Monday, May 17, 2010

Yes is the hardest word

This is the final prompt from Momalom's Five for 10. It has been a great experience for me to have a chance to crack my literary knuckles. I've learned a lot about myself as a blogger, and I've also found a lot of other really tremendous blogs out there. If you haven't checked out the site, you should. You'll be amazed at what moms - and some dads - have to say. Today's topic is Yes.

My girlfriend Skype messaged me this morning.

It's like instant messaging, as opposed to using the cameras to chat. Which is a good thing. I mean, it WAS the morning, people, and my poor friend had been up working like a dog til 3 a.m. Although, I have two dogs, and all they seem to do is interrupt their lying around for the occasional ferocious barking at the UPS truck. So let's just say she was working really, really hard. Like maybe an ant. Now THEY are hard workers, judging by how tough it must be to find that one crumb left on the kitchen counter.

Okay, I'm sorry. Here's the point. She said she wished I wasn't still nursing. Not because she has a problem with it. It's just that she might be getting tickets to the Glee concert in Los Angeles. For this Thursday night. And she thought I might like to go. Did I mention they're VIP tickets?

And blogosphere, I considered it. I did.

I looked over at X. He has this little chair he inherited from his sister that he loves. So he's sitting there, chillin' with his sippy cup, and he looks at me and smiles, all dimples and crinkly eyes and startlingly white baby teeth.

I think, how can I say yes to the concert?

Because a Yes is in fact a No to him. He's nursed every night before bed for all but one of the 432 days he's been on earth. It's one of my favorite times, because the child is so busy during the day it's tough to get a quiet moment until bedtime. We snuggle. He tries to stick his finger up my nose or pull my lip down to my chin. Sometimes he pauses to point to the elephant painted on the wall. But he always settles back in, and I get to stroke his hair and whisper my dreams for him into his tiny perfect ear.

Then I'll ask him if he's ready for night-night, and he'll nod yes. I put him in his crib with his lovey, and he goes to sleep.

It's our routine. We both love it.

The only time I missed putting him to bed was when he was four weeks old and I went to a Bruce Springsteen concert. I pumped a couple bottles and David put him to bed. But since he was still waking every three hours or so, I nursed him when I got home. He hasn't had a bottle since.

So how can I go to this show knowing his world is going to be rocked?  He'll cry. He'll wail and scream and wonder what the hell is going on and where's his MAMA?!?!  And, you know, those things she has under her shirt.

Now, logically I realize he won't be scarred from one night without me. He'll be very upset, and then he'll stop or cry himself to sleep. Eventually. It makes my stomach churn just thinking about it.

I have said "no" to a ton of stuff since X has come along. He's the first one I've successfully nursed past six months, but I've made some sacrifices in order to do that - whether it's food I can't eat, or places I can't go because of his nursing schedule:  No to volunteering in Sawyer's class. No to farm field trips to with Sage. No to cupcakes. No to beer. No to watching late afternoon Little League games. No to dinner parties. No to an early-morning running group.

I don't begrudge him these things. Not at all.

It's my job. As a mom. We put our needs second (if we're lucky. I think mine are somewhere behind the three kids but possibly ahead of the dogs). We do the best we can for them, even if it means missing out on things that are important to us or that we'd really, really dig.

I'm guessing this is why is it so hard for me to say yes to something I want, if it means saying no to my baby. Did I mention these are VIP tickets to Glee? I did?

I literally was in tears talking to David about it. He encouraged me to go. He knows I'm a total Gleek. And that I never do this kind of thing. He was not at all concerned about X, but dads don't get their heart wrenched out by the sound of their sweet baby sobbing like mothers do, you know?

While I waited outside Sawyer's classroom to get him after school, I told a couple of the other moms about the concert. It was funny. ALL of them told me to go, that X is 14 months old now so it's not like he needs to nurse for nourishment. That David can handle it.

They reminded me we do so much for our kids. We have to remember to do things for ourselves.

We have to say Yes.



Missy said...

