I'm another one who's babies would have asked to nurse if I had been gone for a month :) A few nights or a weekend once a kid is 18 months old and especially when the other parent is so involved that they do the bedtime routine shouldn't be a problem at all. I got pretty burned out with nursing after doing it for 5 straight years with my first two babies, and I think that if I had let myself have some time away, it would have been better for all of us. Mamas need taking care of too!
- topicBreastfeeding Beyond Infancytagged by System, 1/15/12
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Will toddler wean if I go out of town? - Page 2post #22 of 491/22/12 at 9:21pmpost #23 of 491/22/12 at 9:32pmpost #24 of 491/23/12 at 5:09am
To the OP:
I think the most I was away from my kids (other than 4 hours/day for my job) was an overnight retreat for work when DS was 2. He did great with daddy (though he was already weaned; I practice mother-led weaning with abolutely no apologies, and I wanted and needed some non-nursing time before we TTCed #2).
It wasn't until he was 5.5 and #2 was 2.5 or so that I went alone for a long weekend with my college friend. And the kids did great -- and *I* did great. It was so incredibly recharging for me that I spent a bit of time kicking myself for not having done it sooner. Then I stopped kicking myself, because giving myself more Mommy Guilt wasn't doing anyone any good!
I spent a weekend doing grownup things, thinking about what *I* wanted and needed, doing things because of *me*. I came back refreshed, recharged, and centered. If that makes me selfish in the eyes of some, I don't really care, because it made me a better mother to my kids.
You know what else it did? It made DH a better father and husband. A totally unexpected bonus. My first night away, when I called to check in at bedtime, the kids were doing GREAT. And then DH got on the phone and he said "Oh. My. God. Now I really GET why you are so exhausted by the end of the day. They just don't stop, all day long." It gave him an idea of "what is it you do all day?" and an appreciation for why I was feeling so spread thin.
It also refrshed his relationship with the kids and confidence in dealing with them as a primary parent rather than occasional backup. When DS was little, we split shifts and DH was in charge half the day, but when we changed that arrangement, he handed a lot of the day to day stuff back to me, and was *really* unaware of the day to day stuff with DD.post #25 of 491/23/12 at 5:15am
To the OP: Sometime between 18 months and 2 years is when I left DD with MIL for a weekend away with DH. It was nice to have a break. I brought a pump with me just in case (for my comfort) but didn't need it. Reuniting with DD was awesome as well. We pulled up and they were outside playing. She and I ran at each other like a scene from a movie. I picked her up and she tugged at my shirt and made the sign for nursing. She nursed until just before her third birthday when I did some gentle mother led weaning.post #26 of 491/23/12 at 5:53amFor me, DD1 was 2 and 2 nights were good and didn't affect our nursing relationship, she nursed till she was almost 4. I was uncomfortable and very glad to have a pump so I would bring a pump just in case. I also think that it is a necessity for a mom to have some me time.
I'm starting to lose it and actually need to figure out how to do that right now. DD2 just turned 2 and I'm thinking about a yoga weekend that would be 2 nights. The thing is that I know she is my last baby so I really don't want to take a chance on ending her nursing because of me. Then again, she is a major nurser so I don't really think she would wean. So I am torn about it but I do think that I need the break.
I say go for it and maybe try 1 or 2 nights to see how you feel.post #27 of 491/23/12 at 6:02ampost #28 of 491/23/12 at 6:18am
I wish I had taken time away- I would have been a better mother. You know what you need. When my kids were little I would have been on my soap box telling you NO NO TIME AWAY FROM BABIES! But now- looking back- it would have been beneficial for all involved if I had taken care of myself first.
I still need to take care of myself first or I have nothing to give to them.... I am still working on this.post #29 of 491/23/12 at 7:23am
I just want to chime in that for some mothers, time away is NOT "me" time. I have had to be away from DS numerous times after he was born because I am required to attend professional conferences. Several times each year I leave for 2-3 nights. After he was a year old I had no need to pump and it was NEVER a problem. He didn't wean, and he did great with DH. We always resumed nursing as soon as I got back, which was a lovely reunion. He was EBF until 2, and then weaned on his own over weekend when I had him full-time.
OP, please enjoy your time away.post #30 of 491/24/12 at 6:24amQuote:Originally Posted by Adaline'sMama
Let's get one things straight right now. The current life expectancy for women in the United States is 80, not 100. And considering that for the first 18 years we are all pretty much only allowed to do what our parents tell us to do, and then we (we, all the selfish "me time" mothers of our generation) have usually AT LEAST 18 years of child rearing to do ourselves (which, lets face it, no one is truly free while you have kids at home.), and most people of the age group 70-80 dont really have a lot of freedom to do as they please because most humans develop health issues in the last 10 years of life, that leaves us with a grand total (maximum...if you have more than one kid it goes down) 46 years of our life where the amount of "me time" is super limited. Over half your life expectancy.
