It’s quite intriguing this post is following a Mother’s Day post where I share how much I hold you, love you, comfort you and wouldn’t trade the world for being your mom.
Being a parent is so much wrapped into one. Some days it can be described with words like: amazing, lovely, indescribably fulfilling, beautifully sweet, and breathtakingly awesome. Other days words like: exhausting, overwhelming, tiresome, frustrating, and never ending are more accurate.
The last few days have been the latter. We are just getting over M’s first real sickness. It’s completely set us back. She was finally sleeping through the night consistently and had dropped nursing down to 2 (occasionally 3) times a day. I’m not one to be rigid with routines and such but it seemed we were finally in a good rhythm. Better yet we had gotten there together without any coaxing on my part which is what I always wanted.
Everyone says breastfeeding is a journey. I never knew how long ours would last but I had an idea in my head anyway. I figured by 15-18months we’d be down to simply morning/evening and by 24 months she would of naturally weaned herself. I’ve read (I know, I know, those are the first two words of every parent fail) most children will wean themselves when ready and I wanted to wait for her to naturally take the lead. We were headed in that direction until illness hit.
The thing is I still believe M will naturally wean when she’s ready. The problem I’m having is it’s not coinciding with my original thoughts. (Having thoughts about how anything will go with children is another mistake) The more I read and talk to other moms the more I find this natural led weaning most likely won’t happen before age two. Yes she’ll probably drop down to morning/evening and that’ll be fine with me if she would just do it already!
With this illness nursing has ramped up big time. Including her waking up overnight, multiple times again. I’ve tried everything (including letting her cry which kills me and I never wanted to do) and nothing works. It’s worse because she now asks for me and how can I resist? During the day distraction works sometimes but when it’s the middle of the night she won’t give up and there’s nothing to distract her with. Sleep isn’t appealing to her and she’s most likely in pain (she’s teething too, because of course being sick isn’t enough). So I feel guilty if I give in and I feel guilty letting her cry. It’s a no win situation. I just have all these thoughts running through my head instead…
“She’ll never wean if you keep feeding her.” “She can sleep through the night she doesn’t NEED me.” “She’s in a pattern now, you’re screwed. She is going to wake up (and she does) the same time every night.” “You’ve nursed for 15 months you can be proud and have nothing to feel bad about if you want to stop”
“You’ve done everything and she won’t go back to sleep. Well, she hasn’t been eating food during the day so she might be hungry…” “Her throat may hurt and she’s teething and nursing is comfort.” “She’s sick, how can you let her cry?” “She’s done this before, been in this pattern, and once she feels better (teeth break through or we’re back at home a few days after a trip) she goes back to sleeping through the night and nursing less.”
So I’m over here losing my mind. I’ll just keep repeating “none of this will last forever” and “this too shall pass”. If only there was a way for me to fast forward to where it’s passed. Until then I’m here spending fun (and sometimes crazy) days with this sweet little angel who has officially entered tantrum throwing toddlerhood on top of everything else…