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Self-soothing and Other Growing Pains

Thursday, June 13, 2013

This week I made a clunky but successful transition from stay-at-home to working mom.

The process has thrown me into a temporary state of unbalance much like when I moved away to college. I have a serious case of homesickness. There are promising signs that I am finding my footing though. For example: yesterday I finally stopped crying in my car before heading into the office in the mornings. That is a joke. But seriously, I am finding myself in need of a way to calm down. I need a lovey y'all. Maybe I'll borrow Marlie's tactile blanket.

On top of righting myself I also have to help a very sweet but very headstrong baby boy through his own transitions. Growing pain, thy name is weaning.

Desmond was a boob-man from day one.

It's been 14 months, 11 days and some odd hours into our breastfeeding journey. I don't mean to sound like I am counting down the days until I am released from prison. I have loved every minute of nursing my son minus the few times he bit me. After he celebrated his first birthday in April I realized this could go on forever because he showed no signs of slowing down. I earnestly started the weaning process by cutting out night feedings. His daddy took the lead on sleep training him and he transitioned from co-sleeping to the crib relatively easily.

He more than makes up for it in the daytime! He rarely misses an opportunity to root around my chestwhich includes the times he is sleepy, scared, teething, cranky, hurt, or bored. So basically all the time. It's a total comfort thing at this point as he doesn't need it for sustenance. I have tried to reduce the nursing to the times he needs soothing the most which is when he wakes up and when I pick him up from preschool. No dice. He turns into The Hulk when you make him angry and playing keep-away with his #1 source of comfort makes him very angry.

But a change has gotta come because mommy needs to be able to get dressed for work without hiding or carrying said baby out the door at arms length because he is trying to rip open my shirt. I need your advice because homeboy ain't giving up the boob without a fight.


Maureensk said...

I wish I had some advice to give. My babies #1 - #3 basically self-weaned at reasonable times. Baby #4 had to forcibly weaned at age 12 months, as I had to start a non-safe medication. That was a nightmare and I'm sure he will spend years in therapy because of it. Dora also was forcibly weaned at age 3 1/2!!!! It wasn't as traumatic for her, obviously, as she had some reasoning abilities, but still, she is obsessed with my breasts and breasts, in general, to this day! She talks about nipples and milk and breasts all the time. So when you're having a hard time, just remember what might happen if you let him nurse even longer. My friend's son even would go so far as to kiss and cuddle her breasts when she weaned him at age 4 (not like she wanted him to, but he was so pathetically sad about being weaned). So though I totally advocate extended breastfeeding in theory, I honestly think weaning by age 2 is probably best (at least for us moms who get weirded out when our kids, who are old enough to talk in complete sentences, want to do and say strange things about our breasts).

Mrs. Pancakes said...

awww...it sounds like MANY transitions but you are definitely going through them like a champ!! i love that you are still breastfeeding..we are kind of weaning i think because he has been biting a lot so we are doing it less frequently but when he doesn't feel like biting...he drinks it liberally not that i am producing that much anymore..i don't have much advice but hopefully he will stop on his own...i know that wasn't very comforting!

Help! Mama Remote... said...

Congratulations on the job. I'm sure this transition is going to take you all time to get use to. Sending hugs to all of you @helpmamaremote

Mama Up! said...

I've got nothing. P. self weaned at 18 months so we obviously let it go a while longer.

Way to go on posting such a brave breastfeeding pic! I wouldn't have the guts but I've thought about it!

Kim said...

Boys!!!!! I tell you, both mine would still be doing it if I let them. Naveen still reaches into my shirt every chance he gets. I get a lot of raised eyebrows when we're out in public. All I can offer is this: COLD TURKEY. It's the only thing that worked sadly.

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