Honeymoon on Hold


In the past, the end of the Honeymoon phase meant the end of the relationship. Not necessarily because it stopped being exciting but because one day I'd wake up smothered, unable to breathe.

It was my own fault. I insisted on spending every available moment with "his name here" until one day I was like "I kind of want to eat alone actually" or "Get your hands off of my boobs. I'm trying to work!"

The heart's tendency toward fickleness is (wo)man's greatest defense against responsibility. For when the heart turns, the body and everything else must follow AKA love is a gypsy hopping truck beds, her open suitcases in the sand.

Er, it was. Until rock paper scissors became kids marriage freedom but that's a blog post I've written a thousand times before.

For the past nine months I've been home with Fable. I've slept with her and shared my food. Clutched her little body, her skin to mine, our exhales in unison, our gazes eternal. We've been inseparable friends madly in love with one another, entwined like the trunks of old trees.

And in that time my body has belonged to Fable as much as it has belonged to me. And I've adored every second of it.

Until now.


I woke up last week and couldn't breathe. Fable was nursing and I looked down at her and instead of feeling comfort and love I felt frustration and anxiety. I felt stifled and suffocated and trapped as her little hands scratched at my face. Suddenly, I was consumed with the need to get her off my body and out of my bed.

I put my finger in her mouth, breaking the suction of her latch. She glared at me before closing her eyes, snacking her lips, searching my chest until she latched back on... to my bra. She screamed, angry.

"No more," I said. "All gone."

For the last few days I've been struggling to keep it all together, especially because this feeling of wanting my body back has coincided with Fable's inability to sleep anywhere but my bed, in my arms, or inches from my body.

My need for space seems to have made Fable's need for me grow exponentially. If I so much as turn my face away from hers, she cries. Sweet, sure but also frustrating because "I can't just look into your eyes all day, okay?"

Of course, as soon as the words leave my lips I feel horrible guilt. Like I'm cheating on her with my life. A life full of lists and overflowing to-dos I've been unable to get at. People I need to call. Vet appointments, yesterday's lunch and oh yeah, how about MY OTHER CHILD!

Come on. She'll only be little once. This is it! Right now! This is the time when I'm supposed to be at her beck and call!

Little shmittle. She's nine-months-old now. And you're nobody's bitch.

But I must hold her! Allow her to cling to me! Cling back!

Is that what's best for her? For you?

I don't know.

Yes I do.

I don't remember whether or not I had a honeymoon phase with Archer. He never nursed nor did we co-sleep so there was never a time when I woke up and felt suddenly claustrophobic. There was never a need to push him off my body, kick him out of my bed. He was always in his crib. Napping healthily, drinking from a bottle, a sippy cup, his own glass.

But Fable was born a different child and from the get our bond was unique, our dependency mutual, which is why I'm having a hard time reconciling these new feelings, understanding where they are coming from and where we go from here.

GGC

120 comments:

Stopnik Family | 11:23 PM

You are completely normal. I think most nursing mothers may experience these feelings especially when the realization hits of how attached your child really is to you..not just attached to the boob :) I feel these restriction of freedom quite often. Just breathe and hang in there.

alissa | 11:39 PM

i think this is totally normal. shes been eating at least some regular foods since about 6 months or so right? she totally can be weaned off the breast now if you feel like its time, which clearly, i think you do. 9 months is a long time to be so attatched! doesnt mean you love her any less, dont stress :]

That's What She Said | 11:51 PM

I'm so glad I'm not alone in my breastfeeding frustration. Hayley is only 13 weeks and I feel the same way already. How long to you plan to breastfeed for?

Lise | 12:12 AM

I experienced those feelings with my babies. . .when I got pregnant with the next baby. Maybe your hormones are changing?

Little Miss Moi | 12:15 AM

Dear Rebecca. I've had that feeling on and off since the sprog was born, to be honest. Hopefully it's normal, otherwise I'm not. When they're around this age, they all get uber clingy, don't they? So I'm sure she's upped her demands subtley and it was enough to break your proverbial back.

Don't feel bad. You DO have a life to live, after all, and it will be better for everyone if you're happy while you live it!

stacie | 1:25 AM

My son is 11mos old, the second child and still nursing and co sleeping and I feel the same way. He is what they call a mama's boy. My advice to you is yes break away a little, it's good for both of you. But do it gently if you can. Fight the urge to recoil and look at her and yourself with compassion. You are strong and this too will pass.

eefpeef | 1:30 AM

Hi Rebeccah-

I understand. In fact, I just wrote a post about the same thing yesterday.
http://beenthurdonethut.blogspot.com/
For me, it didn´t kick in until Ari´s toddlerhood, strangely enough. I was still floating on a cloud throughout her entire first year, during the breastfeeding, the naps together, etc. But now, after 1 and 1/2 years of staying-at-home, I feel so useless & lonely. And then there´s my new baby: growing in my womb... and the fear of not feeling as attached to him/her as I do to Ari. Because how could I???She is the world; she makes my heart explode in my chest..

Julia Rizzolo Blackman, | 2:11 AM

With both my girls I felt the need to get my body back when they were about 6 months old and I also felt this anxiety that you're feeling. I think it was for the best, as me and husband got our sleep and bed back and things started to be less stressful. A little bit of independence goes a long way.
The guilt will always be there though. I sometimes think what if...
be strong.

x

BonJoey | 2:20 AM

Great post, I have completely felt what you are feeling, even though Vaughn was more like Archer in his ways. There are just moments and days and periods of time when you feel the intense need for freedom at any cost. I think we've all felt it, even though it can be very hard to admit, because of the fear that it might give the impression to others that we're not giving it our all as a mother. I give you serious props for going there.

I think 'stacie's advice is dead-on. Break away a little, but gently as possible. "fight the urge to recoil and look at her and yourself with compassion." That's good advice, I wish someone had said that to me in my times of baby-induced distress, when all I wanted to do was head for the hills (which of course I didn't) to regain my sanity! (but I did resort to the occasional cig-sneak on the porch during nap time!) Maybe Fable does need you more than Archer did? Every child has different needs. (If it's too hard for her at 9 months, maybe you could try sticking it out until the 12 month mark? Only 3 more months and maybe that would substantially ease your feelings of guilt about weaning her) That being said, every mom has different needs too and dependency-tolerancy levels (or something), and I think you've got to just do what feels right. Go with your gut. No matter your choice, you're an incredible mom and Fable is indeed extremely lucky to have you!

