Yesterday I wrote about how breastfeeding is coming to an end for me and how that has made me reflect on the realisation that I’m not going to be having any more children. Please don’t think I’m sitting around weeping into one of Florie’s babygrows but it did make me think about where I am in my life and a little of how I got here.
I never really planned to have 4 children. We said 3, had 1 and then spent the next 3.5 years getting over the shock of just that 1 that it was that long before we had another. Then 20 months later followed another and, to be honest, I thought that was us done. But then there is that little nag in the back of your mind that nags a little more and especially so when you see a tiny, snuffly, newborn. Hubbie was just the same as me and we would coo over other little babies we saw when we were out and about.
Someone once said that if we were thinking about having no 4 then it would probably happen and do you know what?
They were right.
And so we had no 4.
No 4 has been a delight. We’d finally ‘got the hang’ of babies and what they do. We’ve learned that they do sleep (as will we again), they learn to eat, play and will do all of the things that they should that we worried so much about with the other 3.
That worry I had about stopping breastfeeding that meant the end of having children was a very real one and I don’t think self indulgent at all. Our lives move in and out of phases and just as the ‘becoming a mummy’ was the huge first phase that started it all ‘the last breastfeed’ is the end of another. I think it’s right to stop a little, pause and reflect and see just how much of an adventure it has all been. That metaphorical pat-on-the-back we should should give ourselves (that we often don’t) that shows we survived; some parts of parenting really is just about surviving isn’t it! That time I walked our eldest round our bedroom chanting my 7 times table as he had been crying for what seemed like eternity, that time when my 2nd son had hit me and shouted ‘I hate you Mummy!’ and the time where I had washed sick from bed sheets for the third time in 24 hours, yes, those are the times that I look back on now and think Wow. Well done us…
I walked up the stairs yesterday after sorting the washing, folding it into neat piles ready to file it into the appropriate room for the appropriate sized person to wear again. I heard giggling as I walked up and round the corner onto the landing and saw this…
Now it’s not a breastfeed before bed but it melted my heart in the same way. I think the new phase we’re going into is going to be a fun and giggly one and also one that Hubbie can take full part in. (He can do pretty much all of the parenting as equally as me but the breastfeeding was always a bit of a non starter for him!)
‘Peepo!’ by Janet and Alan Alhberg was the first of many stories that will be shared at bedtime for Florie and the boys. Daddy reads them differently to Mummy (he does better voices) but Daddy has an equal share. I chose the story -I had tapped the book in time with the words ‘One, two, three…’ and wanted him to do it to as Florie taps the book (I say tap but it’s really hit) after me.
So no breastfeeding snuggles. But I’m getting to be okay with that, honestly I am. But we will have snuggles of a different kind that mean different things and include many more people. This is the phase where Florie becomes part of her family with them sitting around her also listening to the stories that she will remember for the rest of her life…