Mother-to-Mother Chat by Lisa Bullard
It’s 4 PM and I still have my jammies on.
The dishes are piled high, the trash needs to be taken out, toys are strewn across the living room floor. The compost bucket hasn’t been emptied and has attracted the entire fruit fly population of New York . . .
What is going on?
Teething!!! To think at one time we all cut teeth! It just looks like it hurts so very badly!
I hadn’t been feeling in top shape myself, so when teething struck, we were down for the count. Baby Ember began refusing all solid food and solely getting her nourishment from me.
At night she would have been happiest if she could sleep with my nipple in her mouth, but as that arrangement was not satisfactory for me, we ended up having all-night-wake, cry, nurse, wake, cry, nurse-time. Not ideal, but at least I had a way I could soothe her pain.
I began to feel less like a person and more like a receptacle for milk delivery
...as well as a tool to divert her attention from the pain – meaning besides spending most of my day nursing and eating, I engaged in ridiculous antics with teddy bears and dolls, read board books in loud silly voices, sang and danced around the living room, tempted her with juicy bits of frozen peaches and blueberries, and yes, loaded up some ol’ Sesame Street when I felt too exhausted to do more.
At times like these, I am able to be more caring towards Ember when I also treat myself with extra care.
I know I need extra nourishment to keep up with all the nursing, extra night waking and intensive care-taking, so I put my effort into caring for the baby and feeding myself.
It can get discouraging when I look around at my messy environment, but I try to let it go and focus on what I’m doing well – caring for this little being who depends on me for her health and comfort.
What would I do with two?
To those of you who have more than one, I wonder how you manage when there is a spell like this? It makes me worried about how I would handle two children! Do you hire a babysitter? Figure out clever methods of diversion to occupy the healthy child? Call on relatives or friends? Trudge through like a soldier?
Post a comment in Café Mama and please share what has worked and what hasn't.