Tandem nursing, DH, making me question...everything - Page 2 - Mothering Forums
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#31 of 58 Old 11-09-2009, 02:24 AM - Thread Starter
 
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A few months later...dd is down to 2-3 nursings a day. Not her choice. It seems like all I can manage. She is less and less disappointed when I say no. I feel bad for her. She has begun to rely on her Dad and grandma more, which for some reason really kills me. She has never fallen asleep at night without me until tonight. She nursed then started to play around, then asked to nurse again. I said no. Somewhere in there the baby woke and needed to nurse, so I told dd she needed to be still or go to her bed. She said, "you're right, I think I'll go to my bed." She has never slept in her own bed. When I finished nursing the baby, she was asleep in her bed next to her dad who was reading. I was furious. Something about feeling like all I am is a pair of boobs. Why couldn't she fall asleep next to me like that?

I feel such overwhelming loss.
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#32 of 58 Old 11-09-2009, 04:48 AM
 
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I haven't read all the responses but I just wanted to send *hugs*! I'm tandem feeding my 3.5 year old and 5 month old. The aversion to feeding DD was horrific for the first 3 - 4 Months. I had to limit DD (to wake up and bedtime only) for her own safety, it was that awful. I also can't feed both of them at the same time, the sensation makes me want to throw both of them at the wall. Thankfully I was reassured by more experienced tandem mamas that the aversion would fade with time and I'm here to tell you they were right It's still there but nowhere near as bad.
More hugs to you, it's a really tough time!

grateful Mama to DD May '06 and DS May '09
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#33 of 58 Old 11-09-2009, 09:41 AM
 
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I'm here to offer a and to add support to the idea that it will get better. I tandem nursed my first two dds, who are just under 3 yrs apart. It was very hard for me, too, and I had to limit my older one quite a bit in order to stay sane. And yes, I felt bad about it when she started preferring Daddy to me. But it's good for us to remember that babies do think of Mommy as the "boob parent" and obviously nobody else plays that role for them. Daddy has other tools in his parenting toolkit, and finally he's getting to use them with your dd.

I shed a lot of tears over the slow but emotionally painful weaning of my older dd; my poetry and journal entries about it reflect my own ambivalence at the time. She did stick with nursing until age 4.5, though (gradually going more and more days between sessions), so yours may do the same. Now that we have several years behind us and I'm nursing a new baby, she is proud of her long time as a nursling and has no memory of my occasional surly refusals or other conflicts between us. She's also very understanding of the new baby's needs.

Try to take heart and just take one day at a time. Pat yourself on the back every time you get through a day without her being upset about a nursing issue (even if you are internally feeling bad about it), because her memories are likely to be very positive and your sad feelings will fade with time.

DD1 (Oct 99), DD2 (Sep 02), DD3 (Oct 09)
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#34 of 58 Old 11-09-2009, 09:50 AM
 
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Originally Posted by ZoraP View Post
Pat yourself on the back every time you get through a day without her being upset about a nursing issue (even if you are internally feeling bad about it), because her memories are likely to be very positive and your sad feelings will fade with time.
From someone who is still somewhat in the trenches (see my previous post), this is great! Thanks
OP - those days do gradually become more frequent as I'm discovering

grateful Mama to DD May '06 and DS May '09
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#35 of 58 Old 11-09-2009, 04:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks to you both. I have begun to feel like I am mentally ill with my internal responses to this situation. Your candor has helped immensely. One just doesn't hear about this aspect of child rearing. Everyone acts like they have it all together. The tandem nursing things I had read made it seem so lovely with the kids touching each other sweetly and all while being nourished. WTF! :-)

I have NO nursing support, particularly CLW nursing support, so it is just hard as hell to feel so negative and have no one to talk to about it and feeling like I've just done things all wrong. My mom and DH think I should have weaned dd years ago, so they just have this sort of distaste/I-told-you-so thing going on and they don't even know what its like for me.

