Tag Archives: nurse

I Need A Support Team. A 24/7 Support Team.

Suffering, as I do, from panic/anxiety disorder is a very lonely thing. First of all, it has taken me almost two years to admit publicly that I am a sufferer.

Hi. I’m Jane. And I have …….

It’s so hard to say. Because the name means nothing to me. Okay. That’s a lie. I can’t say it because the label is so loaded in my mind.

There. My deep dark secret is out. Now, why don’t I feel better?

My panic and anxiety makes me feel weak, crazy, unlovable, a burden. Never one to ask for help before, it’s even more difficult now. And while it would also be a lie to say that I don’t already have a support team, I can say it isn’t enough.

I am suffering. I am struggling. And I dream of 24/7 support.

A nurse. To check my vitals and tell me I’m okay when I’m freaking out. But she has to be knowledgeable of Eastern Medicine and be on board with the methods I’m trying (both Western and Eastern) under my husband’s care (a doctor of Oriental Medicine) and my Western Medicine doctor.

A dietitian who doubles as an amazing chef. To feed me when I can’t bare to make the food myself. To make sure I’m eating well. To make amazing meals for my family that don’t come from the freezer or a take-out box.

A yoga instructor. To guide me in my workout and take away the anxiety I feel that I’m going to pass out every time I exercise.

An assistant. To mail my daughter’s Valentine’s care package (Yes. It’s still sitting on the counter) because I’m afraid to drive a car.

A housekeeper. To pick up the slack. I don’t mind the housework. In fact, sometimes it helps to do repetitive chores. But other times, I’m in the middle of something, I find it hard to concentrate so I move onto something else. My home is then filled with half-done projects. Or I spray Windex on the dining table or leave the vacuum cleaner in the middle of the hall, forgetting where I left off. (Don’t judge. You can’t see those pretty vacuum lines on Berber carpet.)

The perfect sleep husband. A man who doesn’t snore when I’m sleeping so lightly already. Someone who is cheerful and wide awake when I need comfort at 3am because I’ve just woken up in terror.

But most of all, I want someone to inhabit my body and take over so I can morph into the old me when my kids are around. I want to make them breakfast and listen to their joys and troubles without a pained expression on my face while I try desperately to keep it together. I want focus to be able to play a board game or read to them or have the energy to play catch. I want to be the mom I was meant to be, not this blob who shuffles through, doing the bare minimum.

Don’t get me wrong. My husband is more than understanding. His medical knowledge invaluable. The closest friend that I’ve felt comfortable sharing this struggle with picked me and the boys up when I had a panic attack out on the highway and couldn’t drive another inch.

In desperate times, people come through.

I just want 24/7 support so I never have to get to the desperate point.

Because all those times in between are such a struggle.

And difficult.

And oh, so lonely.

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Filed under Confessions

Hi. I’m Jane. And I Nursed My Son Longer Than 2 Years.

(Jane clears throat and steps gingerly onto her soapbox.)

Hi.

My name is Jane.

And I nursed my son longer than 2 years.

Go ahead. Start slinging the arrows. Label me crunchy granola. Slap the handcuffs on my wrists and haul me away to crazy-mommy-jail. (Do they have Starbucks? If so, I’ll go willingly.)

I didn’t plan on nursing for so long. I knew I wanted to breastfeed. (Because, after all, that IS what my breasts were designed for, contrary to popular belief.) So when my pediatrician asked me if I’d given any thought to weaning I answered, “Yes. I read it’s best to nurse until a year old. And that’s when I’m planning on stopping.” She smiled a knowing smile and handed me a pamphlet on the latest statistics (7 years ago) and said, “Well, the World Health Organization now recommends breastfeeding until age 2 or longer, whichever is best for both mother and child.”

This was new thinking for me. But after exhaustive research (because I’m really a research nerd-junkie at heart) I decided to practice “child led weaning” or natural weaning. Yes. I said natural weaning. Because if it’s forced, it is un-natural. (I’m on my soapbox so I can say this.)

Now, I wasn’t the perfect crunchy-granola mom. I tried to practice a “don’t offer, don’t refuse” approach to the “natural” weaning process. But I succumbed to societal pressures. If we were in public, if guests were visiting who wouldn’t understand, I’d gently redirect and say, “Not now.” Sometimes I’d offer an explanation. But he didn’t really care. A redirect was fine.

But the fact that I was still nursing at (OK. I’ll admit it.) 3+ years of age? It was my dirty, little secret. (And not THAT kind of dirty, little secret. If that’s what you were thinking? Please. Just leave now. There isn’t enough room in the blogosphere to convince you otherwise and I’m not about to try.)

Frankly, I find it pathetic that only 57% of women in the U.S. even try to breastfeed their baby, compared to the 98% in Sweden, Norway and 94% in Rwanda. I understand that for some women, breastfeeding isn’t an option due to health issues. I get it. I truly do. But when a 6 month pregnant woman in my bookclub says, “Oh, no. We’re not going to breastfeed. My husband  and I just aren’t comfortable with that.” And she shakes her head with disgust, with a grimace on her face? I’m the one who is disgusted. (And I tried to hide MY grimace but as you all know, I do not have a poker face.)

And I tried. I really tried not to make a comment about the fairly recent Time magazine cover “Are You Mom Enough?” with the 3-year-old nursing. But hold onto your hats, because here I go.

First of all, I never, ever, ever nursed my 3 year old standing up with him on  a step stool.

Second. If you can’t nurse for whatever physical reason? You get a big, fat automatic pass at breastfeeding. No questions asked. But if you “can’t” nurse because it grosses you (and your husband) out? Maybe you aren’t mom enough.

Third. I understand that Time was trying to elicit a response with their shocking cover. But really. Natural weaning and attachment parenting practices should be a non-issue. They are practiced all over the world. ALL the heck over. We’re the ones with the issues that we need to just get over. Plus, different strokes for different folks. Stop the judging and start supporting each other. Maybe more moms would see the light.

And D (now you really know I’m angry because I’m mixing up my argument structure), that blog that wants to punch people in a place that would really hurt because they tick them off? You can be on your soapbox but please back up your argument with facts. Attachment parenting does not mean that you nurse until your child can spell “delicious and refreshing breast milk” and they co-sleep with you until middle school. I know you’re trying out the Time magazine shock technique, but honestly? You come across sounding mean, angry, hostilely judgmental and insecure in your own parenting skills.  But since that’s the point of your blog, I’ll just stop there.

Yes. I’m a crunchy, granola mom. By accident. Because that’s what felt right for me and my child. At that time in our lives. In that moment. I didn’t ask for anyone’s permission. I didn’t ask for anyone’s opinion. I just did it because that’s what felt right. And sadly, for me anyway, I honestly can’t remember the last time my son nursed. It had tapered off to a point that one day, a day I will never remember because it felt like any other day, he decided it would be his last. He didn’t need it anymore.

As it should be.

(Stepping off my soapbox, and ducking from the arrows, I just want to say whatever is was that YOU did about feeding your infant/toddler/child? It’s your business and your business alone. I don’t care what you did. I know what I think is best but that’s just it. It’s MY opinion. Not yours. You go off and have your opinion. Just don’t want to punch me in the throat because of mine.) 

13 Comments

Filed under children, Moms, Motherhood, Soapbox