Bea | 3:20 AM

as always, whatever you think is right for you and Fable will be ...well, right. i've always found a little space makes me love even more, i suspect it will be the same in your case too. xx

Sarah | 4:03 AM

I could've written this post! First child: never co-slept, napped well, all the right stuff. Second child: co-slept, breastfed to sleep, rocked to sleep, etc, etc. Three weeks ago when she was 7 months old I finally cracked and did some self-settling training. Fortunately it didn't involve any distress. So far, so good. Now she's sleeping in her own bed, at least! Anyway, I feel your pain.

hayley | 4:03 AM

Rebecca, I had the same issue with my son, who is now five. He was a cuddle monster, but god - couldn't someone else cuddle with him but me? it was a hard habit to break, and you do have to do it slowly. i wondered if he and i were so physically bonded because i went through a divorce early in my first marriage. but now i realize every kid is just different.

my baby girl, elke, 4 months, is the opposite. she went on a nursing strike at 2 months, and believe it or not, i'm teaching her how to cuddle!

Megan | 4:06 AM

I don't know you or your children however from reading your words for a few months I think I can safely say that...Fable is different to Archer! I had one like her and he 'needed' me like Fable needs you until he was 23 months old. I didn't co-sleep with him past three months however the boobs were his life. I didn't feed on demand but he had three, then two then one feed a day and man he needed every one of them! At almost two however, he had had enough. I got those suffocating feelings you talk about three months before he was ready to stop, however I felt that I was an adult and he was a small child so it made more sense for me to be uncomfortable for a little while and wean him gradually - the WHO recommends breastfeeding until two and he really seemed to need the comfort, security and nutrition until then!(having said that though, any longer than three months then the story would have been different). You have just taken Fable out of your bed don't take her beloved boobs away at the same time, stagger the shocks.

Katadia | 4:06 AM

I'm with you. My second one is 15 months old is demanding to nurse all night. Sometimes I'd be like: geeeetttt offf meeeeeee. :)

Steph | 4:08 AM

I had a cat once who bit her kittens when it was time to wean. I've had that urge with all 4 of my babies. Although, so far, I have managed to resist.

Cate Subrosa | 4:20 AM

Thank you for posting this. Your honesty means so much to this almost-new-mother.

Elizabeth | 5:09 AM

I felt the same at 9 mos with my son. I moved him out of the bed following a well mapped out program(for me following the "sleep lady" worked really well, for my sister in law she liked the Baby Wise series) and moved our nursing to a schedule. This allowed me to wean gently by dropping approximately one session a month. He was fully weaned around 15 months, which is much longer than I thought it would be when at 9 months I had the same feelings you express. The routine and independant sleep allowed me the extra 'juice' I needed to give me something that I came to value again. Whatever choice you make will be the right one for you and your child.

Amy | 5:29 AM

"Nursing resentment." Totally normal, under-studied phenomenon (because who would be brave enough to admit it before blogs?). I've heard it mentioned in LLL meetings and books, but a quick google didn't reveal much else.

I had it with my kids. Both of them. It doesn't mean you don't love her. It doesn't even mean you don't want to breastfeed anymore. I think it's hormonal, personally. It feels like PMS - that irrational "GET OFF ME" feeling, the "I CAN'T TAKE IT ANYMORE!" And we all know PMS is hormonal, right?

Are you getting enough rest? I noticed mine was much worse when I was sleep deprived. Your body makes milk when you're sleeping. If you're not getting sufficient sleep, you're not making enough milk, and the sensation of her nursing on an empty boob might make it worse. I know I hated that feeling.

Have your periods returned? Maybe this is a sign that you're about to get your period again.

You can push through it and see if something changes in a few days, or you can begin the weaning process now. Don't wean abruptly, though, because it'll be hard on both of you. That path leads to plugged ducts, mastitis, etc.

You'll want to ease out of breastfeeding, and make sure your husband is doing more holding, cuddling, etc. of her. Try to distract her when she asks to nurse. Give her something else, instead. The LLL tandem nursing book recommended frozen sticks of liver, and that's when I chucked it out the window of a moving car.

emmittjames | 5:29 AM

the only thing that i can add is that no matter how bad it gets and how stressed and frustrated you feel, weirdly enough, in a few short months, that will be a distant memory. I have the same issues with both of mine, and honestly, i remember thinking that i would NEVER get my son to sleep anywhere but next to me EVER. You finally hit that point where not only can you just NOT TAKE IT ANOTHER MINUTE, but hey, look! The baby is old enough! And it sucks for a little while, but then it is over and you are so far into the next stage, that this battle becomes a memory.

try not to be too hard on yourself. You're doing great.

Allie | 5:47 AM

I stopped co-sleeping and night time nursing at 9 months. Enough is enough! We needed our bed back! And now my daughter is 13 months old and still nursing, but never at night. She goes down at 8 and gets up at 7. I highly recommend weaning from night-nursing, even cold turkey, even if it takes some tears.

Laura | 5:49 AM

I have been going through those feelings with my 8 month old daughter. She was so much easier to breastfeed than my son that I thought we might make it a full year (like a 'good mommy' does). But once she got a little older and started eating solids I realized that we were basically down to one night feeding and I really wanted to get rid of that one so I could have a decent night's sleep. I wrestled with the decision to stop and worried that she would feel rejected by me when she started rooting around and nothing was there anymore! But, it went very smoothly. Now she has stopped breastfeeding and is sleeping in her crib all night long (in my room).

Earth To Mother Ship | 5:57 AM

So happy you wrote this post. I just expressed similar sentiments on Friday after a particularily trying week - which I can now atribute to a growth spurt (I think).

It's here if you want to read it:

http://earth2mothership.blogspot.com/2009/07/mommy-monster.html

It's good to know you are not alone in your feelings of mothering and neither am I.

Mother Ship

Christy | 5:59 AM

I haven't read all the responses, but I will ditto the sentiment that you are normal. My kids are 4 and 7, and there is a point where you have given and given and given and then you snap. Because you just can't keep ignoring yourself and your own needs.

I will sometimes tell my kids I need alone time and ask that they leave me alone for 10 minutes, I don't care what they do. A couple of times I have actually made my own lunch first and sat down and ate the whole thing before making theirs because I let myself go too long without food and didn't have the energy to make two meals, cut up pieces, get drinks, clean up spilled drinks, break up fights over which plate they had to use, etc, before turning to my own needs.

Our kids will still know love and comfort and support without us letting them think their needs are always more important than ours. They mostly are, but not 100% of the time, and that's ok. They are learning important lessons this way, too.

Law Mommy | 6:01 AM

Very nicely said. I started to cry reading your post because I have had some of the same feelings and Alyanna is only 4 months old. In fact I just recently transitioned her to her crib thinking to head off some of these feelings. But I have just felt so guilty. Its nice to know other moms have the same feelings, and its normal.

Thank you!

Anonymous | 6:15 AM

I have 3 boys, but I've heard from moms of girls, that it's a totally different bond. Mothers and daughter's is a new land for you....

