allow me to fulfill my basic needs such as having a quick meal and/or a shower. After returning back to work, I was not given much time aside to pump and was also working shifts so she barely got to see me to feed which naturally caused my supply to drop. I then finally caved in to the advice of my elders & introduced formula milk to her.
My 2nd, Rikhaiyl, I breastfed for about a year! I enjoyed most parts until he began to enjoy exploring his growing teeth. I started to have anxiety to latch him and eventually decided for him and his sister to move on to fresh milk!
My 3rd, Raiyla Azalea, I was excited to breastfeed her however that was short-lived after getting pregnant again one month later! Having to give a lot of my time and attention to the three of them, while being pregnant, did take its toll on me. And somehow it's as if she knew I was a tad stressed? That she herself refused breast milk. I embraced that signal she gave and did not put pressure on her or myself.
My 4th, Raiyley Lily, is 10 months old and I have thoroughly been enjoying breastfeeding her. With her, I experienced re-lactation which felt pretty rewarding.
Relactation; is the process by which a parent re-establishes lactation after having stopped for some time (weeks or months). 

*As a mom with multiple kids, does it get easier or harder?

Oh no no no, it does not get any easier! It's tough! We do have a helper and that helps to take the load off at home with regards to house chores and cooking! So this leaves me having to be with the kids & attend to them 100% which is pretty great. All four of them are still so young and want a lot of my attention so I do try my utmost best to fulfill their needs and demands. It's definitely challenging but I take each day as it comes!

*Managing a career and a big family takes energy. How do you prioritize self-care?

A lot, a whole lot of energy! Would you believe me if I tell you that I haven't slept thru the night in 5 years? #truestory. Haha! So yes, self-care is very important! I do set aside time for myself. Be it for a little shopping (always end up buying things for them instead), self-grooming, or even just some alone time in Starbucks. That bit of space gives me peace of mind which then encourages me to be more enthusiastic when I see them again. A little distance does make the heart grow fonder!

At home, I reiterate to my kids to love themselves. Not in an obnoxious way of course. But to be able to have self-love. I believe I should be setting that example for them. Hence, I've managed to move past mom guilt for enjoying "ME TIME".

I have also realized that giving the kids space allows them to be a little more independent as well which is a trait that's important to me.

*An important piece of advice you would give another mom who may be going through a similar experience juggling multiple kids?

Don't put pressure on yourself! I always remind myself how grateful I am to have them and that helps me to go easy on them and myself too. Life is too short so be as happy as you can be! A tip; I try to make it a point to take one child out alone at least once a week/fortnightly. To have one on one time and give them all of me for a day to their hearts' content!

(Photos by Flashed)

*Lastly, your favorite memory of motherhood?

I think my favorite memory of motherhood definitely has got to be the first skin-to-skin with my child. With every single child. That feeling of bringing a new life into this world, safe and sound is beyond words. Having to feel my baby on my chest, alive & breathing, while having a 9 month time-lapse of flashbacks squeezed into minutes is honestly breathtaking!

If I may add, another memory that takes the cake is; breastfeeding. Especially the first few weeks of breastfeeding. Where You and ONLY YOU are able to soothe your child. Where ONLY YOU are the source of food & comfort for your child. Seeing your baby grow, putting on all that weight fuelled from YOU! That's truly another favorite memory that I'll safe keep forever!

I'd like to take this opportunity to say Thank You to C&S for being a part of my Favourite Memory because your covers were in the journey that was most intimate to me.❤️