So what’s going on in the land of “Nursies”??
Here’s what a ‘day in the life’ looks like right now.
Daily Routine – Weekdays
Can vary. Some days she will be sleeping and I have to wake her to get ready for school (didn’t realize I’d have a teenager already in this department), other days she will wake around 5:30am and want to “Nurse Mommy” to which I oblige.
Sometimes I will actually sneak out before she wakes if I need to get to the office early. My husband is in charge of morning drop off, and this actually works well. She will ask where I am, and he’ll simply answer, “Mommy went to work.” There are no meltdowns and she carries on with her breakfast, getting dressed, and getting out the door with him with no issues.
Since both of us work, we take advantage of daycare services in our area. She has a fun filled day with her daycare providers and does really well in this environment.
We all came down with colds a couple weeks ago, including her, and she was out of ‘school’ for the entire week.
After a few days, she kept asking when she could see her friends and said she missed and loved her teachers.
As working moms, we sometimes feel a sense of guilt when we decide to place our children in Daycare. But it’s moments like these that remind us and validate that they are doing just fine, if not better, while in their care.
We have her signed up for Amazing Athletes every week and this has been an especially fun add-on. She talks about it constantly after she goes, and sings the song over and over. She loves football the most because, “Daddy watches football.” 🙂 If anyone is wondering, I highly recommend it!
Since hubby does drop off, I do pick up. That face lighting up the moment she sees me and her running over to give me the biggest little hug her little arms can muster makes me the happiest I think I ever could be.
Sometimes after my greeting she will say, “I stay here,” smile, and run away to play some more. Just another validation that she loves her school.
She’s very cooperative to get her hat and gloves (it’s the first day of spring here in the northeast, but feels like the middle of January, still), and says “Bye Bye” to her teachers and friends and we’re off.
She will hold hands because “Traffic” and leads me to our car (she’s very good at spotting Mommy’s car). She will ask to “listen to Moana TWO times”. We listen and “SING Mommy” and she will sing along too which is probably the cutest thing I’ve ever witnessed… EVER. Then she knows, after the 2nd time, we have peace or we talk about our day. If she doesn’t feel like talking I will purposefully remain quiet, unless she talks to me. Daycare is a high energy environment, so I think this part of our car ride is a great way for her to wind down, even mediate, in a way. Other times, after the 2nd Moana, we will talk about our day. I tell her what I did and then she will tell me what she did. I have found that the question, “What made you laugh today?” is a good conversation starter. It’s always a particular friend that makes her giggle each time. It’s her “best friend”. And she will say how much she loves her teachers.
Upon arriving home, she knows she has to ask Daddy if she can watch some TV before dinner. Usually the answer is yes because after a long day of daycare craziness, I see no harm in vegging for about 15 minutes while we get food on the table.
Then we pause it and eat as a family in the kitchen or dining room with no interruptions. I try very hard to make this our family time where we can talk about our day and connect. We do this every evening and it’s my favorite part of each day.
After we eat dinner, we have tubby time, then play for a little bit. She is very into her kitchen set at the moment and we will sit on the couch with no distractions and she will “make some soup” for us. Lately it’s been a delicious recipe of Alphabet Soup and berries, with mushrooms. We have Olive Oil and Salad Dressing for drinks.
Daddy reads books and then she will give him hugs and kisses, say, “I Love you Daddy, Good Night!” and hop into bed.
Then she says “I want to nurse mom. I nurse on SIDE, then other SIDE then I say ‘Go Away’ and I spread out!”
I then, climb into bed with her and nurse on one side, then the other, then I leave.
Daily Routing – Weekend
We all gradually wake up, often with Maddy waking up first. She will always ask to nurse, and we will nurse until she stops and says, “I get up now and have breakfast.”
We make our way downstairs and my hubby will almost always make a big breakfast for us. Maybe pancakes or waffles, etc. It’s one of my favorite times during the weekend.
