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May 7, 2007 / allyo

Infancy, revisited

I was fortunate enough to spend lots of time with various girlfriends last week, and as it often happens much of the conversation was about our children. Two topics came up repeatedly – breastfeeding and sleep. Hot topics when you have a newborn/baby on your hands that fade slowly but surely in importance the older your children get. It was interesting to revisit these topics with my fellow mothers, whose children range in age from 6 years to 6 months and among whom we’ve covered just about every breastfeeding scenario (unsuccessful to using an SNS/donated milk to weaning at 1 year, to weaning at 3.5 years) and every sleeping scenario (sleep training through still cosleeping part-time at age 6) imaginable. Well, except for tandem nursing. The 3.5 yo self-weaned while her mom was pregnant.

The bottom line? We all have happy, healthy children, no matter what path our parenting experiences led us down. These topics, which caused us so much stress, occupied so many of our waking moments, and caused us to disagree even with each other, are now merely conversation fodder. An opportunity for us to share our collective mothering experience over coffee (or tea, or wine). Mistakes were admitted and shared. I realize now if we had coslept from birth the period from 6-13 months would have been a lot less hellish. My friend realized her doctor’s advice to pump and feed rice-thickened breastmilk to her refluxing infant was not ideal. But overall we just relished in the experience and to some degree, that it was over.

I wish we had the opportunity to have these conversations more often while we were in the thick of it. I wish all my girlfriends lived next door so that we could send our kids back and forth or drink coffee together while they play. Hell, I wish a million bucks would drop out of the sky so I could stay home. But regardless of how infrequent or stolen these moments are*, they’re as much a part of being a mom as midnight feedings and the first day of school and I’m thankful I have such wonderful girlfriends to share them with.**

*one conversation was with a friend who lives a couple of hours away and I think this was our first time out alone since her oldest (4 yo) was born.

**just as I’m excedingly greatful for my girlfriends in the computer.

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3 Comments

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  1. thordora / May 7 2007 9:33 pm

    I had a similar experience last year, at a baby shower. I’m not used to spending oodles of time around women, esp women my mother or grandmother’s age. It was INCREDIBLE! To be around their women, and their daughters, and feeling that actual bond of sisterhood, having this conversation where everyone just understood….

    It was something. But I wouldn’t appreciate it half as much if I had it all the time.

  2. Jody / May 8 2007 6:02 pm

    chris at barefootand.blogspot.com has infant twins, both with reflux, neither of whom are nursing from the breast at the moment. She’s theoretically okay with pumping EBM (she has a 4.5 yo toddler, too) but would appreciate any advice you have, I’m sure, about how better to deliver the food to the babies.

    Thanks, and excuse me if you’ve already been there, I’m horrible about reading comments lately.

  3. FriendD / May 9 2007 12:51 pm

    If there is anything I know about motherhood, it is a humbling experience. Who is anyone to say another’s methods are right, wrong, in between?

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