Wednesday, 9 July 2008

the milk thing + other thoughts

For ages now I have been talking (complaining) about the constant tiredness and me being generally totally run-down. Well, this continues; in a way I am getting used to feeling like this. And keep thinking, and telling myself, that I will continue to be like this for many more months (at least) to come.

I think, really, one of the biggest reasons is the breastfeeding of Mischa - which seems to be stretching out longer and longer. Not saying that I am at all ready for weaning; just ready for a little easing of the neediness of the milking.

This week, hopefully I have seen a small glimpse that the easing is slowly happening. The past few nights, she has settled to sleep very easily with a feed on the couch, and then happily moving into bed and having me sing her to sleep and stroke her face. Up until now she has needed milk to get herself back to sleep; all through the night. As in, if she wakes at 9pm she needs a drink, then perhaps again at 10.30, 12pm, and a few more times until morning (I stopped clock checking a long time ago!).

This is a big reason why she still sleeps in bed with us. I see no reason to get out of bed, in the cold, and get her out of bed (or a cot), and us both have to wake up fully just to settle back to sleep. So instead, she simply finds me in the night, and has a drink while still half asleep; I always wake up - but at least I don't have to get out of bed!

So, I suppose as well as the draining feeling of having someone want (need?) my milk - strength - I have the interupted sleep of being squashed in a bed. Oftentimes Ari is in there with us all too. Four in the bed is quite crowded, let me tell you that!
Sam and I are used to it, and both know that it won't continue on for a long time more. This part of childhood passes so quickly; in the end I know that I will want them snuggled in my bed for longer than they will want to be. Though, saying that, I still would love the opportunity to snuggle in bed with my parents.

And in the meantime I will battle through this tiredness, and continue to find ways to keep my mind running - even if only at half capacity. Or, my body stumbling through the days at limited speed. The kids do the running and jumping and squealing enough for all of us, and we are all used to living in the mess (when the two adults have to delegate what they can manage with their time and energy).

I know that so many parents out there cope and manage with so much more; they achieve miracles during their spare time, keep a tidy house, spend quality and loving time with their children (all five or so of them!), and still have time to wash their hair. I also know that there are people out there with one child who cannot cope at all, who can't get out of bed, are overwhelmed by the immense workload of a child (or children), who live in a pigsty, and can't remember the last time they flossed their teeth.

What I am trying to say is; I have to stop feeling as if I am failing because I am not "achieving", I have to learn to remember and understand that we are all different and all having different experiences from this "parenting thing", and that even if I don't do craft projects with my children every day, or have a documented journal of their every moment, or have a tidy house, or.... any number of other things I think I should be doing. That I am still a wonderful mother - I am the best mother I can be RIGHT NOW; and I think my children know and understand and appreicate that.

The first photo is the view from my bed, where I look out, while Mishi drinks, and I can see the almost bare branches of the Chinese elm* which so perfectly shows the changing Seasons here in Brisbane. The leaves are yellowing and tumbling off, the new growth is already sitting there waiting, almost popping open (Winter really isn't that long here), the not quite bare branches are embeded in my memory - inspiration for works and projects I one day may attempt or even complete. But for now, I am happy to let me daughter suckle, my son sleep, and my husband slumber, while I daydream, and my mind meanders.
*If you ever think about planting one of these glorious trees, stop for a moment and look around - because they can be a weed in some locations; like here in Brisbane where they seem to thrive and spread and grow and grow. Beautifully shaped trees that they are, just take care!


  1. The first photo looked to me, like a bra with day-glo paint splatters on it. Which was fitting with the subject matter, and I was trying to figure out how you'd photographed yourself in it when... I was quite mistaken.

    I am so in the same boat with you on the nursing, sleeping, mothering thing. Unless of course you shampoo each and every day.

    Lovely post Ellie!

  2. Lovely post, Ellie. I have at many times felt the same way. And while mine are a touch older and weaned and sleep in their own beds, I often feel the same way. Enjoy it while it lasts because too soon, you'll be sneaking into their room to bring them into your bed while they slumber. (not saying I do that, ok, yes occasionally I do)

  3. Lovely post indeed. It's totally ok to not need to do everything.

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  5. lily boot9:42 am

    Well I don't think it matters if your hair's not washed, your teeth not flossed, your not house tidy or do not have a craft project sitting on the table each morning ready for busy hands. The fact that you are breastfeeding your sweet little girl tells me that you are a wonderfully devoted mother. My little girl (she's now 10!) breastfeed until her fourth birthday. Every morning she would hop into bed with us and have "good morning titty" whilst I read to her (we read the entire series of LIttle House on the Prairie books doing this!) and each night she would have "good night titty" on the sofa before hoping into her bed for stories. A week after her fourth birthday, she stayed with her grandmother for 2 weeks without us - and that was the end of breastfeeding. She still remembers breastfeeding and talks fondly about it now and then, and I am so very glad that I soldiered on - there's a photo of me feeding her when she was around 3 and I look EXHAUSTED! but she looks so rosy and content. We have a lovely relationship and I'm sure all that titty set us up for life! Keep up the wonderful mothering - and maybe you could try a naturopath - I have found their suggestions very helpful for stamina and serenity! p.s. I posted this comment as my daughter by mistake - here it is again from me!


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