To be in your children’s memories tomorrow, you have to be in their lives today – Unknown
Truth #1. Once he or she weans, it’s time to book a waxing appointment
I had the rudest shock after my son was weaned off. At first I did not put two and two together but once I did, and researched that our testosterone levels drop when we breastfeed, I am completely convinced that the spike in bodily hair and acne were due to the high levels of testosterone that had come flooding back to my bloodstream. Groan.
Truth #2. Our boobs will never be as full as they were
If you have a supportive partner, good for you. I was lucky that my partner maintains that my boobs are the same as they were (oh, how polite is he and was he being polite before too?!) but every fiber of my being is convinced that my boobs are indeed smaller, flatter and miserable. I have a chest of a man now but I can’t bring myself to stuff my bra with bags filled with water… Double groan
Truth #3. Sleep quality does not improve
If you think you can return to the full 8-hour nights you enjoyed before you were pregnant, I’m sorry you’re going to be solely disappointed. You will wake up to check on your child if he or she is hungry / too cold / too warm / too ill / have overflowing diapers or be woken up because he or she is hungry / too cold / too warm / too ill / have overflowing diapers. On good nights you may get to sleep 4 hours at a stretch but those are rare. If your child is like my son, he or she will be waking up every couple of hours or so to feel around the bed for you. You’d better be within reach or chances are he or she will wake up crying for you to get back there. You will most likely continue to sleep pretty light so one remedy is to check into bed as early as you can.
Truth #4. Our children will continue waking up when we have had an hour of sleep
We will continue to have longer naps than sleeps. One can only hope…
Truth #5. Our partners don’t get why we are still tired
We were dry and exhausted during breastfeeding. Little wonder our partners look eagerly forward to our babies weaning off. They are looking for more action now and were probably hoping to get some every night. But you remain exhausted, because you are still not sleeping through the nights but you have to deal with a baby who is evolving into an explorer, a real sucker for danger and who just needs to climb every single staircase he or she passes. You may hope to tire your child out so that he or she sleeps better at night. Well, the truth is, you will probably pass out before your child does.
Truth #6. Our children fall sick and will still fall sick, maybe less frequently but who knows
I’m sure you cannot understand why your child is falling sick constantly throughout his first two years of life despite your martyrdom. What were all those sacrifices for if not to a) strengthen his immune system so he or she doesn’t fall sick and b) develop his or her brain in the fast lane? You asked. All those books and scholarly articles praising the merits of breastfeeding but here your child falls sick every month or less. I have so come to terms with this by now. No matter what good stuff you hear about breastfeeding your child will fall sick. I can’t tell for sure if the same child will be ill more often if he or she was formula-fed, because my child and I don’t live in parallel universes. Some mothers claim that their formula-fed first born fell sick more often than their breastfed second child, but surely it’s not scientific to attribute this undocumented observation solely to the type of milk.
The last thoughts
I’m almost leaning towards formula feeding if I have another child but there are simply too many books and articles that sing the merits of breastfeeding. Besides, it will not be fair for my first born and second child to be fed differently… or does that even matter? There are going to be a zillion differences for sure why should the type of milk have so much weight especially if the benefits breastmilk has over formula milk are minimal… and the damage I have sustained seems less tolerable by the passing day? Let me mull over this. Maybe I will change, for a third child…