I’m stuck. The girls are hovering in the undecided space between weaning and needing the comfort of me nursing them. Meanwhile, I’m caught between encouraging them to continue and wondering if I should just let the end happen.
There are days now when KC only wants to nurse in the mornings. The nights when she refuses me crack my heart. From day one, I knew that my little adventurer would be the first to quit of the two. On those nights, G usually nurses enough for both of them. My snuggler caulks the fissure in my heart…if only for a day. I watch her eyes dart to her sister playing while she nurses, and I know our time is short, too.
I gave up pumping a couple of months ago, and we were doing just fine with that. Then school let out, and they started sleeping past when I had to leave for work. I probably don’t need to pump anymore; I’m just doing it to maintain some semblance of supply. Am I doing it for me, or am I doing it for them? I don’t know. The nights that they don’t need me, I dread pumping, but I dread being done with nursing more. Right now, I am still mostly good enough for them, when I’m not good enough for so many aspects of my life.
I can’t force it on them. I don’t want to. But being good at this breastfeeding thing has come to define me in a way I didn’t ever expect…or want. The compliments on our duration, the “you’re better than me’s,” they always made me uncomfortable. It’s what I knew was right for us, and I happened to be good at it. I knew it would just be a season of life; why am I having so much trouble with the idea of letting it go?
I am, and always have been, good at babies. When I finally had to face the fact that B was no longer a baby, and instead an extremely strong-willed and bright toddler, I had a hard time. I’m doing my best to deny that I’m almost there again. Except this time, there is no promise of trying for another baby, for another chance to be really good at something again.
There are many days now when B is being an ungrateful jerk, as is normal for four-year-olds, and about 86% of the day, nothing we do is good enough for him. In those moments when he doesn’t know how deep his words hurt me, I fast forward in fear to three years from now, when I have two at a time that I won’t be good enough for. A pitfall of being a mom of twins is the barrage of unhelpful comments about double teenage girl hormones and double attitudes…everything that I remember about my own life with just enough of a Vaseline filter to worry about. How will I handle the not-enoughness of two at a time on top of what already exists?
But then there are moments when B looks at me and says “I love you” as the gratitude and happiness for everything I do for him radiate from his eyes, blue-grey like my own. The stress and the not-enoughness of the day fades out, and I am recharged, if only for long enough to make it to bedtime.
Those minutes will get me through. I will live for them, three times over.
I will remind myself in the coming weeks, as they decide they’ve had enough of our nursing journey, that everything I have done thus far, for all three of them, was more than enough. Whether it had been for just a day or another six months, it was more than enough.
And so am I, even if I don’t always believe it
This was beautiful! I understand your yearning to be good enough all too well. I’m sure we all face trying times as mamas. All we can do, is know in our hearts that we’ve done all that we can do ;).
You will get so much more recognition than you can imagine when they are older! As I am finding out now that I am a mother, I appreciate my mother more than ever.
You are a wonderful writer!