Dari | 6:26 AM

I could only imagine how hard that would be... I've heard weening is.{even though you are dealing with a more than just that} With Lola I lost my milk gradually and at 5 months had to stop BFing. I was devastated, but was glad to have done it that long. The good thing was she weened herself because of that. It will be a gradual progress but don't feel guilty, you are just taking the next, necessary step :)

Mo | 6:26 AM

By the end of my nursing stint with my daughter, I felt so smothered, I wanted to SCREAM. It was also hard to tune out all of the voices asking (or telling) me when I would quit. I was even infuriated by everyone who jumped right in there to reassure me by dismissing the guilt/anxiety/resentment/whatever. I wanted to scream at them too.

Do what you need to do. You aren't going anywhere, and she will know that.

The honeymoon might be over, but a good relationship will weather a bad argument (weather you win, lose, or draw).

Melissa | 6:29 AM

I weaned at 9 months for various reasons. I know a lot of people won't agree with me, but I think early weaning is better in some ways. I think once a child is a toddler they get more attached to things: breasts, bottles, pacifiers. But it's such an individual thing. I breastfed and formula supplemented, but I also gave my son a sippy cup at about 5 months even while I continued breast feeding. He had options. He lost interest in the breast, so there was no emotional thing for him with weaning. As for me, I felt a little wistful and guilty, but a lot relieved.

That being said, he's still a thumbsucker--a vice I allow him to have for now.

Sarah @ BecomingSarah.com | 6:32 AM

It sounds like something that is completely normal. Whatever happens from here, whatever you decide is best for both of you, I hope it works out. I know it will.

AllyssaW-R | 6:36 AM

I think all nursing moms feel like this at times. You might try putting her on more of a schedule or not co-sleeping (s.l.o.w. changes). Of course, this is going to make her cry, or at least it did in my experience, but she'll adjust. I really think disengaging from nursing on demand to nursing at set times, within reason, of course, really helped me extend my BFing relationship. I weaned at 18 months, nightweaned at 13 months. I was never a big comfort-nurser past the first 6 months. Just little subtle changes can make a world of difference in getting a little "you" back into the equation. Good luck!

whitney | 6:37 AM

ugh...this is tough and i'm sorry that you're having all this anxiety. though, i can't tell you how normal it sounds to me. at some point you have to make the initiative towards independence, because you know Fable's not going to. its bittersweet. but, in the end, you're helping her. she may miss your cozy snuggles and hazy midnight staring contests but she will also begin to get a sense of "standing alone." and that is important. oh, how i had the same thing with my daughter AND son but i separated slowly as to not leave a mark when i ripped off the band-aid. you'll wear yourself down if you keep giving and giving and giving (gone). don't feel guilty. your body/mind wouldn't make you feel this way if it weren't time. ;) good luck.

p.s. good job breastfeeding for 9 months, i only lasted 6...

Christine | 6:38 AM

I'm nursing a four month old and watching friends with 6 month olds introduce solids and deep down inside I want to hold off on solids and exclusively breastfeed for a while...like a year...but I don't know if I can make it.

I like that breastfeeding is an instant calmer for Henry and I like that it requires no set up/clean up...but I sure do miss sleep and I'm sick of nursing bras and nursing pads and sitting in the glider for hours browsing the internet while he nurses and sleeps on me..........

http://sonandthecity.blogspot.com/

Annika | 6:40 AM

I swear, every single nursing mom goes through this at 8-9 months. It's really tough because that's a major developmental time for babies, which means they need us more than ever while we just need some fucking alone time. Sam and I pushed through and were OK, but lots of people wean and they're all OK too.

sheSaid.purplehouseonpearl.com | 6:42 AM

Those feelings. I have been there. Over and over through the past almost two years. I guess I would say a passing feeling of it is necessarily a command to end it all. (unless of course it is for you) 9 months in the womb and another 9 months in transition.... she is now at a point where she is more resilient to space, to not having every need met immediately. Take a breath, take a breather. Though I find the more I PUSH away, the more he PUSHES back wanting more. If I can find a way to give us both what we want, delay the nursing, cut it short, create a few boundaries and then let the times together be just as good we have more peace... the both of us, in our hearts.

Francine | 6:47 AM

It's basically the equivalent of the "seven year itch". I started to feel the exact same way with my son around the 9 month mark (he was a clinger too).
I continued to nurse him till he was 14 months old. Then we took a trip to San Fransisco, he went to his Gma's and I got to have Playboy Bunny boobs for the week.
When we came together again, the relationship was somewhat different and I was glad I stuck with it for a full year. It was what worked for us.

number17cherrytreelane | 6:48 AM

I understand the guilt, but YOU CAN DO IT! Here's to you!

Carrie | 6:57 AM

Oh I understand the guilt and the desire to want to just cling to them and smother them with love. We're reading about sleep training right now. The thought of it is horrid, letting him cry it out a bit isn't so bad, but all the other stuff "they" insist you must give up. On the flip side, I love the idea of my son going to sleep at 6 or 7. What to do with that time?!

Kerry | 7:19 AM

Around 10 months is primo separation anxiety time when babies figure out that you exist as a separate entity from them and OH MY GOD, you exist elsewhere after you leave the room. It can make them a little (or a lot) clingy while they grasp this.

Maybe it helps to know where it might be coming from. Or maybe you need a break. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, ya know.

growing inside out | 7:21 AM

Something very similar happened to me recently. I felt antsy and anxious, most of all I felt guilty. It was like I wanted to throw up and stretch at the same time but couldn't. Honestly, I think it had a lot to do with my cycle starting (or getting ready to start) again. I suffered through it for a few days and it passed. I hope the same happens for you.

PS: I love your blog. It's the only one, of the handful I read pre-baby, that I make time to ready since having my baby girl.

mames | 7:43 AM

i think i know this feeling...not from co sleeping and nursing, but from the consequence of having twins. i could not breathe, move or think without having to do something for one of them for months. it was so much, so consuming. on the one hand, i loved them so. on the other, i felt like it would never end and i felt bound by their needs.

not sure if i have any suggestions, not sure if you need them. i would say to just be kind to your inner you and those feelings.

LouEffie | 7:49 AM

Weaning was really hard for me as well. It happened to me at 8 months and though I knew that it was best for my sanity, (and in turn, for my son) to stop pumping constantly at work and wean, I felt incredibly guilty about cutting him loose. I think it really hurt me more than it hurt him. Children adapt much more quickly than we give them credit for when our mommy emotions are in the way though. You'll do what's right for you and Fable and hopefully, she'll surprise you and do great. Good luck!

robyn | 7:52 AM

I'm not a mom (yet), but the feelings you describe sound completely normal to me. Try not to feel guilty. (Easier said than done, I know.) I wish you the best with this phase!

highlyirritable | 8:10 AM

I remember the feeling well, and more so with my 2nd.

