The girls are now able to entertain themselves and each other at greater length. This is fun for us to watch and makes us feel proud. They are doing forward rolls, completing (4 piece..) jigsaws, drawing and also a little imaginative play. They hold hands and lead each other around.
This is a good job because in other areas we have no space at all. I don’t want any judging please, but we decided it suited us to be attachment parents and so we have 4 of us in a bed (and a couple of duvets quilts on the floor alongside) and the girls need us to go to sleep and settle. When I feel down about this situation AW and I tell ourselves that it will be ok and in the long game we believe beneficial. The girls love and need us and that has always been our priority. We have NEVER left the girls to go to sleep alone and that is tough sometimes- it means we have almost never ever been out in the evening since their arrival. I love sleeping with them and I would not change this choice. However I have to say that sometimes it feels too much. This is because I’m still breastfeeding olive. Obviously I did not expect that at age two she would still want it so much. So now I am faced with her natural weaning, and who knows when that’s going to be… my God. At the moment it is hard because sleeping this way (on a mat on the floor on my back with a night-feeding milk vampire) is giving me some really bad lower back pain. It sucks. I think rather than being due to the hard bed, it is probably the breastfeeding- I have been contorting myself slightly to accommodate this for 2 years. It has to have an effect, right? At the moment I am in considerable pain in bed, but it is my tailbone that hurts all day. Don’t laugh- but I can’t sit down! I will see what the Dr says finally this Friday. My tailbone has been bugging me on and off for about three months. It first happened during my pregnancy. Googling it scared the living daylights out of me, so I am expecting lots of prodding and maybe a cheeky exam where the sun doesn’t shine. Fun times. From the description I have read it seems most likely it is inflammation connected to other spinal issues. But coz I am breastfeeding I can’t take anti-inflammatories so I’ll just have to sit it out. I should say slouch-rather-awkwardly-to-avoid-hurting-my-coccyx it out.
Regarding the breastfeeding, if you follow the blog, the post Boob Wars referred to Ivy’s renewed interest in my boobs and Olive’s furious reaction. Well, Ivy is only intermittently interested, but last night at bedtime was one of those times. She actually got it right and shouted, “milk! There’s milk here!” In an astonished voice. My heart at once melted and sank: this is the anti-weaning. WTF??!
So I feel a little alone in my approaches. I admire mothers in all their shapes and forms. It’s a bonkers job and we must get through it the way that’s right for our situations. But when it feels too much, I draw strength from the fabulousness of our two little people. We have two clever and charming daughters. I read a post on another blog recently about a woman who felt her life was all about her kids, and I echo her perspective: she and I answer those who might mock or tut if I complain about these strains (and sometimes I do complain, but I am aware these are my own personal choices); those who roll their eyes and remark that have nothing left of myself. I say to my beleaguered self and to them: it won’t be like this for long. There are no more kids on the horizon for us and so, for this brief time I give my all to them. I aim not to spoil them but to make them feel as secure and loved as they can be. I hope my body has the strength of my mind on this point. My drawing, singing and other pursuits can be picked up again later (and they WILL be, for I have not lost myself), but this time when my daughters want to sleep with me, to drink from me, to hang off me- it will be gone all to quickly. I make no judgements on anyone, but this is right for us as mothers.
Today, at the ripe old age of 2 years and 8 days, the girls had their first really successful play date; they played with others, with each other and they shared toys and snacks. I was proud, and I felt that as well as tantrums, they can also now play and socialise.
What have your experiences been, especially of natural weaning?