I realized today that it is Rage that I am reacting to when I loose my temper with Max – not Max and not Rage’s little sis, Frustration.
I experienced it in awareness, today. I looked Rage straight in the eye and did nothing. I just stared. She was ugly and hurtful.
Max was “suppose” to go down for a nap. He said that he was ready to take a nap. He lied. I know he doesn’t understand what it means to “lie” but my brain reacted as if he does.
He lied because he wanted me to himself. I have to put Bella in the swing in order to nurse Max. I always nurse Max to sleep. He knows this. I know he knows this because when he wants num-nums or a nap he will say, “put Bella down, put Bella in the swing,” So today when I was holding Bella and asked Max, “are you ready for your nap?” naturally, he said, yes. He wanted a nap just so he could nurse.
When he isn’t lying about being ready to nap he falls asleep rather quickly and doesn’t fidget as he nurses. It’s the fidgeting that gave him away. Normally, I would jerk my body away from him or out of bed (to make sure he could “see” how mad I was) and exclaim how angry I was that he lied to me. Then, I would say something manipulative to “get” him to say he was ready to sleep. Like, mommy isn’t going to nurse you ANYMORE today unless you take a nap RIGHT NOW! This, as you may have guessed, never works. He’d still be bright-eyed and bushy-tailed as he told me he was going to take his nap.
I’m starting to notice that while I don’t yell or become violent when I’m pissed, I do become manipulative. I threaten Max with actions that I can’t or won’t carry out. I don’t want to do this. I also struggle with empathizing with him.
The fidgeting while nursing is annoying when *I’m* ready for him to sleep. He pinches, rubs, and slaps until I just can’t take it anymore. However, instead of my usual M.O. (which always brings him to tears), today, I did nothing. I just said to myself, hello rage. I see you. I hear you loud and clear. Max looked a bit surprised and confused that I didn’t react the way I normally react. I just got out of bed quietly and smoothly without expressing the anger (out loud). He seemed happier, less tense, and stopped acting out faster than he would have had I reacted. Oh, and he finally fell asleep on the couch while watching Jurassic Park (he’s into dinosaurs – big time). He requested to watch “the real dinosaur movie,” then conked out ten minutes into it.
Acknowledging Rage but not reacting to it didn’t make it go away – like I hoped. It lingered, prodding me to do something about it’s presence. However, seeing it clearly and without judgment took the focus off Max. The benefit… a good relationship with my son.
Rage is something that visits me when I feel like I don’t have any control over a situation. I.e.: Max’s behavior. And while it didn’t go away, I did feel a sense of accomplishment for not “taking it out” on my kid. The fact that the feeling is lingering (still, even as I type) means that it is there for some other reason. I’m thinking being tired and having poor nutrition are those reasons. These things aren’t always about our childhood – the same as when a child gets cranky because she’s hungry or tired. This rage had a physiological trigger.
In an attempt to control my rheumatoid and to become a healthier person (physically and mentally) I’m looking into the macrobiotic diet. Wish me luck on this because to eat a macrobiotic diet takes a form of discipline that I’ve never had.
I need to wean Max because I really hate nursing him as much as he *wants* to nurse. Even nursing Bella has become joyless (though I mind less with her). I’m at a point where I only nurse her because it is the right thing to do and I nurse Max because I don’t want him to resent Bella. I don’t want this to be the fate of our nursing relationship.
I know I’m going to have to facilitate Max in weaning – as opposed to him “self-weaning.” My plan is to wait until Bella is eating solids before I start the process of getting Max off the boob-juice during day-time hours. I’ve started the night weaning already and am taking it slow from there. I need to set some more boundaries with Max. I knew tandem nursing would be hard but nothing really prepared me for all these feelings.
There is a balance that needs to be respected with weaning. It’s not just about me. It’s also about Max’s needs. I have to reteach him that there are other ways to obtain comfort from mommy and himself. I have to take the boobs away slowly and gently. Maybe I’ll get to a comfort zone again with nursing them both and will be able to continue until Max weans himself. It’s hard to say right now. I know it doesn’t have to be an “all or nothing” thing.
I’m considering weaning Bella after her first birthday – at least night weaning her. However, if I get this pain under control and Max cuts back on how often he nurses, I *may* feel differently about weaning Bella so early.
There is a lack of information out there concerning the various ways of gently weaning your baby/toddler. There should be more information about the feelings that a mama experiences throughout the weaning process as well as the feelings/circumstances surrounding the decision to start the weaning process. I find it annoying that every piece of information about breastfeeding deals with why it is best for the baby and how blissfully bonding it is for the mother. This type of white-washing sets women up for depression and feelings of failure. There is a whole spectrum of feelings that women go through during the different stages of nursing – and they’re not all flowery. Too bad I’m in no shape to right a book right now.
He has adjusted well to having a baby sister. He kisses her all the time and talks to her. When she cries he’ll say (usually), “mommy, Bella crying. Bella want mommy’s milk. My (I) want to kiss Bella! Kiss Bella.” We stopped having play dates at our house because Max was having a really difficult time sharing his toys. And because of all the changes he has been going through – having to share everything with Bella – I don’t want to force him to be polite and share with other kids in his own home. For now, we are only having play dates at other people’s homes. Also, going out in public (without Hal) is out of the question for a while.
The girl is growing like a weed. She is seven weeks old and wearing 3-6 month old clothes. I’m cutting dairy of my diet (as of today) because I think she is having a negative reaction to it – gas and rashes. I’ll know in a few days. She sleeps well, only waking 2-3 times a night. She also sleeps in her own bed. Max wouldn’t sleep alone and kept crawling into bed with Bella and I. Because of my arthritis, laying in one position all night KILLED my joints so, I moved her into the twin bed and Max is with me. Bella will probably be sleeping in her own room before Max. As soon as she starts sleeping “through the night” (at least five hours) consistently… I’m actually going to put her in her and Max’s room to sleep. Not sure yet if I want to use the crib or put a mattress on the floor. I’ll cross that bridge when we get there.
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