It's always better to make "the split" when you know in your heart that you are "done." If you wait too long, and continue only out of a twisted sense of duty, your milk turns to diesel fuel.

Brandy | 8:13 AM

i really thought it was just me. I wanted grayson in our bed, clinging to me, needing me. and then there i was awake at 3am with a horrible cramp in my arm because he lays there every night. i get it.

Jackie | 8:14 AM

I think it's only natural to ahve these feelings - Motherhood can be overwhelming to say the least. Think about it...you have a whole other person who relies on you. Every single thing you do affects her in some way - you're no longer accountable to just yourself. Her every waking moment revolves around you...how could you NOT feel suffocated? I know when I was nursing there were moments when I would break down and cry because I just wanted someone else to be able to comfort the baby, but felt suffocated knowing that I was the only one who could. It's especially hard when you have more than one child. I have a baby and a toddler, and still find myself struggling to find my OWN identity. I mean, there must be some small piece of ME left under these two clinging children, but I feel like I'll never find it because they just. won't. let. go. Of course I love them with all my heart, but I have to admit that it feels good to step away and breathe when I have the chance. But then when I come back, I find that I'm the one who clings...greeting them with open arms, never wanting to let them go.

Melinda | 8:15 AM

I felt the same way when I decided to stop breastfeeding my son. It was something I needed to do, but it was a very emotional time for me and for my son. It didn't take him long to adjust through, and then all was well. Good luck.

candace | 8:22 AM

Your Fable and my Emma are the same age and we are going through the same thing. She co-slept for the first 8 months and then I just had to put her in her own room because I needed my space back. Now she gets into bed with us around 4, and I can stand her now.

I feel really bad saying it too but sometimes I just want my body back, and the incessant nursing is driving me a little insane.

Also, the 8 month separation anxiety hit us hard and she is so attached to me I can't leave the room. She totally flips out if she can't see me.

Everyone says it gets better, and I surely hope it does for my sanity and yours!

Candace | 8:25 AM

I forgot to mention that we had to do some sleep training with Emma in order to get her to sleep through the night in her own crib.

Anonymous | 8:31 AM

On a completely different note...I swear I thought this girl was you!!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rN-Sry7rsUQ&feature=channel

Anonymous | 8:46 AM

Totally feel that way right before period starts. A couple other posters mentioned that as well. I feel horribly suffocated and oh-my-god-enough-already-here-take-her-take-her-TAKE-HER...and it passes.

Boy Crazy | 8:55 AM

The feeling my pass, or maybe it will get stronger. Our bodies let us know when something needs to change. I nursed my boys for a couple of years, but when I started to get that feeling akin to ants crawling on my feet or ripping apart dry cottonballs, I knew it was time to wean.

Best of luck in figuring out what comes next with you and Fable. <3

Anonymous | 8:55 AM

I totally know how you are feeling. Every baby is different too! I breastfed my first for 12 months but he somewhat naturally weaned himself off and was not so clingy. My second baby was VERY clingy and much more of a snuggler and I breastfed him for about 8 months. I felt I had to wean him off b/c it was time for me to get my body back and I was feeling very claustrophobic. I would recommend doing it slowly with the weaning, for your sake (to minimize pain in the boobs!) and for the baby's sake. Also 9 months is a long time to nurse, that's quite an accomplishment so try not to feel guilty. You've given your baby a lot for a long time. So just go with what you feel is RIGHT and hang in there.

Anonymous | 8:59 AM

I am going through this with my 2/12 year old son, I should have addressed this earlier huh? I am in my 2nd tri with baby #3, I feel so guily #2 will be a middle child I keep letting him curl up next to me all night. Not sure what to do- I would advise you to figure things out sooner than me, they only get more verbal and hard to distance from!

em | 9:02 AM

I hit the wall a few months ago when Jojo wanted to nurse in the bath tub. I felt I was on attack everywhere and I put up my white flag. As she nursed a lot and co-slept, I expected a huge struggle. But after some immediate pouting and tears, it was ok. We still cuddle and gaze and co-sleep but my god, I no longer feel like I have a guppy fish attached to my chest. Balance is hard, but mama knows best. Give her a bit more space and you two will adapt and find new times and ways to be inseparable.

Chrissy | 9:23 AM

Jeez, the only bitch I see here is the "anonymous"...

I totally went through this too. I came to a point where I needed some space and balance. It felt like a little nudge of the nest was needed to take a step toward independence. It worked out great for me and hope you find what will work for you. Mama's happiness is just as important as babys'.

Amber M | 9:25 AM

Hang in there! I know I sometimes feel like I'm going crazy with my two children. My first daughter was very independent and my 8 month old is completely opposite! She wants to be held constantly, rocked to sleep...if I take two steps away from her she starts crying...you just need to take a day off and get some alone time. Maybe even a spa day with some friends. Good luck to you!

Mamacita | 9:26 AM

Breastfeeding your child can really make you feel like you never have a moment to yourself. Even if you intended not to cosleep, a lot of times it just happens when you're nursing and want some sleep. I'm going through the same thing with my son, it's so frustrating. He has had his two bottom teeth sticking out from his gums but not yet cutting through for over three weeks now. I feel like I'm going crazy! He hasn't slept for more than three hours since this started. And the only thing that calms him down? Mommy's boobs.

W | 9:28 AM

it sounds like Fable might have hit the godawful 37 week sleep regression on top of your new feelings. Ouch.

I have not hit the end of honeymoon phase with regards to breastfeeding, but I certainly slammed into that wall with regards to co-sleeping about 3 months ago, when J was reaching 7 months. For about a month, we successfully got him to sleep in his crib all night (waking once to nurse). It was enough of a break that, once the sleep regression hit around 9 months, I was able to bring him to bed without resentment.

It passes. You'll both be fine.

Brooke Trout | 9:28 AM

Really Rebecca? You don't want to be like this woman? ;) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fxv6R9fUO74

I TOTALLY understand the feeling, and I have to say, the day I didn't have to whip out my boob for the kid was a glorious day. Of course, I was pregnant with #2 (still am) and unfortunately have not fully dried up. And I plan to nurse this new one for a year. That was/is my goal: one year. And it takes grit and determination and I wonder if I'll be able to stick to it as long this time around. It is beautiful while it lasts, but holy cow it sucks not having your body to yourself!

foodiemama | 9:32 AM

It sounds normal and healthy to me. I am still waiting for that need to breath after 5 years but alas I am still a sucker. With a mama like you Fable will be perfectly perfect!

nch | 9:36 AM

I hear your frustration. Liesl nursed for 28 months and slept with us for about that long. I found that when I was going to get my period was when I was pushing her away the most. Hang in there.

natalie

Charlotte | 9:36 AM

I hear ya, even though I could pump only for three months.

