Do you ever feel really touched out? I have explored these feelings of mine before and have found some ways thst help me avoid them (you can read about that here), but when I am tired, it hits me much harder. I have been burning the candle at both ends lately – staying up til 1am and waking up at around 6.30 with eleventeen billion night time requests for milk from Miss 2.
After a busy day yesterday, by evening time I was burnt out and could not deal. With anything. Much less Miss 2 and Mr 5 both trying to own my body. They can obviously sense when I’m at my worst – I’ve always known they will be at their most demanding on the days where I feel least equipped to deal with it.
Mr 5 is feeling quite a lot of jealousy over Miss 2’s demand-feeding, and yesterday evening, when we were all feeling a little bit frail and in need of various types of comfort, his feelings were being made quite clear. Every time Miss 2 breastfed (frequently) he came and tried to sit all over me and put his hands all over my breasts. I found myself more than once sitting very still, even holding my breath to stop myself from exploding. Then I would start slapping their hands off me.
I said things I am not at all proud of. I write because I like to think I’m pretty good at articulating my thoughts, but let me tell you. At that time, in those circumstances, my beautiful, gentle, sweet, caring 5 year old child did not need to hear my thoughts articulated. After hiding myself in the kitchen I took a late-night stroll down the street with both kids to try and reconnect a little, I told Mr 5 it was time for bed. He protested, as he always does when he is overtired, but I got him to cooperate with some gentle firmness. He wanted to watch a movie, he wanted to play with his Transformers, he wanted me to play Snakes and Ladders with him. I explained that sometimes what we want and what we need are not the same thing, and could he please come to bed because I really wanted to give him some milk.
Even though I write about what we do, and a lot of people seem to relate to it, I don’t have all of the answers. Sometimes I have moments of brilliance, and sometimes I sink so low I feel like I don’t deserve to have kids. I know that as long as weaning is happening, however slowly or child-led, there is still going to be days and times when it sucks. There’s no quick and easy solution. Neither of us have done this before, and all we can do is try to ride out these feelings together.
And here we are. I can’t remember the last time I breastfed him to sleep, but last night I did. I know we are on the downhill run towards weaning, but I’m still using his milk as a parenting tool. It’s easy and effective, and when we’re in bed and he’s still and sleepy, the aversions go away. Even though I know he is nearly ready to finish breastfeeding, he’s not ready to let go of feeling connected to me, and nor I him. We have other ways to be connected, but last night I was too tired to think of any of them. As long as breastfeeding works, I’m still going to do it.