Extended feeders past and present - remind me again how you get a break when you have little or no help?(25 Posts)
That's it really. Ds is nearly 2.6, the feeding itself isn't a problem, but I have been feeling quite run down recently - partly, I think, because I look after ds all the time, and that's all I do. I don't have anyone close enough to give me any practical help during the week. Dp will take ds out for a short time some weekends, but generally we do things as a family - which is fine most of the time - it's just every now and then I feel like I can't go on until I have some decent time ON MY OWN!
I suppose my two main options are nursery (which I'm still a bit iffy about) and getting dp to amuse him for longer some weekends.... and I know that it's not going to be like this forever. Just feeling fed-up, weepy and tired atm. I know my son needs me to be there most of the time, and I want to be with him, but sometimes my body and my brain just give up. I never realised motherhood was going to make me feel like this.
I certainly think dp should help out more at weekends and indeed evenings. Is bf really the issue here? Once you have bf ds, you could go out in the evening couldn't you? Don't you ever get a babysitter and go out with dp? I was doing that much, much earlier than 2.6 years after birth with all my dc. The first 2 bf for a year each and it was only the last one that carried on for eons. It really made no difference to having time off.
Have you not left ds with a babysitter yet?
If cost is an issue, maybe you could join (or start) a babysitting circle.
Thank you both for your replies. Dp is really good actually, whenever I have a crisis he does come up with ways of trying to improve the situation... It is during the day really I think I could do with a bit of space (he does still need me in the evenings). BF is kind of the issue because I worry that he will get upset/tired after a certain length of time and although I know he can go a fair while without a feed, I don't want to make him do something that's really difficult for him, iyswim. I am looking into the pre-school/nursery thing but not quite sure if we are ready for it yet.
How are you Psychobabble?
have you tried mother and toddler groups? or do you have any other friends with similar aged babies?
I meet up with a few friends I met at a baby group when ds was small, we get together once a week and even though you're essentially still looking after the LO's it does seem like more of a break- and you get adult conversation!
We found a friend who loves small kids and she looked after DS1 for 3 hours twice a week for £20 each time (from 5 months till he was 2.8). Now DS1 goes to nursery two mornings a week.
Have you thought about playgroup? If there is one near your DS can start from age 2.6 and his sessions will be funded when he is 3.
I do think that getting some help in will make a huge difference for you, its a relatively new thing that parents try and bring up kids on their own with no outside help and I think it is just too hard and perhaps not the best thing for children either.
Hope you find something which suits you all.
Fingerwoman, I do meet people with similar aged children, I think I could do it more. Sometimes it's not always that harmonious though due to the age they are and them not really playing together as such. But you are right, the adult conversation does you good.
Pannacotta, I like your idea. You are right, I don't feel this is the best situation for ds either. I find it really hard to admit to myself that I need help, never mind asking for it. I want to do everything myself but it's not working is it?
I do loads of things by myself at the weekends, it keeps me relatively sane
I found around this age dp and ds could go off for the afternoon together to the beach or park or whatever and have a high old time
then in the week you need to find one friend you can trust, and get her to swop with you occasionally
I know it can be hard to meet like minded types. Do you go to LLL meetings? That might help.
I also think it would help if you and dp occasionally had an hour or two to yourselves - could you cultivate local teenager or local family in same boat and do occasional swops at weekend? People are usually willing to help if you are a bit cheeky and ask.
I do LLL Franny, but the group isn't in my town. I have made good friends there but we don't live very close together. I will have to get my thinking cap on. We haven't been here that long so I still don't know many people.
You need to meet people fast. How about NCT meetings? The ones round here are not my cup of tea I don't think but I know lots of people who have had good experiences. Any local toddler groups that seem ok? The quick way to get to know people is to volunteer to do something there, ie make tea or clear up at the end or whatever.
When we first moved we went to loads of groups, but the only thing that really clicked with me was LLL. I'm not sure what NCT is like round here, I will look into that. I am too embarrassed to list all the reasons why this is hard for me, but I need to get over it for everyone's sake don't I? It's at least partly down to the fact that I am scared of being in a situation where people will not accept me feeding ds.
I think you will find that if you are not around he won't even think about being fed, it's only when he's with you
That's not such a bad thing ( IMHO)
What about joing a gym with a creche?
Start a course ( with a creche)
Short bursts of freedomw will make you feel so much better about yourself and your life.
As another said i don't think bf is the issue, it's summoning up the energy to do something for yourself again!
Could you try a Steiner m and T group? Everyone seems to do extended bfing in those groups. Also if you do a music class, like Colourstrings or something, you might meet like minded people who are also extended bfing and understand the issues, and with whom you could do a swap. You sound tired...
