August 7, 2012 by Melissa
I’m almost done breastfeeding and I am so very happy about it. I know I was supposed to love and be thankful that I was able to do it for as long as I did (9 months exclusively before we finally were able to get Alice to take a bottle and start weaning) and I was grateful for the first 6 months. Then I was just ready to be done. I wanted my body back. I wanted my time back. I wanted to sleep again.
I know breast milk is best for babies but how about a happy mother? One not resentful or crabby about being so needed that I couldn’t drink coffee when I wanted or wine. One who couldn’t be far from her baby or a breastpump for more than a few hours. One who couldn’t ask her husband to get up to feed the baby because said baby wouldn’t take a bottle? I’m a happier mom now.
There was a time this past weekend when it hit me that this stage was over and I was a little upset. But not for long. I got to get up and have, gasp, a second cup of coffee and not worry about it. I get to go run errands and not have to factor in last feeding and time of next feeding. Glorious. I get to have “me” time again in much more significant ways.
I love my kids but it’s better when I can allow others to help me care for them in such basic ways. There’s now more of myself to give to them. It takes a toll on one’s mood to have so much unsolicited touching in a day. At least it did for me. I could only take so much. If that makes me a bad mom, so be it. I feel like I can now doll out affection in more significant and meaningful ways to everyone who needs it, including myself.
Yes, it’s great to breast feed, but it’s also great to acknowledge when enough is enough. Your baby will be fine and you may be better able to handle motherhood.