The great part about signing up for a class less than a week before it starts is there is not tons of time to psyche myself out about it. Unfortunately my evil anxiety doesn’t need tons of time. Almost immediately the high of actually doing something started to fade and that fucking little voice began whispering in my ear, and it has gone for the jugular. I won’t get home from school until 9pm at the earliest. C’s bedtime routine starts at 6:30ish and little man is in his crib somewhere between 7:15 and 7:30. I know it is crazy early, but he gets up at the ass crack of dawn even if he goes to bed much later. So it makes sense to keep the early bedtime at this point.
Class meets two days before C’s first birthday. He only drinks breast milk, has never taken a bottle, and I haven’t introduced any cow’s milk yet. I nurse him before bed and I have every night of his life. That time is special for a couple reasons. I love holding him close, love looking at his beautiful face and marveling at how perfect he is. I also love having a few minutes to read on my Nook or just to think, a few minutes when no one gets to ask me to do anything. Even though I am with C it’s like a mini-break from life. But it’s better than being alone, it’s special time with my littlest man. I am overwhelmed with guilt at the thought of not nursing him before bedtime.
The plan is for me to pump so Z can give him my milk in a sippy cup. And if C really freaks out, well, it’ll be a pretty unpleasant couple of hours, but I can always nurse him when I get home. When we discussed the situation Z asked if I should just start weaning him. I jumped so far down his throat that I reached his intestines. It wasn’t an unreasonable suggestion, the problem is I feel pretty damn defensive about my choices in the nursing department. I’m not ready to stop and he’s not ready either. The World Health Organization recommends nursing until a child is 2 years and beyond. I point that out not to make people who can’t or don’t want to breastfeed feel bad, I firmly believe that everyone needs to make the choices that are right for their family. Rather, I feel self conscious about my decision to nurse beyond a year. I worry that people are going to think I’m some damaging breastfeeding kook. I worry that I’m being selfish about nursing because I get so much out of it. It makes me feel connected to him, at this point it’s also so easy. Never dealing with bottles is a beautiful thing to someone who sucks at housework.
Listen, I’m terrified about this class. My anxiety is telling me it is going to punish me big time for rocking the boat. I know that it isn’t the end of the world that I’m not there to put C to bed for 15 Wednesdays. In fact, I have the feeling it’ll be harder for me than it is for him. But I can’t stop thinking about it. I look at him and I feel like I will be betraying him on Wednesday night. I feel like a selfish ass for doing something for myself at the expense of his comfort.
Dude. These thoughts are mega unhelpful. And mega ridiculous. Do I think that it makes you a bad mother or person not to be there every single bedtime of your child’s existence? Abso-fucking-lutely not. When I frame it that way it helps me remember that my anxiety is a lying asshole. C will be fine. I will be fine. C will be fine. I will be fine. If I say it enough times hopefully I’ll start to believe it.