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#31 of 49 Old 01-24-2012, 09:53 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow everyone.

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.

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#32 of 49 Old 01-25-2012, 01:46 PM
 
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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.     

 

 


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#33 of 49 Old 01-25-2012, 02:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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?

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#34 of 49 Old 01-25-2012, 02:57 PM
 
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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.

 

 


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#35 of 49 Old 01-25-2012, 03:43 PM
 
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Originally Posted by andromedajulie View Post

And finally,

I find this creepy. Is this some kind of bizarre right wing agenda remark?


It sounds like a woman who doesn't know the definitions of the words she uses.  I didn't take it as right wing agenda, but merely an uneducated response.  shrug.gif 

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#36 of 49 Old 01-25-2012, 05:31 PM
 
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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!

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#37 of 49 Old 01-25-2012, 07:36 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foreverinbluejeans View Post

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/

 

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#38 of 49 Old 01-26-2012, 12:11 AM
 
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Originally Posted by foreverinbluejeans View Post

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....

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#39 of 49 Old 01-26-2012, 04:11 AM
 
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I was on MDC when my kids were babies and It was very much the thought that you could not leave your child at all ever... at least that's what I got and I didn't. It did not do me any favors. I burnt out young... it was too much.

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#40 of 49 Old 01-26-2012, 06:46 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adaline'sMama View Post

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....


 

Exactly.  

 

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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#41 of 49 Old 01-26-2012, 08:32 AM
 
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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."
 

Thank you for mentioning that.  I'm one of the older moms here and I am technically a baby boomer, so my generation is more likely to comprise of grandmothers than first time moms.

 

That being said, I'm with the majority here that if this is what the OP needs, then go for it.  I say this as a WOH mom who extended breastfed my DD until she self-weaned at three.  At 18 months, my DD would have been fine for a night or two and my only concern would have been my own supply (which wasn't an issue since I pumped at work anyway).  My breastfeeding relationship certainly didn't end when I went to work, in fact it created a better connection with DD.  She learned to have great relationships with others, but through breastfeeding, our relationship was something special. 


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#42 of 49 Old 01-26-2012, 08:57 AM
 
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Women needing time away from their children is a myth...

 

well, hot damn!  Why didn't anyone tell me!  I feel really guilty now for not wearing the baby in a sling on my back to our once a year anniversary dinner.  I definitely should have turned down the opportunity to go to all 3 of my best friends' bachelorette parties, because it could have ruined our nursing relationship.  And the opportunity to go on a mini-honeymoon for a couple days (I was pg and didn't want to travel far plus $$ was a big factor when we got married) to the mountains; surely I shouldn't have gone.  And I <gasp> worked too!

 

How we ever made it to nursing until she was 4 years old, I'll never know.  I pretty much threw the kid to the wolves.

 

 

Foreverinbluejeans, thank you for showing me the light.  Next kid, I'll be sure to never, ever leave them.  I can't go on with perpetuating this "alone time" myth any longer.

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#43 of 49 Old 01-26-2012, 09:51 AM
 
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Wow, some interesting debate here....I am a SAHM who has been nursing two kids for the past 4.5 years, my second is 19 months old currently and I am returning to grad school in the fall to pursue my dream of becoming a conservation biologist--a dream I detoured from when I got pregnanct with my first and went on to home birth, extended BF, co-sleep, cloth diaper, babywear and all things AP. I am really excited to "do me" again. I truly am. But it is bittwersweet as I know the time away (and a 4 week internship studying great whites and whales and dolphins in South Africa) will probably spell the end of my breast feeding adventures. It is a very difficult reality to face, the end of an era really (although I hope he doesn't wean!) but through this thought process I am examining the value of "letting go", I do feel for some reason, that breastfeeding has become so important to me and I identify with it so much, that I am scared to let go of it out of fear of the unknown--life with my kiddos without the comfort of my breasts! This may start a new chapter in our relationships together for sure and I am nervous about embarking on that path...just thought I would share my thoughts and ideas about the breastfeeding elements of our mothering...I do believe we need to strike some sort of balance, I was a person before my children with big goals that I want to share with my children and inspire them with. I hope that if I sacrifice nursing for this other part of me that it will be well worth it. I did give them 5 years of my life, blood, sweat and tears. Learning to let go can be a challenge and a reward... 