My dd is almost 4 and my ds is almost 6 mo. now. I am working toward leaving my dd with tender feelings about nursing instead of resentful feelings of unfulfilled desire, and its hard, hard work.
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#36 of 58 Old 11-13-2009, 04:03 PM
 
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You know, I am not convinced that it is better to tandem in every case. I think it is pretty normal for moms throughout the mammal world to wean an older baby when they feel wrong about the nursing (creepy physical feelings or emotional feelings), and I think they are biologically/psychologically outfitted to handle it. In fact, I think more babies coming along is one of the natural forces that creates more maturity in older kids, and I don't think that is a bad thing at all. Especially if they can begin to form stronger relationships with a dad or other close family member.

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#37 of 58 Old 11-14-2009, 08:50 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Bluegoat. Nice thoughts. Thank you. I've wondered about this aspect.
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#38 of 58 Old 11-16-2009, 03:32 PM
 
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Like so many of the other moms pointed out, you're not alone! I've had many of the same feelings tandem nursing my 4 year old and 16 month old. I've even posted today that I was so frustrated that I told DD no more nursing after her b-day in March. We'll see....

It's great that we can support each other since it's hard to find other moms who understand. I don't have the answer either, but know you aren't alone!

Mom to my sweet girls Lily (3/14/05) and Miriam (7/10/08) , wife to Scott.
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#39 of 58 Old 11-25-2009, 08:24 PM
 
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Just coming to post something similar.
Glad I'm not alone.

Wife of Michael , SAHM to Aristotle 09/99 Raphael 06/07 and Marius 05/09 Known only in dreams but never forgotten: Euphrates Decluttering 290/2010
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#40 of 58 Old 12-21-2009, 10:33 AM
 
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I hadn't noticed this when I posted last time.
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Originally Posted by eko_mom View Post
Sisteeesmama, you are right. Its all mental work. My dd was going to sleep tonight and said to me that she couldn't get Nemo out of her brain. (We accidentally watched it and it scared her, duh) I told her that she is in charge of her brain and tells it what to think about...then I immediately realized that I am in charge of my brain too. I have been taken by surprise.

Really happy this board is here. No where else to turn.

Thank you all.
We watched Nemo at my mother's house when DD was 2.5 (we don't have a tv) and it scared her too. I've never come across another parent, even a tv-free one who could understand it's a scary movie.

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Originally Posted by eko_mom View Post
Thanks to you both. I have begun to feel like I am mentally ill with my internal responses to this situation. Your candor has helped immensely. One just doesn't hear about this aspect of child rearing. Everyone acts like they have it all together. The tandem nursing things I had read made it seem so lovely with the kids touching each other sweetly and all while being nourished. WTF! :-)
WTF indeed!

Quote:
My dd is almost 4 and my ds is almost 6 mo. now. I am working toward leaving my dd with tender feelings about nursing instead of resentful feelings of unfulfilled desire, and its hard, hard work.
Thanks for these words. I need to work on the same thing (we are definitely in resentful territory atm )

grateful Mama to DD May '06 and DS May '09
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#41 of 58 Old 12-21-2009, 04:24 PM
 
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Ekomom

I don't know if this will help but I can share my experience. When I got pg with DS, DD was 15 mo. Totally planned on nursing through pg and tandem nursing. What did not fit into my picture was feelings similar to what you described: a strong revulsion/aversion to DD nursing, or even touching bbs and belly. :0 Not expecting that. In fact now that you mentioned it, I had almost forgotten that it was as much that as that nursing triggered worse m/s during the first tri that made me wean her by 18 months. Not my intention going in at all! Thought I was a bad/non clw/non-attachment parenting mommy! I was very sad and had a lot of mixed feelings about it. Yet could not move past such strong feelings of discomfort to meet her needs. Heartbreaking for me. So at the time I also regretted (almost) being pg when DD was so young, thought I should have waited longer. Felt the sadness and regret but also relief about weaning for the rest of pregnancy. Tried a couple times to reintroduce the breast, only a couple months later but she had 'forgotten how to nurse'. Enter the birth of DS. After the first 3 months, I toyed more with ideas of unweaning DD and eventually tried it. It worked! She nursed again. It also worked like a charm to get her to sleep at night when she was having a hard time with sleep. But the workload on me increased, DH got lazy about helping me. Even when we talked about it- for so long he had been sleeping with/ attending to DD's needs at night so I could sleep at last during pg and then nurse the baby after he was born... So he wanted me to be nursing them both to sleep and sometimes this would take a couple hours to where I no longer had my "me time" that I had managed to forge just before bed anymore (that short window when the kids are sleeping but before DS woke for his first nighttime waking). It didn't help that DH was being far less help at night with DS than he had when DD was born. So pretty much I was doing all the night care with DS. Then he was the one who went to DD when she woke at night so that was help. But she only woke occasionally, where DS woke many times a night... suffice it to say I was tired, and sleep depped. Don't mean to complain.

