The twins will be one next month. I have said repeatedly to many people many times that they will be weaned by one for the following reasons:
I’ve been breastfeeding for almost six years;
There’s two of them, so it is a bit more work;
I will get more sleep not nursing;
I have had mastitis no less than six times while nursing them, with the most recent bout being last week;
It will increase mobility for the rest of the family.
The thing is, Wren and Sam nursed well over the year mark. Still, I thought once I hit one with Asher and Eowyn, we’d move the boobs back into the push up bras and label them “For Recreational Use Only.”
Then we night weaned. It was a 21 night roller coaster ride of staying up with them, holding them, patting them, kissing them, giving them baby massages, playing the Mozart Lullaby Station on Pandora, but we convinced them to allow me to sleep from 11pm-5am without having to nurse them. That’s six consecutive hours my friends, in a bed, not a recliner, with no one grabbing for my ta-tas. That’s forever in sleep-deprived-parent years. And it’s the first time I have had that much sleep in 11 months.
Apparently, I will give you anything if you let me sleep. I will continue to wear unflattering nursing bras, nurse two kids through naptime, change my whole life plan for sleep. I am a completely different being with a completely different threshold when allowed rest. Without sleep, I am subhuman. Ask any member of my family, or don’t because they have awful stories and in none of them am I awesome.
It makes me think of how much of my behavior is based on circumstance. This is where I wish I was D, because he is solid. He can wake up with a head cold, step on a Lego, and then have a child poo explode through her diaper on his arm and he is the same person as he would be if he woke up and was told he won a million dollars and would live to be 115 years old. He knows where his joy comes from, where his contentment is based, and he doesn’t let earthly circumstances change him.
Me, not so much. I know my joy comes from Christ, but I tend to try to remind Christ that I am more joyful when I am well rested. I am better at serving my family if my eyes are not swollen shut. I am less likely to lose my patience when Wren passively aggressively asks, “So, breakfast, when is that happening?” if I actually feel like standing on my feet to cook it.
I know it’s okay to need rest, but I hate that I display different behavior when I’m tired, because it’s nobody’s fault. D and I have made our choices on how we want to parent, and I wouldn’t take any of them back. We did choose the less sleep option, and knowing we made that choice means I need to take responsibility when less sleep happens. Everyone in my house still deserves my patience, my time, my consideration. I am still a child of Christ, and because He is unchanging, I should cling to Him for my rest, the important soul-filling kind, even when the earthly rest escapes me.
For now, I am still very much a work in progress. That six hour stretch of sleep guarantees the twins as much breastmilk access as they want during the day for however long they want it. When they start the two am whining I am tempted to say things like, “I have cabbage in the fridge. I can dry these girls up by tomorrow morning!” I’m working on it. God is molding me and shaping me in His time, and I am a very slow learner. I’ll get better because He will help me.