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#44 of 49 Old 01-26-2012, 10:38 AM
 
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You should have just brought your baby to the bachelorette parties! What better way for a woman to get excited about her future married life and potential family than seeing how great it is to never leave your kids more than an hour, no matter what, until they're in high school! I'm sure she'd be SO excited to breastfeed.
 

Quote:
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Women needing time away from their children is a myth...

 

well, hot damn!  Why didn't anyone tell me!  I feel really guilty now for not wearing the baby in a sling on my back to our once a year anniversary dinner.  I definitely should have turned down the opportunity to go to all 3 of my best friends' bachelorette parties, because it could have ruined our nursing relationship.  And the opportunity to go on a mini-honeymoon for a couple days (I was pg and didn't want to travel far plus $$ was a big factor when we got married) to the mountains; surely I shouldn't have gone.  And I <gasp> worked too!

 

How we ever made it to nursing until she was 4 years old, I'll never know.  I pretty much threw the kid to the wolves.

 

 

Foreverinbluejeans, thank you for showing me the light.  Next kid, I'll be sure to never, ever leave them.  I can't go on with perpetuating this "alone time" myth any longer.



 

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#45 of 49 Old 01-26-2012, 10:55 AM
 
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You should have just brought your baby to the bachelorette parties! What better way for a woman to get excited about her future married life and potential family than seeing how great it is to never leave your kids more than an hour, no matter what, until they're in high school! I'm sure she'd be SO excited to breastfeed.
 



 


As Tina Fey mentions in her book;  according to Mothering Magazine, you shouldn't wean until the rehearsal dinner.....I see that following the same logic. :)

 


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#46 of 49 Old 09-26-2012, 09:35 AM
 
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I'm not surprised that the one person on here who seems to think alone-time is a shameful, unnecessary luxury has adult children.

 

Here's a link that might help: http://forums.llli.org/showthread.php?99856-Trip-away-from-nursing-toddler

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#47 of 49 Old 09-27-2012, 03:21 PM
 
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I had to be away from my daughter about that age for two days (giving birth). She nursed just fine after and it was like it never happened.

 

I have a pact with my sister that when my DS is 3 we will go away for a long weekend to a spa. He is just over 12 months and so independent I am wondering if I might to get to go when he is 2 instead!

 

I was getting stressed out of my mind last week.. sleep deprivation with nursing two was driving me insane. I read a Naomi Aldort article and started going to sleep with them by 9 (they go to sleep late) and not stressing about dishes etc. I am like a new person. So you might want to do that too!

 

I totally support a little mommy break though to just get your mind and body back a little more back to normal.

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#48 of 49 Old 09-27-2012, 04:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi Ladies,

 

Since this thread was resurrected, I thought I'd post an update.


First of all, thanks to the overwhelming majority of you who spoke up for the importance of Mom's mental health and well being!

 

In August, shortly after my LO turned 2, I went away for a week with my sister. I was very nervous, despite the fact that DH has a very strong bond with her and is quite capable. I had a wonderful time. I slept. I was taken care of. After a few days, I realized I didn't have to hold it together to take care of anyone and so I could cry, and talk, and then start laughing. I could be myself, and start to think about my life and talk things through with my dearest friend. I'm perimenopausal here, so I have stuff going on too! It was great.

 

I pumped daily. Very little came out and I was prepared for the nursing to be a problem when I returned. But my LO jumped on that wagon the minute I got home and didn't miss a beat! She began nursing just as she had before. I am incredibly grateful mostly to my DH who took precious vacation time to stay home with her, but also to my inlaws who helped him at times he had to work. And she was a champ - she really learned at that point the lesson that "mommy always comes back!!!" and now she KNOWS it.

 

I'm back home and loving/hating the job as usual. I love my family and want to be around them most of the time. But I loved my chance to recharge my batteries, and I'm lucky that it was a positive experience for my LO and her daddy too.

 

Thanks everyone!

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#49 of 49 Old 09-27-2012, 04:19 PM
 
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I haven't read any of the other posts, but I just went away for 2.5 nights for work and left my 18 month old with my husband.  He was all over booby when I got home yesterday.  I pumped ~4 times during the days I was gone, but did not pump at all during the night (he still nurses at night).  I still pump at work during the day, and did not get as much today as I typically do, but I'm assuming that's temporary.  Good luck.
 

ETA:  I just saw your response...so glad that everything worked out and that you're recharged!!


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