The good news is that we were successful reintroducing the breast to DD. The other piece of it is that it only lasted a few months, again, maybe because I got resentful when DH wanted me to lose my only alone time and nurse them both to sleep every night. Some nights it didn't work, or she woke and needed to nurse again, etc. I am just being honest, so hope I don't seem too selfish... though maybe I was. A tired mommy should know her limits though, to function effectively and not be a grouchy mean mommy. And I saw the way it was going and didn't like how I acted and felt with that. So once again, she weaned, really not very clw, a second time, this time she was
32 months or so. That said, there were times after that, when she was ill for example, that she nursed periodically over the several months after that, but nothing regular. It has now been almost 3 months since her last nurse, and I believe we are done. DS is 13 months and still going strong.

I found your post apt because we are now ttc again, and though DS is almost the age DD was when I got pg with him, he is nursing a lot more than she did at that age. In fact, though we are doing baby led weaning, he hardly eats many solids. So he definitely still relies on nursies for nutrition. Makes me take a pause because I don't want to push DS to wean, or even cut down if m/s gets bad again. Given what you've experienced I should take a second look and maybe wait longer in our case. Funny how when ttc one can have such an amorphous idea of how things'll go but the reality can hit you in the face! Ah the milk brain strikes again. I even really did forget, until you described your situation, and the initial feelings of revulsion, how strong that can be. I know for me it was a factor in weaning DD before either of us wanted to. Given my DS dependency on milk, I may postpone getting pg a bit longer, to next year sometime. Because I thought for sure now that I know what it's like, that I could do tandem nursing next time; through sheer willpower could overcome the feelings I could not surmount last time. Perhaps I should take a second look.

Closing thoughts. I forgot to mention the most relevant piece, which is that another factor in reweaning DD after DS was born, was the feelings of resentment/aversion resurfacing. That definitely influenced me a second time, though I felt horrible about it, and was part of what led me to help her wean a second time. Despite my best intentions. You know what they say about good intentions... Well I did do my best, though to this day feel somewhat sad about the weaning process. It did not go at all as I hoped/expected. And for that, I still have some small regret. I just pray it did not damage DD in some way, starting and stopping to nurse like that. I do know that dD and I do not feel at all as close as we were pre-DS. But maybe some of that is because she is 3 now, and the natural development and growth away from total mommy dependence. I don't know. Or I could be justifying. It still makes me sad. I still entertain thoughts of possibly letting her try to nurse again. I just wouldn't want to do that unless we could do CLW for sure this time, and I have no guarantee of that. Especially if and when we conceive again. I really admire those moms who manage with 2 or more children to tandem. I once met a French woman at a LLL meeting whom I never forgot: she was nursing her 3 DS's: 5yr, 3yr, and 6mo. And made it all seem so easy.

Maybe, despite my principles, I am not disciplined enough to follow through when push comes to shove. If I tried to nurse 3, or even 2 again I am concerned about having the aversive feelings resurface, and lead to weaning a child before their natural time again. I hope that is not true, and wish to plan carefully around the new arrival so that everyone's needs are met (including mommy's!). And that no one is driven insane, but also no one weaned before his time.

Thank you for being so honest about your experiences with this. It helped me to read it and hope something I wrote may have helped you in some small way too.

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#42 of 58 Old 04-26-2010, 06:14 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm the OP. Just wanted to revive this thread because it was so helpful and see if anyone has any further advice. Things have evened out a little for me emotionally regarding aversion to nursing. Not a lot though and I'm wondering if there might be something else wrong with me. I am mostly adverse to nursing my 4.5 y.o. DD. I never want to do it/and yet I want to do it for her. I have to force myself most of the time. We are down to morning upon waking and night to go to sleep. But she wants it all the time. This has created, or is exacerbating a disconnect we are experiencing. She is SUPER needy, and has always been high needs. Before ds, I was able to meet her needs, mostly, but now really can't.