I love how you define our generation of mothers as the "me time" generation. Are you aware of the fact that more mothers co sleeping (or sharing rooms with their children and breastfeeding their children than the women of your generation? Where exactly is the "me time" in all this? And where you do you get the "this generation of mothers" part? There are 45 year old moms on MDC that are TTC #1 and 21 year old moms of three here. The generational gaps are huge. There is no such thing as "this generation of mothers."
If the OP is anything like me, she probably spends most of her time with her LO, rarely sees or spends time with anyone besides her DH that is an adult, walks around humming the tune to some obnoxious toy that her MIL bought for hours every day, and feels extremely isolated from her friends and like all she has done since her son has been born is be a mom. Which is great, right? And you are supposed to do that until you are all done nursing and then it will be time for another baby. And she can do it all over again. And god forbid she need a night away. Time off, what's that? And if Im not mistaken, your son is still pretty much at the boob, right? As in you still live together, he cant do anything without your approval or judgment- still very much attached to mama? Is that the same one that you wish you had aborted because you claim he ruined your life and made you have a disease that has made you miserable for the past 25 years? Because if that is your idea of being a super martyr mommy who doesnt need any "me time", I sure am glad I had my ONE girls' night out while DD was still nursing and before I got pregnant with this one. Because I would hate to be in your situation when Im old enough to be a grandmother.
OP, believe it or not, women's sole purpose on earth is to raise children and sacrifice everything so that they can have everything they would ever need or want. Every single night, for the rest of your life. My bad for telling you to go have fun and leave nursing up to your nursling when you return. I was just being a selfish "me time" mom of my generation.post #31 of 491/24/12 at 9:53amThread Starter
Thank you for all these replies (mostly).
You know, I really washed my hands of the Mothering community after some fascist/guilt type commentary that occurred when my DD1 was little. Nine years later, I'm surrounded by people who farm out their kids to day care, nannies, and extended family and think it's freaky to nurse a toddler (or in a restaurant for that matter). So, I found my way back here to MDC and have found it mostly helpful. This is the first time I've encountered some of that old thinking. I think most of us who are here find that we are living in a world that is in one, some, or many ways different from our own parenting values. So I think it's really important that we try to be supportive and helpful. Which is what most of you have offered me here, thank you.
I am 42 years old. I have done almost 10 years of mothering and am looking at close to 20 more. At this point, I don't have a career left, and I'm ok with that, because raising my children is more important than any other job or career I've had, and more wonderful. More annoying too. I think it's important to acknowledge the whole package, here. I don't think I'm such a great mom but damn, I didn't leave DD2 with a babysitter for 12 months and even now just a couple times a month with her grandparents. Everyone here has day care and jobs. No one is around to play & socialize. I try my hardest to be a 24 hour mom, and agreed, I know well that it does last for a short precious time. And if I didn't know that and care, I wouldn't be doing it. I learned the hard way, though, with my first child, that not taking care of myself is going to be a problem. I believe that some of my very emotionally needy DD1's problems are due to the fact that I was not treated for depression during her early years. And no, I don't think a cruise is on the same level as anti-depressants :), but I believe one of the most important things I need to give my children is a happy mother. Especially when my LO is deeply connected to her very capable, present, and loving father, in my absence.Quote:
I "left" my nursling for 2 nights in the hands of her loving, capable father so I could visit my best friend whom I hadn't seen in years. Did I have fun? HELL YES. And I didn't feel the least bit guilty, because my DD had sucked the life out of me for the 18 months prior.
My best friend lives 2000 miles away and when she comes here, it's great, she helps me a lot, she is aunt to my girls, but we are still taking care of kids 24 hours a day and there's not a deep level of communication. When I have been alone, away with her for an extended period in the past, I find myself again. When I am not taking care of others for a while, I renew my commitments. My priorities are clearer. I feel hope. Instead of feeling, "oh f**k I can't do this one more day", I feel "OK! My life is great! I miss my family! I can do this!" And that is something I feel my family, including me, deserves.
Thanks for speaking up everyone and thanks for the practical suggestions. I think I may try a couple of one then two night aways. I probably won't leave for longer than 2 nights until she's 2 years old. No matter how it happens, I am going to mourn when she weans. I will continue to think about this, but am probably going to operate on the assumption that if she weans at 2, she was ready. She might go before that - she's an independent girl. I think she knows what she wants and for the most part gets it, so I'll try to be secure in that.post #32 of 491/25/12 at 1:46pm
I don't think being with your nursling is martydom. It's a short period of time in your life that can be enjoyed so much that you don't even want to go away all night without your nursling. Women are misled to believe that they need or deserve time away from their nursling. Mothers can be happy and take care of themselves without leaving their nursling for more than a few hours. The idea that there is a need for some kind of balance away from nurslings is a myth.