Fantastic post! I swear, nursing does something to your decision-making center, particularly in regard to making nursing-related decisions. I never thought I would make it a year with nursing, and then suddenly a year was almost up and I was having to decide if it was time to stop... And I agonized over the decision, a decision that I had always - wrongly - assumed would be simple.

Oh, and VIP Glee tickets?!? From one Gleek to another, that's pretty hard to say no to. ;)

kirsten said...

aah! Cheryl! This broke my heart in 100 pcs, not just because I miss that bedtime nursing session, but just... all of it.

Please say yes, though: I'm with the moms at school. SAY YES. He'll be part of your life forever, in all different ways. One night can be for you.

Pamela said...

You're such a great Mom! But, yes, you do deserve to say "Yes!" and do something for yourself every now & then:)

TKW said...

I'm so Gleeky, too! I don't think I could let that opportunity pass me by!

C (Kid Things) said...

Great post and I completely understand. My daughter is 22 months now and I'm still nursing. I've been ready to stop for awhile now, she is not. I think it's about time I say yes, we're done, though, for me. Because I need to go on with my life, too.

Amber said...

Oh shoot. I hear ya. I am debating weaning my little guy (in a few months) so that husband and I could share a weekend away. Alone. A weekend that we haven't had since children. It would be absolutely romantic and terrific for our marriage.


Leaving my little guy, without his mommy? How could I? He NEEDS his mommy?

Saying yes is hard. I understand.

Anonymous said...

its a tough call, a month ago I would have told you go, but now Iris is such a sweet nurser in the mornings (thats her one and only feed of the day) and those quiet moments are few and far between. I understand where you are coming from my friend.

All Things Domestic said...

You have to say YES! What if you say NO, and that's the night that X chooses not to nurse at bedtime, or nurses for just a minute or so? You'll be kicking yourself. So go for it!! You'll have plenty of special moments with X to come, I promise! (And FWIW I planned to nurse DD for as long as she wanted, and she suddenly and unexpectedly gave it up at 15 mos., on a family beach trip.)

alita said...

yes in your case YES is the hardest word. Yes I see how it affects you so. But yes, yes, yes you have to do things for yourself, too. Even if doing for him is doing for yourself. So even if you decide not to go to the concert you know that you will be saying YES to you after all. Your choice. Your yes to decide! :)

Anonymous said...

What a gut wrenching decision. I totally get it. I get it so much my breasts actually started to ache while I was reading your post(did I just type that?) and I haven't nursed in years. But I'm glad you said "yes" (from one fellow Gleek to another). You need a few yes's for YOU and this one is a must do!

goofdad said...

Two things:

but dads don't get their heart wrenched out by the sound of their sweet baby sobbing like mothers do, you know?

Umm ... some of us do. I still get upset hearing my teenagers struggle through the night. We made the decision to co-sleep because I couldn't stand to hear them know? LOL!

And ...


Realize that not only are you giving yourself a break and doing something you'll enjoy (and we'll all envy you for) ... You're giving David a chance to share those quiet moments. One of the hardest parts of being a dad during the early years is the fact that we can't the bond you get while breastfeeding. Let him handle it, and you'll both be better for the experience!

MiniMe Mom said...

I am a fellow gleek and I am so jealous!

Coming from one mamma who did not leave her firstborn's side for nine months, I totally relate though!

Brodie said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog yesterday for my SITS day~

Aging Mommy said...

Cheryl I just love this post. I nursed my daughter until she was 15 months old, cutting the feeds one by one until the last one left was the night time one. Then she decided for herself she was done. Reading the words you use to describe that night time feed with your son brought tears to my eyes, you wrote with such feeling it made me remember that time so well. But yes, I am with your husband and friends and you on this, you really should go. Maybe this is your son's time and yours to let go of that final feed and if not, there will always be the nights that follow and just one night will not hurt him.

I wish I was coming with you, I LOVE Glee and am a total Gleek too

Anonymous said...

go woman go to the concert!! but yeah i get the sadness and the not wanting to leave the little one. but sometimes mama needs a break. :)

great post!

Cheryl said...

Ah..I love blogging. I especially love it when you all give me permission to do something I'm unsure of.

