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.