I have the feeling that if I were willing to nurse her on demand again, it would help, but I can't fathom it. I desperately want to regain the pleasant feelings I used to have about nursing her but I can't figure out where they have gone, or how to get positive again. I don't know why I am so overwhelmed with negativity about nursing her. Its sad and I can't find my way out.
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#43 of 58 Old 04-26-2010, 08:08 AM
 
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Hugs. I know how heartbreaking it is to have those feelings.

Me, my Sweetie , DD 1 (Dec 07),  and DD 2 (Dec 09). Co-sleeping, delayed-vaxing, quia Lutherans!
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#44 of 58 Old 04-26-2010, 11:30 AM
 
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eko_mom - First hug hugs to you. It sounds like you are really struggling with this. I do want to say that I think the feelings you are experiencing are normal. No mom wants to nurse their kiddo for ever especially once you have multiple children. I firmly believe that the nursing relationship with a toddler or older child needs to be a mutual one. If one person (either the mom or the kid) wants out, then that need/desire should be respected. If you are so absolutely hating nursing DD then I don't see a reason for you to continue. At 4.5 years old she is definitely not using nursing as a major source of nutrition, rather it is a comfort measure and something that assures her that mom is still there for her. Now, really, if you want to end the nursing you just need to help her figure out that there are other ways to get affection from you (cuddling, reading together, cooking together, etc.). Preferably something that gives her exclusive one on one time with you.

Going back to what Bluegoat said earlier in this thread... it is quite possible that nursing aversion you feel toward your DD is biologically driven (after all, you do have another l.o. who also needs time, attention, and momma milk) and that it is your body and mind's way of facilitating the weaning process. Don't feel guilty or bad about this. You have done really well by DD. Any mom who has nursed for 4.5 should feel damn proud. Please be kind to yourself and respect yourself enough to know when YOU are done. You sound like a good mom and I suspect that you will readily find new ways to give DD the snuggle, cuddles, and love that she needs (it may take her a little while to realize that those other things are just as good, if not better than nursing, but she will. Just give it time. Nursing has been a source of comfort all her life. She needs time to adjust to life without it).
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#45 of 58 Old 04-27-2010, 06:18 PM
 
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I think you should give yourself permission to wean if it is the right thing for your family.
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#46 of 58 Old 05-01-2010, 01:00 AM
 
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I know how you feel. I'm tandem nursing my almost 1 year old and 4.5 year old sons. I too, often have that revulsion to nursing the older DS. He so, so loves to nurse. He's SO happy when he gets to nurse. I've talked about weaning and he is so sad about the thought that someday he won't nurse.

So... I don't feel like he's ready. I don't want him to end this way, with me angry and frustrated because I don't want to nurse him. I want him to come to the end happily and because his need has been met. Right now I'm trying to take it nurse by nurse. I count down from 10 when I can't take it. We only nurse 3x a day (morning, mid day & night).

So, no answers, just I know how it feels.
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#47 of 58 Old 05-01-2010, 05:53 AM - Thread Starter
 
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burm_keep--are you me? Precisely our situation. I am having thoughts of weaning both kids (you know, but not REALLY) because weaning just my dd seems so hard to justify or explain to her....I can't say to her that she doesn't need it anymore, because clearly, for her, that is not true. I've asked her lately when she thinks she'll be done and she says, "maybe when I'm a teenager." Yikes.

I feel bad, having nursed this long to try to make it a good experience for her and it seeming like if I had weaned her long ago when other folks advised me to do it, she'd be less "damaged" by it...I am trying to remember why I wanted to do CLW in the first place and want to feel like its still a good idea even though I am creeped out by it now. It doesn't help that everyone around me, especially if we nursed out in the open which we don't do anymore (and I regret) would be creeped out by it too.

