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Thread: Mixed feelings?

  1. #1
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    Default Mixed feelings?

    My DS is 11 months now. I love nursing him and he loves to nurse, and we've had a pretty easy go of it, no major problems. I have planned on nursing into toddlerhood but just the last week or two, have been surprised by some mixed feelings about nursing popping up. I look at him and think he's getting SO BIG! He doesn't really look like a baby anymore. He's days away from walking (I think) and has a few words already. Once a couple nights ago while I was nursing him to sleep, I looked down at his face and realized he looks nothing like the little baby he once was. It made me feel a little...uncomfortable with nursing him. Since then, I've had moments of great tenderness while nursing, either when he's falling asleep peacefully in my arms or while he's doing something super-cute like nursing standing on one foot I've also had a couple more moments of irritation or feeling squicked-out, like he's getting too big for this. I know nursing is still very important to my DS emotionally, as well as nutritionally, so I have no plans to stop abruptly and just need to find a way to adjust my feelings. I guess I just wonder if anybody else has dealt with mixed feelings about nursing a toddler? I really haven't had any ambivalence about nursing up until now, even in the early days where he seemingly did nothing but nurse, I always enjoyed it. So I'm surprised to be feeling this way Is this normal? Will it go away? I know nursing is very important to DS emotionally, it's important bonding time for us, and it's still important nutritionally since he isn't that great with solids, so I'm going to continue. I also think I might be heartbroken if he did wean suddenly...I still love nursing him, it's just more ambivalent now than it used to be.

    I also wonder if the ambivalence that I'm picking up from DH has something to do with my feelings...he has been supportive of me nursing into toddlerhood and hopefully letting DS self-wean (if he does it by an age we're both comfortable with) but recently he expressed that 'it will be nice when he weans' because then 'they'll be mine again' (referring to my breasts). He says he knows continuing to nurse is best for DS, so he's fine with it, but he is hoping he'll self-wean before age 2 (not sure how likely this is) because he's looking forward to having my breasts back to himself! Anyone dealt with this from their husband/partner, and if so, how did you deal with it? Thanks in advance!
    First-time mama to Joshua, 10/29/11. 29 months and going strong! for 14 months; now finished with pump weaning!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Mixed feelings?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*joshuas.mommy View Post
    My DS is 11 months now. I love nursing him and he loves to nurse, and we've had a pretty easy go of it, no major problems. I have planned on nursing into toddlerhood but just the last week or two, have been surprised by some mixed feelings about nursing popping up. I look at him and think he's getting SO BIG! He doesn't really look like a baby anymore. He's days away from walking (I think) and has a few words already. Once a couple nights ago while I was nursing him to sleep, I looked down at his face and realized he looks nothing like the little baby he once was. It made me feel a little...uncomfortable with nursing him. Since then, I've had moments of great tenderness while nursing, either when he's falling asleep peacefully in my arms or while he's doing something super-cute like nursing standing on one foot I've also had a couple more moments of irritation or feeling squicked-out, like he's getting too big for this. I know nursing is still very important to my DS emotionally, as well as nutritionally, so I have no plans to stop abruptly and just need to find a way to adjust my feelings. I guess I just wonder if anybody else has dealt with mixed feelings about nursing a toddler? I really haven't had any ambivalence about nursing up until now, even in the early days where he seemingly did nothing but nurse, I always enjoyed it. So I'm surprised to be feeling this way Is this normal? Will it go away? I know nursing is very important to DS emotionally, it's important bonding time for us, and it's still important nutritionally since he isn't that great with solids, so I'm going to continue. I also think I might be heartbroken if he did wean suddenly...I still love nursing him, it's just more ambivalent now than it used to be.

    I also wonder if the ambivalence that I'm picking up from DH has something to do with my feelings...he has been supportive of me nursing into toddlerhood and hopefully letting DS self-wean (if he does it by an age we're both comfortable with) but recently he expressed that 'it will be nice when he weans' because then 'they'll be mine again' (referring to my breasts). He says he knows continuing to nurse is best for DS, so he's fine with it, but he is hoping he'll self-wean before age 2 (not sure how likely this is) because he's looking forward to having my breasts back to himself! Anyone dealt with this from their husband/partner, and if so, how did you deal with it? Thanks in advance!
    I am right there with you momma!!! My DH doesn't say a lot, but he is clear at times that he thinks it's time to quit. He knows better than to push that on me...but there are times when I am just "touched out" and need my own personal space. Especially when I have another almost here. I don't really want to wean, but I also don't really want to tandem nurse. I would like to be able to be more selective about when he nurses..ya know? My DS needs it too emotionally... of course he is 25 months and eats well - so I understand your concerns are more than emotional.

