Grieving babyhood

So here I am at nearly 10pm on a rainy Monday night thinking about the fact I have two school age children.

It’s honestly the weirdest feeling ever. For eight years I’ve been in the pre school trenches. I’ve been pregnant or breastfeeding for most of it and I’m just used to having little ones at home. Motherhood for me has been so life changing and transformative, it’s kind of obliterated whatever was before them. Yes I’m still me but I have learnt so much having my heart explode, twice.

The strange thing now is I have some time. I have some time to be me and I’m not totally sure what that means. I feel so lucky to have my doulaing, something alongside mothering which I am so passionate about. But those two things have consumed me for these years and if I’m not working, I’m with the kids and vice versa. So having the odd spare morning or afternoon just for me in between all this, is kind of unsettling. Don’t worry I’m finding ways to fill it, no worries but it’s more the feelings attached.

Nearly a year ago to the day, I stopped breastfeeding Moo, a couple of weeks after her fourth Birthday. I wish I could say it was gentle but it was actually quite abrupt. My body had been crying out at me to stop for months, I was exhausted and experiencing a lot of breast pain and it got so excruciating one day, I just told her I couldn’t tonight, it was too sore, and that was our last feed.

I’m not sure I completely emotionally closed that door and have felt a bit off this past year. I keep saying to my acupuncturist, the magical Sam, I just feel a bit flat. We’ve chatted about it and he’s said it’s going to take time to come back into balance after all this time in a different hormonal place. And now she’s started school that door feels like it’s been slammed in my face a bit. It’s not that I’m not happy for her to be at school or that I won’t grow into this new day to day, it’s just right now, it feels odd. She needs me less and more in a way but it’s different.

I am used to being physically needed a lot, little hands always on me and now she wants to do it herself, because she is a ‘big girl’. Which again is great but my heart aches a little for what we had and at the same time bursts with pride.

Motherhood is a real mind fuck isn’t it?? You constantly feel at least two different emotions at all times. You miss them and then as soon as you’re with them, you want to leave. You can’t wait for them to go to bed and then you look at their sleeping faces and wish they were awake, I mean it’s crazy!

So I guess as always, I will lean in. See where this new phase takes me and what motherhood mindset shifts I’ll be making and watch the growth. There’s nothing quite like it, is there.

Doula love

Jen

x

@theminimalistdoula

Jenna RutherfordComment