Women haven't had help with raising their children in the US for generations, if ever. Because of the way the US was settled and values in the US (capitalism, individualism, nuclear families) women have never had the kind of support women typically get raising their children in more traditional societies. Since we have cars and computers we can form support systems online and in our communities. Few mothers live in situations where they have to stay home alone all day with their children and only have their husband to talk to. I recently moved to Las Vegas and I could do something with different toddler groups every day with my grandson. There are "moms only" outings that only last a couple of hours (bowling, night clubs, happy hour, concerts, hiking, are some of the ones I've noticed). I'm involved with adult groups 3-4 days a week. When my kids were young I had lots of friends and we did things with other mothers and their children most days. If there aren't any groups where you live it is easy to form one on Meetup.post #33 of 491/25/12 at 2:28pmThread Starter
I don't think being with my nursling is martyrdom, either. I am committed heart and soul. But I also don't think that grandparenting is anything like parenting. Furthermore, every person from a previous generation that I've ever talked to about parenting, with the exception of my war-refugee grandmother-in-law, had WAY MORE HELP with parenting, in various forms, than most attachment-style parents I know. Not like in other more traditional societies, but more than now.
And finally,Quote:Women are misled to believe that they need or deserve time away from their nursling. Mothers can be happy and take care of themselves without leaving their nursling for more than a few hours.
I find this creepy. Is this some kind of bizarre right wing agenda remark?post #34 of 491/25/12 at 2:57pm
I went away for three days when my son was 16 months old and it did spell the beginning of the end. But it didn't do so because I left, it did so because I left without a pump.
My aunt was dying. They were supposed to take her off the vent that morning. I went to see her before going to work. I worked an hour from home and my aunt lived another 30 minutes still further. Once I got to the hospital I found that due to miscommunications and other issues they wouldn't be taking her off of the vent. I visitited again after work, I ended up staying the night with another aunt so I could be there to catch the doctor on 5am rounds. This went on for 3 days before the call was made to take her off of the vent. I then stayed and held her hand while she passed away. I don't regret it for a minute and would do it again in a heart beat. But I would take a pump.
I had planned on being home at my regular time that evening. I was to the point where I no longer pumped at work and so hadn't taken a pump. I hand expressed what I could but it wasn't enough and my milk supply suffered and my son lost interest in nursing as often.
I went out of town when my daughter was 15 months old and remembered to take my pump. I had a lot of fun and didn't hurt our nursing relationship in the least.
So I say go, have fun. But take a pump with you.
Edited by JollyGG - 1/25/12 at 3:59pmpost #35 of 491/25/12 at 3:43pmpost #36 of 491/25/12 at 5:31pm
Joining the conversation a bit late here - but with another story of a 18-24 month old left for a week without damaging the nursing relationship. Not mine - I haven't left my DS overnight - but my friend left her 18 month old for a week away and she weaned at 2 years old with mother-led weaning, and then a while later she left her next child at 19 months old for 5 days, and that child weaned at 28 months with mother-led weaning. She felt that a week was too long after the first time.
She said is was CRUCIAL to pump, so whatever you do remember to pump so you don't get mastitis!post #37 of 491/25/12 at 7:36pmQuote:Originally Posted by foreverinbluejeans
I don't think being with your nursling is martydom. It's a short period of time in your life that can be enjoyed so much that you don't even want to go away all night without your nursling.
It can be...
Women are misled to believe that they need or deserve time away from their nursling.
Who is misleading moms that feel the need or deserve time away? If a woman decides she wants time away, she was misled because she really doesn't?
Mothers can be happy and take care of themselves without leaving their nursling for more than a few hours.
Yes, this can be true also.
The idea that there is a need for some kind of balance away from nurslings is a myth.
This is a lie and it's perpetuation is why I think more and more mom's seem to be dealing with guilt.
I believe the OP explained herself beautifully a few posts up. I am very happy to see a kinder, gentler MDC. I think there's still a long way to go. There are ways to feel strongly about what you believe in and still not be judgmental. It kills me to see you, FIBJ, spout this stuff like it's scientific. IT HURTS MOTHERS! Stop piling on...help her with her dilemma. I know when my babies were little, my mother would often say "That never happened when you were little. Why don't they STTN?" or something similar. After a few discussions, she realized that it might be possible that she didn't quite remember everything that happened when I was a baby. Maybe we forget some of the crappy parts.