    As far as how you feel... it might help for you to remember just how little he is still. He is very much a baby and will be for another year or so. I look at my DS and see him getting so big, but at the same time, I still see him as a baby. I think if he were able to talk clearly and articulate well, act like an older child, I may not see him as such a baby. But really.. if you still enjoy those moments - don't lose them. There will be a day all too soon when that little guy won't want to curl up in his momma's lap and cuddle like they do when they nurse. I know for myself, I will sorely miss that .

    Also, are you the only one in your circle that is nursing or nursed? Maybe the only one that is considering nursing over a year? I know that makes things difficult too. I tend to not talk about the fact that we still nurse unless I know my crowd - cause those who don't understand can be quite brutal in their judgement.
    FT working momma to a 9/11/10 busy boy and 11/13/12 happy little man.
    Also wife to hubs since 8/23/08, bonus momma to H (girl) -99 and G (boy)-03

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Mixed feelings?

    I am wondering if your period is on its way back. Also, have you been around any 2 year olds lately? Any 4 year olds? An 11 month old is still very much a baby.
    Tracie

    Mommy to
    Lilah 10/08 nursed 25 months
    Beatrix 01/11 nursed 30 months

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Mixed feelings?

    Well 1st of all a one year old who isn't walking IS NOT a toddler. One year olds are absolutely still babies. And I wonder if you would take a lovey, a blanket or favorite toy that you know brings comfort away from your 1 year old? Because it's like that times a MILLION. Sure we all have ambivilence. And the great thing about the 2nd year is as your child starts amping up solids you will be able to begin to place limits on your nursing relationship. But to take this part of your relationship away from someone who does not yet even have any words to understand it....I can't really think of any word for that other than cruel. And it will really probably amp up here in the next month or so when his 1st year molars break. So I urge you to have empathy with your baby. He is going to be in constant pain for 4-6 weeks and once he actually does start to walk, the crawl-back-up-your-vagina separation anxiety is going to set in because when babies really realize that they are separate people from their mothers it can be very overwhelming.
    In terms of you DH, sure lots of women have men who are under the mistaken impression that things will somehow go back to "the way they were" but the truth is....it doesn't happen. Even when you wean, you will still ALSO be a mother. And your child will have love and affection for your breast long after he weans. Because all he sees them as it a source of love and comfort. That is all he ever will see them as. So your feelings of being squicked out come from our society. There is nothing weird or sexual about nursing your child no matter how much longer he does it. And I think in terms of your DH, just throw it more. Most men who are complaining about nursing or are feeling territorial about breasts (ATE) usually are doing so because they are feeling neglected. You know what makes that stop? More sex. You know what else? Oral Sex. So take 1 or 2 or 4 for the team. Your team. Team family. Because you are a duel purposed women from here on in. You have to be able to meet the needs of BOTH OF THEM for it all to work. And you can do it. We promise.

    Way too lazy for formula

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Mixed feelings?

    Thank you all for reinforcing that he is still a baby...he's growing up too fast for my liking He's just very different than he was at 3 months, or 6 months. I'm feeling sad about the fact that he'll be a year soon and in my mind, 'babyhood' is over and I've missed too much of it working (and I have to work extra hard for the next few weeks, so I'm missing him more than usual ). I'm just a mess of ambivalence...one minute I look at him and think how big he is, the next minute I'm feeling sad about pump-weaning and anxious at the thought of my milk supply diminishing. A mess, yes, that's what I am these days

    5ofus--yes, nobody I know has nursed (much) past a year. My mom nursed me until 14 months but I was down to one feeding a day by a year. My son still nurses anywhere from 5-12 times per day, depending on how much I'm home, how much he wakes at night, etc. My MIL weaned DH at 10 months. Most of our other family members nursed for a year or less, and my friends and coworkers all nursed a much shorter time (like 6 months or less) so I think I'm feeling like what I'm embarking on is a bit 'out there' even though biologically, it's normal.

    mommy2lilah--I got my period back a few months ago, then nothing since. Maybe it's on it's way back again, I don't know. Would help explain these hormonal mood swings I'm having.

    dj's mom--I'm not going to wean now. I'm not taking this away from my son. All I'm doing is acknowledging my own feelings and asking if others have felt the same way. He has been teething like crazy the past few days and separation anxiety is in full-swing (has been for a month or two) with him wanting to be held constantly (except when he's cruising) and never wanting to be put down. I hope it doesn't ramp up any more, I don't even know what 'more' would look like! DH could possibly be feeling neglected, I guess, though I think our frequency has been pretty good lately. I think the issue is more that both of us treat my breasts as 'off limits' during sex and have ever since DS was born. DH is afraid of 'milking' me and ruining the mood but he misses getting his play time in with them, too. I guess I can encourage him to just relax about possible milk spraying and go ahead. That might solve that part of the issue.
    First-time mama to Joshua, 10/29/11. 29 months and going strong! for 14 months; now finished with pump weaning!

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Mixed feelings?

    Do you think you could be pregnant?

