Walking (er, STUMBLING) into motherhood for the second time, I knew that I had some extremely complicated feelings about nursing. Now, I’m not the sort of person who claims to know what is best for anyone else in regards to parenting and all of the choices that come along with it, to me, I still engage in the Whatever Gets You Through The Night (Or Day) school of parenting.

As such, I don’t find fault in the decisions of other parents that I know that are not the same as my own. Co-Sleeping? Whatever, not my personal cup ‘o’ joe, but if it works, go for it. Baby Wearing? Again, whateves.

Feeding evokes the exact same feelings of ‘meh’ in me.

Now, this isn’t to say that I didn’t spend the first 5 years of Ben’s life wondering what the fcuk was wrong with me that no matter what I tried, I couldn’t nurse him, because I did. I convinced myself that I had low milk supply, inverted nipples, and likely a nasty case of BO, and THESE were the reasons I never got to nurse him.

Until Alex was born with a latch to beat all latches and an appetite like a teenager, I was sure that I was at fault for being unable to nurse Ben. My milk supply was pathetic (according to the pump) and my dinner plate (hubcap) sized nipples would certainly have turned ME off, were I in his diaper.

It wasn’t until later when I realized that any issues I had with nursing Ben had nothing to do with me.

It was his own fault.

I am blaming all of his nursing issues squarely on him alone.

(anyone who has had issues nursing their own children can understand the magnitude of this statement. If you have not had issues, it would make very little sense as to why this would be a big deal. Just roll with me, baby. Or ignore me. It’s cool.)

My feelings about nursing are now not so complex. Alex is weaning himself, and down to about one nursing session a day (if that), and aside from once again being amazed at how quickly he’s grown up, I’m having a hard time pegging which emotion I feel about it (I need one of those ‘match the emotion with the proper face’ chart right about now).

On the one hand, the thought of him turning one is freaking me out a wee bit, mainly because I am pretty certain that this is our last baby, and therefore I should have savored some of the baby-ness a bit more. The late night nursing sessions were annoying, for sure, but as with even the good parts of having kids, they never go back to that kind of intimacy again. Pretty soon, he’ll be getting his own food from the cupboard and begging for Dino-Shaped fruit snacks and Cap’n Crunch (with Crunchberries, if he’s anything like his Momma–which is is.), and when I blink again, he’ll be chugging shitty beers with The Dudes (just like his Momma) with the same intensity that he went after the boobs.

On the flip side, being one is so much more interesting (and exasperating) than being an ickle baby, and I’ve always preferred kids that I can interact with to those who are a drooling mass of baby.

I guess the only real emotion that I can see right now is relief. Plain and simple relief.

I’m glad he’s weaning himself, I’m glad he’s turning one, and I’m glad those all nighters are gone for now (until he hits college. But by that time, I will be relaxing by the pool, and likely asleep while he’s drinking his braincells away). I’m glad that his favorite game to play right now is “ball” and I’m glad that I can feed him whatever I am eating (without teeth, to boot!), and I am glad that he is in my life.

Maybe my heart will always skip a beat when I see (or hear) that newborn cry or smell their special smell, but maybe I won’t. Maybe I’ll just be glad that my time is over and I can focus my time on enjoying my children, who, while they are not getting any younger, are two of the most enchanting people I have ever been fortunate enough to know.

And maybe I will just thank the powers that be that I was deemed fit enough to be the mother of these two fascinating souls.

I cannot wait to see what new-ness today will bring.

Comments = full of the awesome. Like gravy. I can haz an RSS RSS feed .

14 Responses to Weaner

  • Heather says:

    I hear you. It’s not that they are older that is sad, but that they continue to do so. I *think* we may be onboard for one more; I don’t know. I hope that when the time comes, I have a feeling of “we’re complete;” kind of like what you’re describing.

    By the way, it is *so* cool ‘knowing’ someone whose kid is almost the exact same age as mine!

  • I so feel the same way. My almost 3 yr. old has a birthday this week. I find birthdays, always bittersweet. I so look forward to watching them grow up, but at the same time realize that they won’t be with me forever. :(

  • Pauline says:

    You sound so content. I am so happy for you! :)

  • ewe_are_here says:

    It sounds like a good place to be…where you are.

  • KC says:

    It helps that your kids are awesome.

  • baseballmom says:

    Well said! There are SO many times that I watch moms chase their toddlers onto the ball field and go, “Thank GOD that’s not me, I am so done with babies!” and other times, like tonight at my mom’s birthday dinner, when my niece (6 mos.) was SO cute in the high chair, babbling away and then sleeping on my brother’s shoulder, that I go, “Damn, I miss that part.” It’s a hard thing, but I think you just know when you’re done, and the time is right. So glad you’re in a good place!

  • Jerseygirl89 says:

    It’s so great that you’re so comfortable with your life and where your family is. And isn’t it great when they wean themselves? My oldest did that and it was just so easy on both of us. We’ll not talk about the three month ordeal of slowing weaning my youngest.

  • rockmama says:

    I’m so glad to hear someone else say that they think their nursing problems were down to their child. I’m fairly sure that nursing the Prawn failed because she was a doofus rather than any of the million other reasons you mentioned that you thought that YOU’D been the one to blame. She could get a good latch, but preferred a bad one and fell asleep the moment she got onto the breast despite monumental efforts to keep her conscious. DOOFUS.

    I’m totally going to give it a try with the next (and last) one, so if it goes off without a hitch, I’ll know for certain that, you know, some babies just don’t get it. Of course, I think the Prawn is a rocket scientist now, but she just wasn’t all that with it at the beginning.

  • As American as Apple Pie says:

    The feeling of doneness is awesome!!! I felt that when I was just 2 months along with the boy. The greatest thing about them growing up is that you finally get a measure of freedom back. I can now sleep in and all three will get themselves up, make breakfast and entertain each other. Of course, that doesn’t stop them from coming in and tattling about who touched who, etc. But, for those extra 15 mins of sleep, it’s worth it!

  • Jenn says:

    I feel pretty much the same way about my Boo that you feel about Alex right now. I’m SO GLAD she’s older and nursing less (she never had trouble nursing, exactly, but she has the suction of a black hole and it’s always been painful) but it’s still sad because I’m pretty sure she’s our last kid. I think sometimes that I might want another one but then I remember all the misery I felt when she wouldn’t sleep and I’m afraid the next kid would be a shitty sleeper too. That alone is enough to make me want to neuter my husband!
    Anyway, I can sympathize (empathize? commiserate?) with you. As usual you are picking things out of my very own little brain. (But saying it better than I could.)

  • Rambling Amy says:

    I’m feeling you completely on this one. I too am basking in the glow of baby freedom. My hubby wants a third and while I admit that I’m sometimes tempted, I really at this point have no desire to go back to 2 a.m. feedings or caring for a kid who’s not old enough to be entertained by the TV, instead of my nipple.

    Oh and speaking of nipples. I blame my first for about 80% of my nursing woes. His latch was terrible – unlike his sister who was an instant pro.

  • Doc says:

    I think our son is much smarter because he breast fed for 6 months… but of course I never got the closeness of the experience the way my wife did…

  • becky says:

    I’m completely with you! The idea of little babies is sweet, but not nearly as exciting as the idea of little people – little people who have personalities and senses of humor, as well as no sense of balance… because what’s cuter than when they’re learning to walk and they fall on their butts? Good luck with Alex’s party :)

  • Nursing … oh goodness. Just another reason for me not to have kids ;)

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