It's been a while since I wrote about sleep

It's 1 am and I wake up because Little Brother is stirring and wants to nurse. Since he sleeps in the co-sleeper right next to me, I can just pull him towards me and breastfeed while I'm still half asleep. Normally I would fall back asleep but now BlueEyes wakes up too: "Mama miiiiillk!!". So I turn over, because he sleeps  in between me and Dr. BrownEyes and nurse him too. More for show than for real because he only takes two sips and then tries to sleep. But he stays awake and can't seem to manage to fall back asleep for the next hour and a half.

That whole hour and a half I lay awake wondering if this attachment parenting is screwing up my career or at least my ability to make smart remarks during lab meetings or while meeting new people. I wonder if I would have gotten more sleep had we trained our kids to sleep in their own room. Or if I would get more work done at night if it wouldn't be necessary to stay with BlueEyes until he sleeps in the evening which sometimes takes more than an hour. Or if I wouldn't need to pump milk at work twice a day.

These are the things that seem important at night. But then in the morning I realize that I'm really not that tired (perhaps because of this?) and that there's really no way of testing this hypothesis because there is only one me and only one time that I get to parent small children. And then I'm glad that I only read a two 'parenting' books, the most important one being "Our babies, ourselves" (If you're the parent of small kids: go read it!!).

And to conclude this post I will quote the second sentence my new (German) department head said when I first met hir:"Good, back to work then!".

4 responses so far

  • Jessica Tollkuhn says:

    As much as I think every kid does things in their own time, you can start to push things into a new schedule if you are feeling overwhelmed. For me, that meant putting a stop to night nursing around 17 months. I just couldn't maintain waking at 1, 3 and 5 every night (yes, every night. If he skipped a feeding, I woke up anyway) and at that point I felt my kid could understand what I was telling him. It took a couple weeks, but it was fine (like everything else from those days, I barely remember it). Amazingly, he self-weaned just before turning two, which I never thought would happen. I was anticipating some horrible future struggle, but I stopped offering if he didn't ask, and it went quickly. He's still a terrible sleeper though. 🙁

    • Thanks for your comment! I've been debating whether to night wean for literally a year now but every time I felt it would be a bad time. First because then Little Brother was born, then because we were moving, but I guess now might be the time 😉

  • Anon says:

    I too, am facing the same problem - having to pump milk at work while juggling the experiments! What upsets me most is when people say things like 'you should stop breastfeeding, your child is old enough'...well..she is only 18 months now..also, another hard thing is to time your pumps in between experiment steps. and if you need to go to another location for occasional meetings/workshops for the day, that would be quite hard. my child still does not sleep through the night at this age..and sometimes I have the feeling that she might never acquire the skills to do this..anyway, hope it will be better for you soon 🙂

  • Jessica Tollkuhn says:

    Yeah, I'm sure it's much harder if LB gets to nurse when he wants. My kid continued to put his hands in my shirt in the night for comfort even after he was weaned completely. Eventually I told him that he was too big for that and he seemed on board, he started saying "nursing is for babies". Maybe making the "big kid" vs. "baby" distinction would be helpful for BE, you can play up how he's big and gets to do different things that LB can't do. For us, potty training, moving from crib to toddler bed (he still wakes up and comes in our bed at some point in the night) and self-weaning happened all in the same month, and we certainly didn't plan it like that!

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