I'm actually writing this right after this happened but I am holding it for posting until tomorrow. I need to talk about it but I feel it is to important for me to hide it tonight. I was selfish tonight and it hurt my relationship with Little Man. I grew impatient and put my needs before my child's and in turn lost something tonight that I treasured. I am most certainly not looking to be forgiven either for what I did. This post is for me so that I will not forget what I did tonight and the immediate consequences of my actions.
For two months we have been partially bed-sharing. I nurse down and Little Man goes to bed in his crib in his room. When he wakes at 1am, he comes into bed with me to nurse and fall asleep until my hubby comes to bed and takes Little Man back to his crib. Most nights there is a second waking around 4ish and Little Man will stay with me until 5 when I wake for work. That had been our routine.
With all the vacation and snow days our routine altered that Little Man was spending more time in our bed then not. This past week he had begun refusing to nurse down at all and running around until 11pm and then coming straight into bed with me. if hubby tried to take him to his crib at night he would refuse and fuss to stay in bed with me. Most of me did not mind this but I could see that my hubby was not happy with his new arrangement since he mostly ends up on the couch.
Tonight my hubby started the bedtime routine without me - I was writing about my laundry footprint and came to join the routine when it was time to nurse. I put on my lavender lotion and settled in the rocker my mother used to nurse me and my brother - the one I use every night with Little Man. He nursed for 5 minutes and then scooted off and out the door. He was down the hall back to play in the family room. Long story short - he had an accident - I got upset and decided he needed to go to bed.
Instead of trying to nurse him down or lay down with him in our bed, I put him in his crib. I left the light on and began emptying trash cans while my son screamed, cried and pleaded with me to take him out.
I can empathize with Arwyn when she wrote a few days ago about a really bad day she had. In the post which I hope you will read she spoke of how we can hurt our children, "...but I have hurt him, caused him physical pain through deliberate action as surely as though I had raised my hand to him." I caused Little Man pain because I could pretend to ignore his cries until I felt he was ready for me to pick him up.
I was immediately punished for this careless way of treating my child. He refused to nurse. He instead cried and sucked his fingers on my shoulder until he fell asleep without nursing.
When I realized he was not going to nurse I knew immediately that what I had done was unforgivable. My own son - the reason I am - refused the one thing only I can offer him. My heart goes out to Lauren again in a different light now in her post Breastfeeding through pregnancy: My second-trimester experience. When I first read that I felt awful for Lauren that she was in such a position that her milk had dried up and that her son was missing that part of their relationship and his bedtime routine and acting out because of it. Now I find myself reacting poorly because I am missing out on my nightly adult time but for selfish reasons and not because nature has taken anything from me. I can now feel ashamed with her for not understanding what our children needed from us at these moments in our parenting lows.
As the one year mark slowly approaches I am finding myself falling short in my expectations of myself as a parent. I am hoping that in 26 days when he turns one that I can say we have moved past this and he has forgiven me. I am hoping that I have found better ways to cope and that I am responding with love and not being selfish in the face of his needs. Balance is what I hope to bring back to our family.