    I hadn't started having skin-crawling feelings when nursing Trixie until the last week or so. It seems to be related to my period for me, although I have had it back for several months. I try to end a session faster if I'm feeling yucked out by it. It has nothing to do with how big she is, or how old. I had that happen really severely in my third trimester with Beatrix when Lilah was nursing, and so I weaned her. I know it was hormonal then and the mild skin-crawlies I'm getting now are hormonal.

    In the marital intimacy department - I don't like it when DH touches the gals. After almost 4 years of nursing two kids, he knows better than to complain about it. There were things that seemed more important to my DH with Lilah that aren't so important with Trixie and I think it's the benefit of time. Right now you guys think your little guy is such a big boy, but he isn't really.

    I'm lucky in that most of my friends that nursed their kids all nursed to 18 months or 2 years old, so that didn't seem odd to me. And my 20 month old is still such a baby, even though she's walking and talking and stringing three words together.
    Tracie

    Mommy to
    Lilah 10/08 nursed 25 months
    Beatrix 01/11 nursed 30 months

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Mixed feelings?

    Also as long as he isn't sucking vigorously....I feel like after the year point there wasn't much chance of "spray"....I feel like after the year point there could be much more breast play.

    Way too lazy for formula

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Mixed feelings?

    Thanks for the frank talk on the marital issue I was embarrassed to bring it up, but appreciate your advice.

    No, I certainly don't think I'm pregnant...I have an IUD, so not likely. Could be my period on its way, though. Really I think it's more that I'm getting influenced by the social messages around me...as I mentioned, nobody I know has nursed much past a year. I'm going to have to find a way to either hide the fact that we're still nursing or deal with people's reactions...I'm beginning to be embarrassed for other people to know we still nurse. We were down by the pool this weekend, I'd nursed DS 30 minutes before and was feeding him some hummus poolside and he started to tug at my bikini top. Since I knew he wasn't hungry, I told him 'not now' and DH made a joke to another mom who we'd just met about how DS had had some hummus, now he was ready for his 'real food' (i.e., nursing) and I was embarrassed, since she obviously wasn't still nursing her baby. She wasn't rude about it but I'm sure some people would be. I realize it's a good thing we're still nursing, but it's certainly not the norm, and as I'm sure you know, you get some raised eyebrows. Have to find a way to deal with that, or just avoid the subject around people who won't be supportive (i.e., nearly everyone).
    First-time mama to Joshua, 10/29/11. 29 months and going strong! for 14 months; now finished with pump weaning!

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Mixed feelings?

    hi mama. i think djsmom is right about talking to your dh and encouraging him to be intimate while being honest about your breasts/milk. i would also say talk to him about bringing it up in public. just that youd feel more comfortable if he left it up to you when to bring it up, just because you dont feel like talking to everyone about it. some people are not very supportive.

    i think it is normal to have new feelings swell up as we enter any new stage of our lives, esp one that is not openly displayed/discussed in our culture.

    im still nursing my 20 month old and right around that first year mark i think a lot of people expected me to stop, like they thought it was long enough. but the relationship means so much to my son. it means so much to me too really. so when people would ask i would tell them we were still nursing and occasionally i still bring it up, but overall i kind of keep quiet about it.

    honestly i know its what he needs. i just look to him and remember what nursing means to us. not every session is great, sometimes it is frustrating, but overall its what he needs and i want to give that to him.

    and its great that you are really thinking about what your feelings are and where they stem from, that's a wonderful thing.

    this is a great place for the support we need.
    Last edited by @llli*mtmama; October 2nd, 2012 at 06:28 PM.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Mixed feelings?

    Definitely normal to have mixed emotions about nursing, especially as time wears on and your baby transitions to being a toddler. I sometimes feel super-irritated by my 2 year-old's nursing habits! Those feelings of irritation and of being "squicked out" tend to come and go, though. Some days I look down at my nursing toddler and think "Awww, it goes so fast, look how sweet she is" and sometimes I think "Get. Off. Me."

    One nice thing about toddler nursing is that you can set limits. As your kid's language skills improve, you'll be able to communicate things to him like "Not now, wait until we get to the car" or "Not at the pool, why don't you go splash with Daddy?" or "You can nurse, but only until I count to five". And as his dependence on your milk decreases, you'll be able to offer snacks or sippies when you want to distract baby from the breast.

    When it comes to the marital issue of "I can't wait until they are all mine again", I get that, too. And then I look my DH in the eye and say "No, I can't wait until they are MINE again". IMO, a woman's breasts are HER property, and men need to get over themselves! That being said, try wearing a cute bra during sex and see if that gives your husband some of the visual stimulus he enjoys while allowing you to feel like your breasts are off-limits. If your DH is weirded out by the idea of milk being expressed during sex, you can remind him that it often comes out when a woman is super-aroused, often during orgasm. he might want to view it as proof that he's doing a good job!
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

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