Holy crap. I did it! Two years of breastfeeding. Two years of nursing bras, sore nipples, doubting myself, doubting my boobs, doubting my sanity, twiddling, tumbling, and sleepless, yet sleepy snuggles.
And we are here. My little man turned two this week.
I’ll be honest, these last two months haven’t been easy. For a short time, I thought my little one was nursing less. I was seeing a more consistent feeding pattern. He was sleeping a little better- only waking 1-2 times during the night. He was needing me less, and playing more independently.
Then, a week or so after his birthday- bam! Nursing around the clock. Sometimes asking for it every hour and staying latched all night long. It felt like I was reliving the cluster feeds of his newborn days. I was loosing my mind!
But when I stopped and thought about it there were plenty of reasons for his needs of constant contact and breastfeeding:
- Constipation: This has been an ongoing struggle since he started solids. After a lot of trial and error, he’s finally feeling better and going more regularly. Toddler constipation is so tough! (I’m thinking about doing a more thorough post about what we tried and what worked. Let me know if you’d be interested in this!)
- Visitors: This month was quite busy. Turning two meant a lot of excitement and visitors, which we absolutely loved. But for my introverted and routine loving little guy this meant a disruption in his routines and more people to interact with. So, he was looking for that extra connection and support to know that everything is still okay.
- Travel: Not only did we have visitors, but we had a family vacation coming up, too. This meant a little extra chaos, as I was shopping for vacay clothes, getting the house ready, packing, and lining up things with our pet sitter.
These all seem like normal life activities but for a two-year old they can be very difficult. Toddlers rely on their routines and order to make sense out of life. And while it is an important life skill to learn how manage disruptions in those routines, as parents we have to be prepared to offer them extra support.
So, that’s what I did.
It still wasn’t easy. I had to remind myself as I neared the end of my rope that this doesn’t have to be the end of my rope. My cup was empty, and I knew it. If I was going to keep up with my toddlers current intense needs, and life’s current intense needs I needed to slow do. I needed take time for myself and meet my own needs, too.
I needed to remember:
It’s okay to order out for dinner. It’s okay to ignore the laundry. It’s okay to ask for help. Everything does not have to be done nor done perfectly just because we’re stay at home moms.
I think this is a hard truth for a lot of us stay at home moms. We feel like because we’re stay at home moms we have to do everything. EVERYTHING. But listen: The truth is you don’t have to do everything! And YOU are the only one with that expectation.
Your husband, your babies, your kids, your family, your friends- all they want is for you to be happy.
They don’t want you to be perfect. They don’t care if there’s a blanket of dog hair covering your living room. They don’t care if you made this everything from scratch, organic, vegan, non-GMO dinner. They don’t care about the smudges on your fridge or the pile of dishes in your sink or the pans from last night’s dinner still on your stove (or hidden in your oven 😉 ). What they do care about is YOU. They want you to be to enjoy life. They want your love, your humor, your joy, your presence. They want you to be happy.
So, there it is my big secret to surviving, and even enjoying breastfeeding my toddler for two years.
I don’t have to be perfect. It’s okay to ask for help.
Okay, maybe two secrets.
But seriously, I have struggled so much with trying to make everything perfect and without any help. It’s crazy because I know no one else has this “perfect” expectation except me.
Also, it’s crazy because being “perfect” will never happen. There will always be a kid asking for a snack exactly 29 seconds after you get the kitchen all sparkly. Your dog will always go shake his fur all over the living room right as you unplug the vacuum. Catching up laundry is not actually attainable. And sometimes you’ll cave and say yes to the Lucky Charms and the Capn’ Crunch because you secretly love eating sugary GMO cereal as much as your kids.
And if being really honest here, for a stay at home mom I am a disorganized mess. I leave my dirty clothes in a pile on my bathroom floor and another pile next to my side of the bed. Nothing inside my dresser is folded. If you open our linen closet, good luck getting it to close again. It doesn’t matter what time it is but there will always be a dirty dish in my sink.
But over time I’ve learned that it’s okay to be messy. Messy is a sign of life, fun and happiness. I love a clean, organized home as much as any mom but our littles are only little for such a little while. And It’s okay to let the mess go, or delegate it to others.
As I write this I realize that I needed to hear this as much as anyone else. Motherhood is not an easy journey and we don’t need to make it any harder with our need for perfection.
Anyone else struggle with perfection or asking for help? How do you deal?
Thanks for stopping by! Feel free to comment and say hi! Have a happy day!