I am worrying about the negative messages I am sending by not wanting to do it for her, not wanting to nurse her in front of people although I am willing to nurse the baby--although that too is waning because he's so wiggly and enormous that its hard to be discreet. Ramble, ramble.
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#48 of 58 Old 05-01-2010, 08:35 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eko_mom View Post
I am worrying about the negative messages I am sending by not wanting to do it for her, not wanting to nurse her in front of people although I am willing to nurse the baby
That's why I stopped nursing our two-year old. I figured that she'd pick up on the negative feelings, and my reactions to her every time she wanted to nurse. I'd originally intended on nursing her as long as she wanted, so this was a shock to both of us to have to go out this way. However, two months later (I think it was around the beginning of March that we stopped), she's a happy kid who doesn't seem to harbour any resentment towards her sister, or me .

Me, my Sweetie , DD 1 (Dec 07),  and DD 2 (Dec 09). Co-sleeping, delayed-vaxing, quia Lutherans!
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#49 of 58 Old 05-03-2010, 01:07 AM
 
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burm_keep--are you me? Precisely our situation. I am having thoughts of weaning both kids (you know, but not REALLY) because weaning just my dd seems so hard to justify or explain to her....I can't say to her that she doesn't need it anymore, because clearly, for her, that is not true. I've asked her lately when she thinks she'll be done and she says, "maybe when I'm a teenager." Yikes.

I feel bad, having nursed this long to try to make it a good experience for her and it seeming like if I had weaned her long ago when other folks advised me to do it, she'd be less "damaged" by it...I am trying to remember why I wanted to do CLW in the first place and want to feel like its still a good idea even though I am creeped out by it now. It doesn't help that everyone around me, especially if we nursed out in the open which we don't do anymore (and I regret) would be creeped out by it too.

I am worrying about the negative messages I am sending by not wanting to do it for her, not wanting to nurse her in front of people although I am willing to nurse the baby--although that too is waning because he's so wiggly and enormous that its hard to be discreet. Ramble, ramble.

I hear you. I worry about sending the wrong message too, especially the nursing in public part. I can nurse the older one in front of our friends, put am uncomfortable in general public.

As everyone says, it IS a two way relationship, and children are resilient. If I get to the point where I am DONE, I think I could drop nursing sessions lowly and my son would come out of it ok. What stops me is those times when I don't feel the bad feelings, the times when I nurse him and see him for what he is, a 4.5 year who's still little, and just seemed to get a whole lot bigger when his baby brother came around.
So one thing that is helping right now is to nurse DS1 while I'm sitting upright - not lying down. Also, only one at a time. I also try to offer the middle of the day nurse to him instead of waiting for him to ask. (His asking seems to be a trigger for me.)
I talk to him, I'm honest with him. I'm trying to do the best I can, but still be true to myself.
You got my support either way.
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#50 of 58 Old 05-03-2010, 03:15 AM
 
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I came here to write a post about how hard a time I am having with tandeming and this thread was on top. This is my situation exactly. My dd will be three in two weeks and my ds is 9.5 months. Since my ds was born I have been agitated almost every time my dd has nursed. She wanted to nurse all the time and absolutely couldn't accept limits. She will accept some limits now, but she still asks all the time and if I tell her it's time to stop (because I can't take it anymore or her brother needs me) she always asks for a tiny bit more..and a tiny bit more...and a tiny bit more. Argh!! I know it's affecting our relationship. I never expected to feel so detached from her. She was my life! Now it's all about the baby. It's good to hear that it's been the same for a lot of you, but are there no answers? I've tried using EFT, flower essences, homeopathy, acupuncture, you name it. Has anyone actually had any success at having the agitation go away? I have told my daughter repeatedly that she will get to decide when she stops nursing, and I am not going to go back on that, but it's driving me insane!!!
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#51 of 58 Old 05-03-2010, 08:08 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Tonight I nursed dd2 to sleep and dd1 for a little while then told her, "that's enough." (I wish for a better phrase.) She looked at me so sweetly, and said, "O.K. How about a 3 minute break? I'll just hug the ninnie." Then she said, "Do you want to imagine a beach?"

That's how I recently told her she can help herself fall asleep. I told her that's what I do to settle myself down sometimes. I said, "Yes! and cuddle a lot too."
We take turns adding elements to this dream place we go. We then had a big wonderful imagination session and she fell asleep.