Can you start weaning Fable off your bed by putting her in the crib at times, first awake so she learns what this place is about, and then at the end of a nap, so she learns to wake up there, and then at the beginning of a nap, and then finally just at the cusp of falling asleep?

It took Noelle about 3 days to get used to sleeping in her crib at night. Now she really appreciates having her own place ... and has learned to go back to sleep when she wakes at night. A pacifier helps, as well.

Best of luck!

Issas Crazy World | 9:44 AM

God I love you for saying this stuff.

I think there comes that point in every relationship. Even with babies. Nothing wrong with it, it's just we don't ever talk about it, so we feel guilty thinking it. I am at that point right now. Harrison is nine and a half months and I can not wait for BlogHer, just for a few days away from him. I feel horrible thinking that, but I do think it. He and my daughters are my world, but mama needs a break. Mama needs her hands and brain and life back, even just for three days. Then when I come home, maybe he'll be a bit more into daddy and I'll have missed his need to be touching me ALL DAY LONG.

Hugs to you. Seriously, tons of hugs.

Fairly Odd Mother | 10:23 AM

I think your feelings are totally normal and I find them sweeping over me from time to time even now that my kids are long-since weaned. Sometimes I can't stand to have another child touch me or NEED me for something. I wonder if it's hormonal but then again, I blame my hormones for everything.

Casey | 10:31 AM

I was unable to breast feed my daughter and had to go back to work about 2 months after she was born. But 2 months of maternity leave felt like house arrest! I realized that I needed to get out, even taking my little chub-kin with me,helped immensly.
What about having Nanny Extrodionare come over for a couple of hours while you are home and push Fable a little harder to go to someone else with her needs sometimes? This will let her know that mommy is not the ONLY one who can meet her needs.
I also agree to please move slowy, you have 2 huge changes you're trying to make right now sleeping in her own bed and boobie removal.

Anonymous | 11:00 AM

Gee thanks Chrissy- I love when Moms support each other.

Autumn | 11:02 AM

It's just nature's way of letting you know you need to nudge your baby towards independence. Feeling stifled happened to me some time over the winter after my son turned one. Slowly, but surely, I gave him up a little piece at a time. First, I stopped putting him to bed and let his father do it. Then I cut him down to nursing once at night. Then we got him out of our bed and into his crib beside our bed.

I had that guilt too at first. But nursing and co-sleeping is a mutual thing. It needs to work for both people and babies don't know anything but the status quo. You need to teach Fable that it okay not to need you all the time.

But I hear you and it was really great to have you put this into words for me! I've felt the same exact way!

paperfairies | 11:15 AM

Oh how this is so true. It just happens one day, doesn't it? I don't think we are meant to be our kids' everything, just like they should never be parasites. (they can be) When the interaction is no longer symbiotic, it's time for change. If I am not a complete me, I could never be a good mom, when I feel "used" I become mean, not the awesome parent I know I am.

Anonymous | 12:15 PM

What is "Chrissy" talking about when she called "Anonymous" a bitch? I didn't see any comments from an Anonymous that were rude?

Wow, that U-tube video, the girl looks EXACTLY like you, but you don't have a lisp. I mean she could be your twin! Did you see the video?

Good luch with the weining. Fable know how love her to her guts! She'll be okay.

GIRL'S GONE CHILD | 12:20 PM

The Anon comment of which you speak was promptly deleted. Chrissy was just sticking up for me. Thanks, Chrissy. And yes! Saw the video! Very flattering!

Thank you all so much for your advice, sharing your stories. I think, like you said, it's just growing pains.

And you're right about needing to wean slowly. I've cut one feeding out so am nursing twice a day now. Once in the morning. Once at night before bed.

And we are allowing her to come into our bed in the middle of the night. For now.

I think, for me, its just helpful to admit that I'm feeling this way. I've been an emotional klutz as of late because I was suppressing my feelings, which I have a tendency to do shockingly well. It was coming out as anger but now I feel like a normal person again thanks to all of you. Thank you for that.

Erin | 12:35 PM

Are you pregnant? Because this is precisely how I felt when I was nursing one and newly pregnant with the other.

Sara Kay | 12:40 PM

I got that way at about 7 weeks with both my kids, when their kicking and squirming kept waking me up. So off to their cribs they went. And I breastfed for 18 mos! You do have to have breaks. I say go with your instinct and take some breaks. You don't even necessarily need to wean yet, just lovingly convince her that she doesn't have to be attached to you 24/7.

Totally remember that feeling...

GIRL'S GONE CHILD | 12:41 PM

What's funny, Erin? Is that I had Hal buy a pregnancy test last night because I was afraid I was pregnant! Because I've felt like my hormones are all a jumble and I have an IUD so I haven't had a period in seven months so I would have no idea other than the craziness that occurs in the first trimester.

Of course, I DO have an IUD but I know people who have gotten pregnant with them so I was scared out of my mind until I peed on the stick and nope, not pregnant. Phew.

Baby in Broad | 1:15 PM

I have nursing resentment that comes and goes like weather. It's very weird to think "this is sweet" one day and "get the hell off my boob" the next. I'm trying to accept it as part of the emotional dance that is being a mother.

Cloud | 1:23 PM

OK, no time to do more than skim the comments. But I have to tell you this: my guess is that your cycle is starting back up (if it hasn't already). I nursed until Pumpkin was 23 months old. Once my cycle started up (which, coincidentally was at 9 months post-partum), I always had a couple of nights where nursing just made me feel like I wanted to jump out of my skin.

But I loved nursing so much at other times that I just worked through those feelings. I'm not saying that is what you should do, but letting you know that it may be a very short-lived feeling.

Once I connected the feeling to my hormonal cycle it freaked me out less.

Good luck. You'll figure out what is right for you. For me- nursing into toddlerhood was an awesome experience.

Kim | 1:25 PM

I know exactly what you're going through. I went through it with both of my boys, and it was literally one day I was fine and loving it all and the next day if that kid so much as sneezed on my boobs I thought I'd go ape-crazy. And my youngest (2 yrs old) is still very much wanting my total undivided stare into his eyes all day attention. And of course that just doesn't work.

And I still totally and utterly, breathlessly adore them. But ya gotta stay sane.

Amy | 1:27 PM

Phew, I was starting to feel like a crap mom after the first part of that story...the last bit I can relate to.

I think that if you are somewhat in tune with your own emotions and needs, the act of parenting will create all kinds of internal conflict.