It really depends on what we feel like doing. Sometimes, we’ll go on an adventure to go skiing or a day trip to some place fun. Or we’ll go get groceries, or shopping for other essentials, or go to the gym. Sometimes, we’ll give ourselves the day off and just stay in our jammies all day, snuggle, and watch Moana or Frozen. The simplest time can be the most memorable, and I cherish these snuggles so much. Sometimes, we’ll have special time with Maddy, one on one, where either my husband will take her for the day or I will and we’ll give each other some alone time. The alone time is crucial for our sanity, and the one on one time, is so special for the other. One of us is recharging our batteries and having some much needed quality time with ourselves, while the other is having some bonding time with our little girl. It’s a win win, really!
Nap time is, admittedly, inconsistent during the weekends, but it does happen. Whether or not she nurses depends on where she is. If she’s in the car she won’t ask to nurse, but if we are home, I lay with her and nurse while she drifts off.
This has been a spot where it can get a little difficult. Some days she will be fine and nurse for a little bit then sleep for three hours. Other days she will only nap for a little bit or will nap just fine as long as she is nursing for two to three hours straight. I’m afraid I’m not doing too well in this department as I’m still trying to mother through breastfeeding, but some days just want her to sleep… on her own… like she does at school. We’re working on it, but the long and the short of it is, I still follow her lead and I will still refuse to let her cry. So if I have to nurse for an hour then I nurse for an hour. I know that won’t work for everyone, and some days it doesn’t work for me. But we’re getting to the point where that is rare, so we’re making progress. 😉
And as most of the days go, they go by too fast, and before we know it we’re having supper again. But still in our favorite spot with no distractions and we talk about our day.
And our night time routine is the same, unless we’ve stayed in our jammies and had little to no activity I’ll forego the tubby and we’ll just let her play for some extra time.
The Rare Normal
For the majority of the time, we are getting to the point where having issues at night or night waking are becoming rare. BUT, every once in a while we’ll have an “off” day or night and it’s completely normal.
By evidence of the above, you can probably see that we are also getting to the point where she only wants to nurse right before bed, especially on the weekdays when she sleeps at school for nap time. BUT, every once in a while we’ll have a weekend day or an evening when she wants to nurse all day or the second she sees me after school.
Some will say to set limits at this age and to not cater to nursing “on demand” anymore.
I tend to disagree with this, because this, simply put, doesn’t work for me and doesn’t feel natural.
For the most part, if my baby, OK my big girl, wants to nurse, I nurse her – it’s as simple as that. If you want to label it I guess you could say I’m practicing, the “Don’t Ask, Don’t refuse” style of weaning. I simply say, “I’m going with the flow.”
I did try to set consistent limits on it once. She wanted to nurse right before dinner. We were sitting down to eat and she asked to nurse. I tried to say no and stay firm. She had a melt down that, in a word, SCARED me. I ended up nursing her anyway, and it took me a while to calm her down. I’ll never put either of us through that again. So now, when she asks to nurse (even if it’s right before dinner) I will nurse her and just start to eat. I have found that, by doing this, she sees my food and her plate waiting for her, and she gets bored with nursing and asks to sit in her chair to eat. It’s worked out VERY well this way.
I DO say, “No.”
Now all that being said, there ARE times when I will say, “No.” At her age, there are times when she is wanting to nurse because she needs to, and times when she wants to nurse because she is being a two year old and testing limits. Nursing, over all, is comforting and I will, most of the time, nurse her if asked. But I, as her mother, can absolutely tell when I can set a limit because she is simply testing.
This is where RIE parenting comes in very handy.
Roll With It
I know, I know. I’m inconsistent. I’m contradictory in this very post, but you know what? Every day is different. Every situation is different, and we as parents are the ones to determine what works best at a particular time, a particular place and a particular place in time.
We learn to adapt, roll with it, change our minds, and be completely flexible when it comes to parenting, because if we weren’t we’d go insane.
“This too shall pass” is one of the most well known phrases for a reason, after all.
If we aren’t flexible, we’ll break.
So let it be, and ride the wave my friend. The waves are ever-changing, but if we let them, they can be the best ride of our life.