We are still doing morning and night, and like you, mombshell, the morning is also very, very sweet.

I know some of this is making up for having to force-wean my first two at earlier ages (6 months and 2 months), but it's also that X is still not ready. We just weaned him off the nap nurse this past weekend.

GAH! Luckily the friend who's taking me has four kids. So she GETS it.

And a special shout-out to Goofdad (thanks for stopping by, btw!). I've never known a father who gets as worked up over a baby crying as a mom. My husband half the time doesn't hear it - and he's much calmer than me when he does!

Corinne said...

I hope you have a fabulous time!!!!!

New Jersey Memories said...

I hope you enjoy the concert. Your son will be fine. Have a great time!

Ooh, I'm your 100th Follower! Congrats!

Leslie said...

Yes! (to your post, your point, and to seeing Glee on tour.)
I was back at work three months after my son was born, and I had to stay late to take students for some miniature golf. I was beside myself with sadness and near-panic at not getting home as usual, so my husband and son came to me.
Fifteen months later, I was away overnight for the first time (it's still been only twice!). Jack had given up breastfeeding by that time, but it was still hard. It was also fine - and fun.

Aimee @ Ain't Yo Mama's Blog said...

I love this post because it really highlights how we can often forget to say *yes* to ourselves.

I do hope you go because being away from your sweet baby will be MUCH harder on you than on him. It will be a bit of a challenge for him to get out of the routine for a night, but all will be forgiven and forgotten by the time he wakes up.

So, go. Have fun and enjoy a few hours to do something for YOU. You'll be back to *mom-mode* before you know it.


Christi said...

It IS so hard to say yes to things, but I agree with everyone else - give yourself this one night! You deserve it. :)

SoccerMom said...

I know that is such a hard call, but moms do get their lives back after the kids get older.

Not that you should give up everything but you have such a short time with them before they become smartasses.

Good luck

rebecca said...

I think we are so often in Mom Mode that there's no room for Dads. If we move out of the way our children have a chance to see that Dad can also provide comfort in the night.

So sweet. Of course we all can relate.

ck said...

Funny how perspectives change, isn't it? Imagine what your pre-mom self would've said? Mine would've laughed (or silently judged) myself if I were in your situation. But now? Now's a whole other story...

macondo mama said...

Oh, I was just in this exact situation last weekend, except that my baby is 20 months old and it would have been two nights away. In the end, I decided not to go. It was a very tough decision, and I don't have any good advice one way or another, but I hear you!

Belinda Munoz said...

Oh, I remember the agony. My son is now 3 yrs old but those first few times I had to be away from him are hard to forget. It was especially hard to leave him for things that I wanted to do for myself; I felt like a bad momma putting myself first before my helpless child. But it gets easier. And though everyday seems to be an exercise in letting go, they remain separate individuals from us.

Great post. Great meeting you through Momalom's 5-4-10.

Anonymous said...

LOVE the post. It brings back such beautiful memories of when my babies were babies. Such a connection. Now I'm lucky if my youngest will let me hold his hand when I drop him off at school.

I think you should say "yes". :) easy for me to say when I'm not there hearing the little guy cry. But - even tho he doesn't get it now - teaching him that sometimes you have to adjust to change is a good thing.
What a tremendous mom you must be - and doing something for yourself doesn't diminish that in the least. :)

Jen said...

432 days. That makes me want to calculate how old my youngest is. She weaned herself several weeks ago. In her characteristic matter-of-fact way. And now I could go to a concert if the opportunity arose. But, honestly, it's not just the nursing that keeps you home. (I'm sure you already know that.) That said? Try to go. Try for a yes this time. For you.

Kelly said...

I hope you went!

I understand that urge to be a constant and lasting presence in your child's life. I also firmly believe that you need some away time where you don't have to be Mom so that you can be that nurturing presence for your kiddos.

So I hope you went!

Kim said...


I popped back on your blog from the Five for Ten. I'm slowly taking my time to read through the posts.

This is so awesome. I just discovered that you're a GLEEK too. I love Glee and I went to the LA concert as well. Too bad I saw this post so late that it's a month later.

I'm glad you decided to go.

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