Sure, you could mindlessly sacrifice yourself to be a "perfect parent" with no thoughts or feelings of your own, but I'd much prefer the mixed emotions and, er, "authenticity" over being a Stepford Mom.

Eternally grateful for your honesty and candor.

Steph | 1:34 PM

Maybe if she spent a weekend with your mom she could get used to being away from you and break free from the nursing a little.

Adventures In Babywearing | 1:35 PM

As soon as the 9 month mark hit this time around, things felt so differently. For me personally and as a mother. (Have you ever heard of "nine months in, nine months out?" It's starting to make some sense.)

I always vow to breastfeed as long as it is enjoyable for BOTH of us. In the past that happened to be a really long time with my third child and then I felt exactly what you are describing.

Steph

Visible Voice | 2:45 PM

I went through the same thing! It'll be okay...she'll get used to it and you do deserve to have your body back. I mean she's at it since she was conceived. Think of it as her gaining her own little baby independence!

pascale | 3:02 PM

this basically summed up my relationship with my daughter to a T. It was so different with my son. But the dynamic between me and my girl is exactly like this. Even now with her being 4 yrs old. It's this push-pull guilt-fuck the guilt tug of war.

Be gentle with yourself.

pascale | 3:04 PM

BTW, I feel I should add that we are NOT still nursing! I had to wean her at 9 months when we discovered she had severe food allergies and I was basically poisoning her but truth be told, I was so relieved to hear I was being told to "pull the plug".

Carmen | 4:03 PM

9 months is HARD. The separation anxiety becomes acute so they cry whenever you leave the room, the 9-month sleep regression is PAINFUL, the whole thing becomes just stressful. I'm at exactly the same stage as you (my daughter is 9 months as well) and I hear what you're saying. Lexie wakes up about every 25-30 minutes from 8 pm until 10:30, and can only stay asleep if I'm there with her. All I want is a few minutes to myself at the end of the day and I can't get them. I'm also frustrated and angry. It helps me to remember that I went through the same thing with my son and it will get better. But probably not for a month or so. So I will just clench my teeth and fight my way through this misery until we can come out the other side. But even knowing that it will get better doesn't help the fact that this coming month is going to SUCK. Hang in there!

Girlbert | 4:24 PM

Beautifully put, as always. But what I didn't know was that your post regarding mother and child could help me with my relationship with Boyfriend. Aaahh... perspective. Thanks for that.
XOXOXOXO

Kate | 4:58 PM

Just another mom chiming in to say "Yup. Me too!" Same scenario. We got through it. AJ now sleeps in a bed next to ours, sleeps from 8 to 6 and if she wakes, we give her a sippy cup with water- no night nursing. She's almost 14 months and we still nurse 3 or so times a day.

I'm glad I kept nursing. It really helped soothe AJ when her molars were coming in and I enjoy the daily bonding time. That said, I don't regret night weaning her at all. Momma's gotta be sane and the Tiny Tyrant will simply have to find a way to be okay by that.

Jessica | 5:32 PM

felt the SAME way! when those cute little touches turn into annoying scratches. when someone rubs the same spot for too long, no matter how gently, that spot will become irritated. i remember her little hand rubbing my breast as i fed and it went from gentle kneading to nails on a chalkboard.

you need to go through this process. it's rough and gets worse before it gets better but it's something all HEALTHY relationships go through. then you will go through it about a million more times at each stage. and especially when she's a teenager. she has to hate you in order to become her own woman. right now you have to let her go to let her become her own toddler :(

Cat | 6:02 PM

I am so HAPPY you posted this. Been dwelling in a soup of horrid foulness. My bebito is a few weeks older than darling Fable and my sleeplessness has reached new heights. My previously very independent and happy little man has started to scream in ways I have never heard before when I put him down and I'm feeling awfully claustrophobic. You make me feel not so alone, thank you!

AndreaB | 6:17 PM

That's the wierd thing about parenthood. It begins with our babies literally being one with us.

But eventually, it becomes a process of raising human beings who can be self-sufficient. And we spend 18 years slowly building a healthy, constructive distance with our children, so that when they are adults, they can go out in the world and not need us. It's a slow letting-go process. Because eventually our little birds must fly from the nest. What a shame it would be if they were so attached to us that they never wanted to soar on their own.

Putting them in their own bed and giving them food other than breastmilk are the first 2 steps of that letting go process, and there will be hundreds more before she turns 18.

I think every parent struggles with different parts of the letting-go at different times in their child's life. For that reason, we all encounter new stages differently.

How interesting that everyone who has posted comments has nursed for different periods of time, and some not at all. Some coslept for months, others not for one night. Some quit nursing or co-sleeping cold-turkey. Others weaned slowly. Some babies go to daycare, and others stay home. Some go to school, and others are homeschooled. And the list goes on and on.

But in general, everyone's babies are ok. They all adapt to whatever change they encounter.

Fable will too. Sure, you'll have some bad nights while she adjusts to her bed. Adjusts to a bottle. Adjusts adjusts. But you will both make it through these steps.

meg | 7:03 PM

OH.MY.GOSH. do i know how you feel! When I started out nursing my son I had no idea how long I was going to do it for. I figured I would go in 3 month increments and reassess each quarter. Well, my son is 3.5 and I still nurse. Yup, I'm one of those.

It does get better and eventually she will start to detach from you and explore her world. When my son did that I had mixed emotions about it. Like, PHEW! GIMME SOME BREATHIN' ROOM, MAN! to OH MY GOD, MY BABY IS LEAVING ME!

Eventually we hit a nice balance and you will too. No matter how long you nurse.

Anonymous | 8:24 PM

All that co-sleeping does is create little monsters. This is proof. It's oh-so-sweet then it turns into a pain-in-the-ass chore. Put that kid into her bed - she won't die if she cries a little bit. If you continue to allow her to 'control' you in this way, she will control you in other ways until the day she leaves home. Trust me, I know!

angela | 8:28 PM

It's okay to want your own body and emotional life separate from your kids. It's about setting boundaries--you just need to find that balance between getting your own time and space and giving Fable what she needs. It's hard to find the balance, but you can do it, and don't feel guilty. It's normal, and healthy, to nourish your own body and mind and have a little space so that when you do spend time with her you have a solid sense of yourself. Fable may not like this adjustment, but that's normal too. You are an amazing mother. Just know that. This will pass. :)

mommymae | 8:41 PM

can i say how amazed i am that you've been able to breastfeed for so long? because, seriously. amazing. i'm still nursing my miss james & have little tugs of want my body back, but at 11 months am not fully prepared. she sleeps all night in her bed & only nurses when she wakes up or just before bed at night, so i don't have the harried feeling of wanting her off of me. i did have a twinge of that at about 5-6 months when she was still co-sleeping & i wanted to sleep all night long. she quickly adjusted to sleeping in her bed 7 even putting herself to sleep. you will find what works for you both. it may take trial & error, but you will carve out a new system & she will thrive along with you.

and ay yi yi, anon. co-sleeping can work well for many people & doesn't create monsters. there comes a time when a child needs to sleep in their own bed & you transition, but it doesn't always mean they will "cry a bit." sometimes, they scream for hours if not prepared properly. i would hate to judge you by your comments, so please don't assume that we who co-sleep are letting our children control us.

