Tandem nursing feelings

April 7, 2009 § 8 Comments

Nothing can make up for sincere breastfeeding support. I mean, I do own a number of books on the topic and recently bought myself a copy of Adventures in Tandem Nursing by Hilary Flower but it can only help so much. Why do I need help? Well, this tandem nursing gig is something else. It challenges every bit of me and in feeling raw and vulnerable I am less willing to admit to our current state of affairs.

I can imagine it’s hard to come up with a reply to my complaints. We do live in a weaning culture. Is there a problem in the child? the mother isn’t getting rest? the father wants the nursing to stop? The nursing invariably gets blamed. I consider my difficulties with tandeming to be like any relationship. It’s hard at times and easy at times. If our nursing years are the foundation for our relationship, I want to make it through the thick and thin of it. I want to find a way to understand and grow from the natural feelings of guilt at cutting a feeding short or distracting instead of nursing. I also want to revel in the sweetness of my girl who knows she’s big and little and will sometimes cuddle up and close her eyes to nurse, just like she did when she was tiny. It’s very sweet.

Bottling things up is a habit I have long left behind but venting and sharing when I can isn’t something I can do; nor is it something most can tolerate before telling me I should wean.

What’s the plan? Ride it out.

Disclaimer: Every nursing relationship is different. Obviously. How one mother copes is based on her individual thoughts, feelings and limits. My feelings of guilt at the thought of weaning my 2 year old are my own. I know Dr. Sears and his clan say that I shouldn’t feel bad and that it’s a rite of passage- one of many. Well, I respect the guy in many ways but he has never nursed a child and therefore how could he understand the coctail of feelings a mother has? Impossible. It’s also impossible for one mother to fully understand another’s true feelings regarding her nursing relationship(s). It’s our job to support via listening and respect- regardless of the natural judgement we may feel.



§ 8 Responses to Tandem nursing feelings

  • Trisha says:

    I like how you described tamdom nursing as being in a relationship; basically one must take the good and the bad together.

    My milk has returned as I enter the third trimester and North has picked up his nursing again. I can’t help but wonder what the next six months will bring. Thank you for sharing your experiances.

  • studentsoflife says:

    At almost ten months Isaac would still nurse exclusively if he was given the choice, so I don’t think he’ll wean early or easy. I wonder what it will be like to tandem nurse and how I will have time for anything else when and if baby #2 ever comes along.

  • Leila says:

    The first 6 months of tandeming was both blissful and exhausting, but still fairly easy. At 7 months, I still have my little boy in a carrier most of the day so when he nurses it’s not so obvious to bilingual baby.

  • nancy says:

    I think its difficult to “vent” when the listener very often feels their role is to “fix” your problem by giving you solutions or answers and tell you what you ought to do.

    Most of the time when I want to talk, I really just want the listener to validate my feelings and maybe help me articulate them. Most of the time I already know what I want to do. I just need to be heard.

    That said, I hear *you*. Its tough, but its rewarding. It may not always be easy, and the things you try may not “solve” any of your problems, but you cope the best you can, you help your little ones cope the best they can, and you live to see another day. And then all of a sudden you find yourself with a 5 year old whos weaned and wants to be a rock star. Oh, wait, thats me again. LOL 🙂

    • Leila says:

      wow Nancy. You got what I meant, exactly! Thank you for that. It is hard to vent when you need to and have the response you hope to get.

  • megan says:

    Yes I have to say again what Nancy said
    I hear you
    I think that’s important. It does not matter what I feel or think or what anyone does really as long as you are heard and understood…I think that might come from Naomi Aldort…not sure.
    For me I felt really bad when I weaned Ara…no help with dealing with thrush…I was in tears every time I fed her because I didn’t want to give up but it was so painful.
    We’ll just have to see what comes with the next one.
    I think if you vent enough you find what you want and you also help enlighten others as well…even though they might not take it in at the time you still would make them think.

  • […] two can bring on the challenges but I feel so strongly about doing it. Like I said in my earlier post about tandeming, I can’t expect everyone to understand- that’s a lot to expect. It’s not a common […]

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