I wish she didn't have to accept this substitution--because clearly she is doing it to help me feel better, when I feel that I should be the one providing, not taking comfort. But, it has become a wonderful addition to our routine and helps calm me down if I've gotten really agitated. I guess we do the best we can.

I was hoping for some drops, vitamins, mojo to help too...but haven't found anything yet.
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#52 of 58 Old 05-03-2010, 08:37 AM
 
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to all the mamas struggling with tandeming.

I tandemed for 18 months and my aversion to nursing my older child never went away. I gently weaned him (over the course of months), and then things were much better all around.

Also, just generally, parenting two little ones is insanely challenging. Until my kids were really playing together -- at about 16 or 17 months in -- I thought I was losing my mind every single day. It's very, very hard.

coolshine.gif Mama to DS ('06), DD ('08), and DD (9.18.11).

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#53 of 58 Old 05-05-2010, 10:34 AM - Thread Starter
 
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i thought i was losing my mind every single day. It's very, very hard.

amen!
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#54 of 58 Old 05-05-2010, 10:56 AM
 
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I tandem nursed my first two for 2 yrs until I was 6 months pregnant with my 3rd and my oldest dropped his daily nursing sessions and I stopped offering. He was 3 yrs 9 months and I feel I nudged him in the weaning direction but my milk had changed due to pregnancy, as well. Then I tandem nursed the next two for 2 years until my middle child was 4 1/2. We talked about how she was going to be starting Kindergarten and she said that she wouldn't nurse when she was in K and I encouraged that.
Don't you just feel like a twitchy momma cat sometimes?
What helped me not feel so much irritation, and believe me I know what everyone is talking about, is I instituted a "10" to finish up the session. If it wasn't an emergency and I just couldn't continue nursing, I would say "ten more" and then count and the nursling usually counted along with fingers and then unlatched at 10 and said "all done"
I think much of the irritation and annoyance comes from stress and feeling like you're trapped by being attached to the bigger kid who doesn't need you as much when you might have to jump up at any minute to help the needier younger child. That's why I felt that counting to 10 helped me feel there was more structure and more predictability in the nursing session and then I didn't feel so irritated.
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#55 of 58 Old 10-25-2011, 11:48 AM
 
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Bump, because this thread was so helpful to me.  I even printed it to read again as I get limited online time!!!

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#56 of 58 Old 11-10-2011, 11:00 PM
 
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Thank you for bumping. This thread is wonderful.

~Erica~ Married to the love of my life ~ Mama to Nickolas jog.gif6/14/09 and Alexander 8/4/11 and Aiden brokenheart.gifgone too soon at 14 weeks~    
 
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#57 of 58 Old 11-11-2011, 12:44 AM
 
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yes, very helpful to read.  i am about to be tandem nursing with my two-yr old once this baby is born!  intellectually, i'm very ready and anticipatory--but i know that logic is NOt going to be the only thing that sees me thru, heh.  


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#58 of 58 Old 11-26-2011, 07:25 PM
 
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no real help here but i want to let you know i know EXACTLY how you feel. Our children are the exact same ages apart (my DD was 3 years old and 3 months when DS was born).  I am still tandem nursing and DD will turn five in January. And to be honest I HATE WHEN SHE NURSES STILL. HATE IT!!! but i know she needs it emotionally and so i let her nurse during the day for about five minutes at a time around three to five times a day.  I do say "no" to her a lot.  I FINALLY nightweaned her - she was still waking up six times a night to nurse when she was 4.5 years old.  I was losing my mind between her and DS (we cosleep and I admit, I give birth to crappy sleepers...). I know that isn't exactly CLW but damn, I figure it is pretty good! It was actually pretty easy and so I think she was ready. She would just wake up and ask for milk and I would say no. She would cry for less than a minute while I cuddled her and she was back to sleep.  

 

I am not sure when DD will wean. Not anytime soon.  And I wish I knew how to get rid of the horrible feeling when she nurses.  But oddly enough I know I will miss her nursing when she does wean...how is that for conflicted!


Legal Mama to TWO homebirthed, unschooled, unvaxed, cloth diapered, mei tei loving, still breastfeeding baby girl 1/14/07 and an intact 8 pound 10 ouncer baby boy 4/5/10.
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