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Wednesday, March 19, 2014

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Nursing the Soul

Sometimes, I catch myself saying things that peg me for a “crunchy mama”. I don’t mean to – honest! I’ve just realized that so many of the “sustainable” habits I’ve picked up over the years have meant I can stretch my budget just a little bit more.

But some of my “crunchy” habits are out of pure selfishness.

Someone recently asked me how long I was going to nurse Little Guy for since he’s up to eight teeth now in that cute little mouth of his.

I gave my standard answer: as long as he and I both want it, we’ll keep breastfeeding.

I’m sure that means I’m a good candidate for “Hey, my kid is 5 and still nurses”. And I’m pretty sure that means I’ll be a full-blown “hippie” at some point. Heck, I already live in Seattle where Portlandia scenes happen in real life. I’m beginning to think the “crunchiness” is contagious.

My Little Guy is one very attached kid. You might almost call him “clingy”. He got into the bad habit of wanting to nurse until he’s almost asleep. And it’s almost impossible to get him out of your lap if he’s tired or not feeling well. And we’ve spent many a night walking with him in our Moby Wrap or Ergo carrier to convince him that 3 AM is a fantastic time to sleep instead of talking up a storm. And I think he would cuddle almost all day instead of playing if I let him.

Some days, it gets annoying. Will my baby ever learn to be independent?!

You know what? He’s a baby. He needs to be comforted. He needs to know that someone is there to care for him since he cannot care for himself. Nursing him helps him to calm down in so many situations that it’s not even funny.

And it’s d@!*ed inconvenient most days.

It means even now that he’s ten months old, I still need to be around for 99% of his naps and bedtimes. It means I don’t get too many breaks. It means there are days when I’m so tired of being needed all. the. freaking. time.

But in the grand scheme of things, even ten seemingly loooooong months is a very short time.

Because someday he won’t want to nurse anymore.

And someday he won’t want me to wear him in the baby carrier anymore.

And someday he won’t want to sit in my lap to cuddle anymore.

And someday he won’t want to hold my hand when we walk anymore.

And someday he won’t want me around when he’s with his friends or at an event.

And someday he’ll leave home for college or a job.

And someday he’ll get married.

And someday … oh, some all-too-soon someday … I won’t be his favorite girl anymore. He’ll have a wife and kids of his own, and my “Little Guy” won’t be all that little anymore.

So for right now, I’m nursing him every chance I get. And I’m cherishing it. Even at 3 AM. Even when I’m tired. Even when it means I can’t leave him for too long. Even when …

Because “someday” is coming.

And THAT, ladies and gentlemen, is why I’m the “crunchy mama” who’s breastfeeding for as long as possible.

See? I told you I was selfish.

Bio: Stephanie is a wife to Peter and stay at home mom of Little Guy. She loves Jesus, taking care of her family, sunshine, coffee, and a good book. She blogs about life over at The [Almost] Nerdy Wife.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is so true! I cried a little when I read this because I have had the same thoughts so many times. My daughter decided she was done nursing at about 16 months and it was a little sad for me. Happy because I felt a little more free but sad because she was growing up.