This has made the rounds on Facebook but it's awesome and I hope you all take the time to read it: http://momastery.com/blog/2012/01/04/2011-lesson-2-dont-carpe-diem/post #38 of 491/26/12 at 12:11amQuote:Originally Posted by foreverinbluejeans
I don't think being with your nursling is martydom. It's a short period of time in your life that can be enjoyed so much that you don't even want to go away all night without your nursling. Women are misled to believe that they need or deserve time away from their nursling.
Nursing women deserve to be happy, have adult relationships, maintain friendships, and experience life just as much as anyone else. Extended breastfeeding is great, and much more doable if you have opportunities to spend time away or have a little time to yourself.
Mothers can be happy and take care of themselves without leaving their nursling for more than a few hours. The idea that there is a need for some kind of balance away from nurslings is a myth.
Women haven't had help with raising their children in the US for generations, if ever. Because of the way the US was settled and values in the US (capitalism, individualism, nuclear families) women have never had the kind of support women typically get raising their children in more traditional societies. Since we have cars and computers we can form support systems online and in our communities. ;Few mothers live in situations where they have to stay home alone all day with their children and only have their husband to talk to.
I recently moved to Las Vegas and I could do something with different toddler groups every day with my grandson. There are "moms only" outings that only last a couple of hours (bowling, night clubs, happy hour, concerts, hiking, are some of the ones I've noticed). I'm involved with adult groups 3-4 days a week. When my kids were young I had lots of friends and we did things with other mothers and their children most days. If there aren't any groups where you live it is easy to form one on Meetup.
The last bolded part just shows me how much you generalize about so many people that you know nothing about. Believe it or not, most of the United States is made up of rural areas and small towns. There are A LOT of us who are extremely isolated from like minded people and no amount of Meetup groups are going to change that. The Meetup group here where I live is made up of moms who are all in their early 20's, bottle feed, spank, and smoke with their kids in the car. Not really the group I can relate to, not the people I want to spend my time with, and not the folks I want my kiddos around. I started my own- I got one response. A women who linked me to the already formed meetup group. I drive an hour to take my kid to playgroup once a week. Thankfully, I have friends where I live because I knew them before i moved here, but if I'd had to move here for something like a job transfer I wouldnt have known anyone.
Not everyone lives in a plave like Vegas. The nearest bowling alley to me is a 80 minute drive. The nearest night club, bar, or dance spot that Id want to go to is an hour away and then what? Im supposed to have a few drinks and drive home? Cab it an hour (at the cost of over $100, not to mention that the local townships dont have cabs so its not like I could go somewhere around here and grab a cab home)? Not to mention the fact that some of us had friends before we ever had kids. Not all of us want to sit around and go to Meetups and play mommy all day every single day and never ever hang out with the people that helped form the person that Ive become. If I want to go out and have a few drinks with my best girlfriend who is kidless, its an hour away from my house and I have to spend the night over or just not have a drink.
I feel like its really easy to have a "what, you can just spend a couple of hours away" attitude when you live in a big city and there are playgroups galore and multiple sources of entertainment at your fingertips. Many of us have chosen to live in small communities and in rural environments or on farms. So, I guess that means we shouldnt ever get to see anyone for longer than an hour or two until after we are all done nursing. By then all my old friends will be long gone....post #39 of 491/26/12 at 4:11ampost #40 of 491/26/12 at 6:46amQuote:Originally Posted by Adaline'sMama
I feel like its really easy to have a "what, you can just spend a couple of hours away" attitude when you live in a big city and there are playgroups galore and multiple sources of entertainment at your fingertips. Many of us have chosen to live in small communities and in rural environments or on farms. So, I guess that means we shouldnt ever get to see anyone for longer than an hour or two until after we are all done nursing. By then all my old friends will be long gone....
I have a lifetime of connections to people, many of whom are now dispersed around the country and the world. Extended family, cousins, uncles, good friends. People I lived with like brothers and sisters for years, before I had kids.
Those human connections are *important*. Incredibly important. It's vital to us as human beings to cultivate and nurture those relationships. Those are the people who provide moral and emtional supports that we cannot ask of our children. It is developmentally inappropriate -- it can even be abusive -- to expect your young children to provide for your adult emotional needs in the way an adult friend can.
Sometimes that cultivation can happen with the kids present. But as someone else said -- it's hard to reach a deeper level of human connection when half your attention is always on the other side of the room making sure your preschooler isn't about to stick a fork in an electrical socket.
Yes, the connection with your children is vitally important. But it will not be harmed by taking a short break to maintain connections with your peers. It's shortsighted and personally damaging to let all real, deep adult relationships wither on the vine, sacrificed on the altar of motherhood.
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