Rebekah | 9:40 PM

I see the pictures of you nursing while you lay side by side and I feel sad because that's what I miss the most about breastfeeding. My son is 8 months old and he weened around 6 months. He won't even take the breast at all anymore. Now it's hard to find quiet, just me and him time - that was when he was most calm, most connected to me. It literally made the stress melt away when we would nurse in bed. But on the other hand, I did get sometimes get that feeling of: OMG get off my boob, little one! Then, massive guilt. Aah, at least we're all in this together! Good luck, I'll be reading and staying tuned.

Tara | 11:05 PM

First time commenter here.

Thanks for this post! I also have a nine month old (well, almost nine months) and it is the SAME STORY. I don't know if it's the age or what. I don't plan on weaning soon, but I definitely have been fighting lots of love/hate feelings with the co-sleeping/night nursing/onlymommyallthetimedon'tlookawayfromme!

I might not feel AS conflicted if I, like you, didn't have another young child that needs attention too. Ah, motherhood!

Lyric | 12:49 AM

What rubbish Anon. Maybe your child 'turned into a little monster' but why transfer your issues onto the rest of us?

I've part-time co-slept and am still breastfeeding my 2 1/2 year old and she is slowly moving away from me but it is taking a long time. I have definitely felt the breastfeeding aversion, but we just push through it as I'm the adult after all. I put up with the discomfort because it is so important to her. It comes and goes, but it has definitely helped reading about others' experiences of it.

Try and get a break each day if you can, and remember that 9 months is the start of the most intense period of separation anxiety, so the gentler you can be the better. It should start to ease off at 12-18 months or so.

Chris. | 5:08 AM

Second-hand experience here, but a friend of mine, fully into the attachment parenting thing, weaned abruptly. Her kids were older at the time, and she would just go to a spa for three days. When she came back, they would ask, she would say no, and that was that. It seemed that as long as the mother was out of the picture for a bit, things were easier for mum and baby.

pandorican | 6:39 AM

Don't let the guilt get to you. It's absolutely natural, this instinct to push our little birds out of the nest, in many ways, be it weaning, making them get their own place, or just creating a degree or separation, and it's for their own good as well as yours. It's what is supposed to happen.

tam | 7:52 AM

I WISH I ever felt that way! Yeah, I wish that I felt what you are feeling guilty about. Because my son is 2.5, and even though I forced myself to ween him at 17 months, I still cling to him whenever I can, and he clings back. I want to want to be independent, but I am so attached still. We still sleep together. He sits on my lap every chance we get.
I feel guilt about going to work/school every day. Maybe if... maybe if I had stayed home I would have been able to want independence and then I could return...
Guess it's all about balance. Can you write a 10 ways to achieve balance list? I need to read it!

Sarahtk | 9:39 AM

Hi Heather! You write that your need for space has made Fable's need for you more intense, but I'm wondering if you've considered the possiblity that her increasing need for you is, rather, the catalyst for your need for space? I know that my 11-month old son was pretty unbearable at 9-months old. I couldn't put the sweet little shit down for a second. There seems to be some major growth happening at that age, and Fable is probably just (dare I say it) "going through a stage" that is making your lives together a bit too intense. Wait it out and you'll be able to put her down again without a screaming fit in a couple of weeks. Good luck!

Jodi | 9:45 AM

Totally understand. I couldn't get enough of my first child. Never had a moment's unease. But when my 2nd pregnancy resulted in sons #2, 3 AND 4, I was surprised at my desire to run screaming. And even though I know I'm going to miss every moment of their baby/toddlerhood, I'm still counting the days until they begin pre-school half days. It is what it is, and I didn't cease to be Jodi just because I'm now the mother of 4. Best of luck to you!

Anonymous | 9:47 AM

Thank you for writing this down.

Sandy | 10:18 AM

Love this post. The pictures are beautiful. I am struggling because it took me so long for breastfeeding to be good with Oscar (three long months of thrush, mastitis, cracks, bleeding, and severe pain) and now at five months things are perfect, except that I have days where I struggle with sleep-deprivation and being a human dairy. So your post made me a little teary.

Marcella | 10:30 AM

Thank God I'm not the only one feeling like this right now. Thank you so much for writing this.

jessica | 10:52 AM

I know exactly what you mean. my daughter is about six weeks older than fable...and I'm feeling just as suffocated by her, with the nursing, and the hair pulling, and the clawing of my face, and her pinching me, biting me (which I know are really her version of kisses, but damn! it hurts). I'm tired of wearing nursing bras. and yet I'm having a hard time letting it go, too...like maybe if I wean, we won't share those mommy/daughter close moments anymore? the thought of it breaks my heart. and so I keep nursing. and going semi-mad. when you figure out where to go from here, please post. I need suggestions.

Heather | 11:07 AM

Thank you, thank you, thank you...my son is 9 months and I am soooo done w/the breastfeeding and the co-sleeping and the being-with-him-24/7. I love him so much. Yet, I have these intense feelings that I can't take him on my breast for one more second and I break away, he cries, I feel guilty and..the cycle continues. This has been going on for the past 3 months, bc I've had these claustrophobic feelings for awhile now. Please continue to post on your (and Fable's) progress. Now, I'm going to read all the comments!

Anonymous | 11:43 AM

Hey Rebecca,

I don't even have kids yet and I already trip out on all this stuff. I feel like maybe if I read up a ton, I can be ahead of the curve when I finally get there...though somehow I don't think it entirely works that way. : )

Anyway. Thank you so, so much for putting this out there. I read several "mama-blogs", some more touchy-feely than others, if you know what I mean...and even though stuff's changed a lot over the decades, sometimes I still feel like Mamas are expected to be these soft-focus, pastel entities whose duty it is to give themselves up. ("Expected to be", I don't know by whose standards - but you know what I mean.)

Anyway. You - and all your rad readers, hello! - are proof that it doesn't have to be that way *at all.* Like, that's not even what it's about or what it feels like.

Listen -- I've been a nanny for ages and I've seen many, many variations on childrearing practices...Rebecca, you're doing GREAT. Do what you've gotta do here for yourself, be gentle with you & Fable, and it'll be alright. Hang in there and keep on!!