Err, I don't! Am totally on my own all week, as dh works/lives abroad, but I do go out to lots of toddler groups and TumbleTots, so we are out of the house every morning. Have made some good friends at some of the groups, but less so at others.
Dh has only taken dd out without me twice at the weekends, for a couple of hours each time.
Last weekend the in-laws took dd out for the day, and dh and I went into London to a matinee at the theatre. It was lovely to have a break, although I did worry about dd. She apparently asked for 'boo-boo' quite a lot (mil disappoves of me still feeding her too).
I am intending to see if a local childminder (have met lots, but there's only 1 who I'd be prepared to leave dd with) will have dd for one afternoon a week to give me a bit of a break. Have you considered this as an option - a bit less daunting than nursery I think.
So what happens at LLL meetings then? I've never been to one, and don't even know if there is one round here, but would be interested to know what happens so I know if it's worth looking into further.
Whereabouts do you live Tatties? Are there other Mners in the area who are/have been extended bf'ers?
CSWS there are 2 types of LLL meetings that I know of - one is "series meetings" where a leader or 2 leaders facilitate a discussion around a certain topic / topics to do with breastfeeding. The topics rotate so that if you attend a series of meetings, you get to finish the course, kind of, and then it begins again, but of course the discussion will be very different the second time round, and still interesting. There is also social time at each meeting and a chance to talk to the leader privately or ask the group as a whole for advice.
Other LLL groups hold baby cafe events which are just drop in coffee mornings with the leaders available to speak to and perhaps have a small discussion at the end.
Tatties I do see about feeling self-conscious around other people and feeding. I have been through times like that myself. The only thing I can say is that if they can't accept your choice of feeding ds then they are unlikely to be good people to get know anyway. Perhaps this will sort the wheat from the chaff so to speak
I know I live in a different area but I can honestly say that although I have often felt uncomfortable about feeding ds in public as he got older, I never had any negative comments at all. A lot of people who I could see felt surprised / slightly embarrassed by it did make an effort to make positive comments, in fact. I think it just happens so seldom in public that people may not have come across it before, and a lot of their initial reaction is to do with that. By feeding in public you can quite easily change people's perceptions of extended feeding.
Thanks Franny. The first type you describe sounds great, but I assume that you don't take your dc to that, which means that I wouldn't be able to go?
Agree with the suggestion about a Steiner group, most mothers at the one I went to were bfeeding their toddlers. Also agree using a childminder might be a good option for you and prob easier for your DS too.
Hope you can find sth, we all need a break me feels!
my dd is 2.9 now and I have cut the feeding back to just once, before bed
I think it was tiring me a bit and I felt a bit "under siege" as dd was getting older and more aggressive about pulling on my top and being demanding
My mum spoke to her friend, who was a senior health visitor, I have known her since I was tiny, about the fact that I seem to be so tired and pick up every bug going and she said that bf was still a strain on the body - and I do think when your lo is little and less active you can have little 'rests' - certainly bf-ing used to be a rest but as they get older I find it's a bit less restful, sometimes I felt like she was sucking the lifeblood out of me
CSWS you have it tougher than me. I go to LLL series meetings - it is fine to take ds along. If you look at the LLL website, there are details of local groups.
Franny my problem isn't feeding in public as such, I'm quite happy to feed out and about if necessary; it's more being in a group situation with other mums who likely don't bf that I'm worried about - just worried that it would raise all sorts of potentially uncomfortable/defensive situations/discussions... I don't want to upset anyone else and I don't want to be seen as the weirdo. That's why I feel fine at LLL - bf isn't an issue and we all have a similar outlook on parenting.
CSWS, toomanydaves and bluejelly you have good ideas. I know ds would be fine without me for a while, but I would have to find somewhere/someone I am totally comfortable with.
God I've got so many issues. I really appreciate all your suggestions, I am taking them all on board and will think about what would work for us. Thank you
CSWS, no, you take your children to the meeting...there are toys and snacks and stuff for them. Almost everyone there has young children or babies who are breastfed so it wouldn't work to have a meeting without children!
Tatties I am sure you will find something that works for you. I am sorry it has been / is so tricky for you
Re. extended BFing in public - I BF my 2-and-a-half year old son at our local toddler group. It's a really busy group and I have really never seen anyone else there breastfeed, let alone feeding a toddler. I have been really heartened by the experience: now that they know me better, a lot of them ask me questions about why I'm still BFing, but in a very accepting and unaggressive way. People can surprise you.
Know what Capp means about sucking the life blood out. My son's latch is so powerful that I sometimes think my nipple will come off in his mouth. (Nice image.)
Where are you tatties? Your profile doesn't say.
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