Love,
Dana

Molly | 4:39 PM

So I study the early modern period and I was working on reproductive rituals in the 17th century, and discovered something that this post reminded me of. At about the same intervals, after the birth of a child, women would take a trip pretty far, to another town or something, for a few days or a week. And scholars have figured out that this was probably how they weaned their children--totally abruptly, and by the mother taking time for herself away from her family for the first time since having the baby. We think this is a kind of ritual, as much for the mother as for the baby, to make a big transition from sharing one body to two.

I think teaching Fable to soothe herself when you can't be there for her will teach her to respect herself, just like her mother is doing.

The Brown Fam | 6:12 PM

Thank you Rebecca for writing this. You wrote exactly what I feel, but felt too guilty to say! Thank you, a tousand times thank you!

Kendra | 6:16 PM

I'm glad you were able to voice these feelings and that so many people were able to tell you that you're not alone. I nursed my first for 13 months and hated to see it end; it only did because he wasn't interested anymore. My second went for 15 months, and it's lookking like my third may make it 18. But each time, I've dealt with battling feelings of not being ready to let go of this special relationship, guilt over wanting any part of my body back, resentment that I can't do anything without considering the effect it will have on another person (not even take an aspirin! do you know how many years it's been since I took an aspirin?), and a whole host of other feelings.

I don't know if this is something you will work through and go back to the way things were, whether this means a change in your nursing relationship, or whether this is the beginning of weaning. (It sounds like you're going to continue but in a reduced way.) But I know that every time I hit a transition in my nursing, it was heart-wrenching and guilt-inducing. I hope you and Fable can get through the rough patch quickly and feel connected--in a really great, positive way--very soon.

Margie | 12:33 AM

What a lovely relationship you have had with your daughter. I totally understand that you want your body/space back though.

BananaGoat | 6:13 AM

I've been surprised, while reading your posts over the past 9 months, at how little you seem to have struggled with the feelings of suffocation that for me are part and parcel of being an attachment parent. For me it was from Day One. And for me, the needs of my kids come first, and I let that be the basis of most of my parenting decisions. So the struggle continues, it's just something I accept and live with.

Jelena | 7:24 AM

I have an almost 13 month old and I can absolutely relate to your feelings. I just wanted to highlight that you need to remember that Fable is probably also a bit stressed since she you are moving her into her own crib, you have a new nanny for her, and I am sure she is teething. All that is on top of the clingy 9 month old period....

Strongrrl | 9:02 AM

I had the exact same feeling, although for me it came later. However, I was just as surprised when it happened. What I want to tell you, what no one told me, is that the hormonal roller coaster you may experience now can be really awful. I was so lost feeling (out of nowhere) that I was terrified. Finally, in desperation, I went to a naturopath who mentioned that the hormonal crash after weaning was real and hard. The relief I felt was immediate. Once I understood what was happening, I felt worlds better. Getting your body and your life back is healthy, for both you and your kids.

Katy | 10:58 AM

I've never given birth or breast fed, but this sounds to me like nature saying that it is time to ween little Fable and to start teaching her about independence.

Listen to your body. It's not you being bitchy or mean, it is your natural instincts kicking in to guide Fable as she grows.

Chantelle | 8:54 PM

Oh my gosh. I just did a post on this last week, but you said it exactly how I didn't.

I know your guilt. I know your need for yourself back.

A month out I feel so much better. The guilt is still there. My daughter is happy, healthy and a little less needy. She is ok.

Here is the post if you're interested: http://fatmumslim.blogspot.com/2009/07/weaning.html

Thanks for sharing. xx

Kacy | 9:52 PM

Yes, I understand! I just stopped nursing recently, when my baby boy turned 8 months. I had no idea it would be so sad. I'm a teacher and knew I had to do it over the summer before school started. I miss our quiet time. I didn't think I wanted a second child for a long time, but now I'm wondering...

Misty | 6:55 AM

Oh crap. Here I am bawling my eyes out because you put my life into your words.

I have a 1 yr old and a 2 1/2 yr old. Was I insane? Apparently. I've felt so trapped by mounds of diapers and failed potty training attempts and "no your sister can't have those fruit chews!....but uh, thanks for sharing, that's so nice" that I break down constantly. I don't want to clean. I don't want to see tiny laundry, dirty diapers or forgotten sippys. I want to hide, I want to go away to a spa for a week and think of nothing but myself so that when I come back I'm in love with my kids again... I want to feel grateful that my husband has a job, not that he's been forced to work 60 hr weeks leaving me home alone so much more than normal. I have always been the happy, optimistic, spirit lifter and suddenly I need someone to pick me up off the floor.

Oh, geez. I'm done. I'm done.

Amie | 10:25 AM

I AM RIGHT WITH YOU. My daughter is 10 months old and a boobaholic. We have had such an intense love affair nursing and co-sleeping and being together 24/7. But I have this desire to have my body back to myself (and my bed too). Then again, there are still pangs of intense need to be her sole comfort, to have her latch on and fall into me. There are days when she wants to nurse all the time and I think I can't do it one more day and then there are days when she pulls off wanting to walk around, crying to get off my lap and I want her back to needing me. I never had a plan for how long I would nurse and I am suprised by our nursing relationship and not sure how and when to wean.

Mommy Words | 7:39 PM

Oh my, I know the feeling so well although my son Miles self weaned around 11 months I was afraid things were going the other way after we started using a cup during the day to prepare for separation and he started nursing for a LONG time at night - in the middle of the night. Then he started waking up even earlier and nursing again. He was getting all of his milk between 8 at night and 4 or 5 in the morning to avoid the cup and I was feeling like I needed some (all) of those hours back. I was feeling all that guilty pressure. Then he finally started to be tired, I think from being up so much, and sleep longer. It was almost 12 months to the day when he finally slept through the night, and that was a night of sleep that I had been dreaming of for months. He is still overwhelmingly attached to me though even though now he is almost 15 months old. I sometimes have to leave the room or the house (or today the birthday party for a neighbor) because he is literally clawing at my arms if he is on the floor or my face if I am holding him. If someone else tries to pick him up he lunges for me. So I have to be out of sight for him to calm down. We have a lot to work on but I know it is normal. Perhaps I should have done more separation earlier but I could not bear to. It will take some time but he will be fine. So will Fable. And she will still think you are Queen of the Universe. And of course, that is what really matters!

Baby Babble | 6:32 PM

My daughter is 9 1/2 months and I have been feeling this way too. I agree with Amy that it could be partly hormonal. But I think it's also the fact that we spend 24 hours a day 7 days a week with our babies. I wouldn't be able to spend this much time with another human being. I had a minor meltdown last weekend and realised it was tied to the fact that I am with my daugher all the time! I have decided that I need more regular time out. I think this will help.