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I’m not ready to let him go (or "when you get your period back")

Feb 18, 2016 • Mums, dads & kids

I had a whole different post planned today, but this morning I woke up and something happened that I really wasn’t ready for. After 611 days, of which 277 of pregnancy and 342 of raising our beautiful baby boy, I got my period back. It’s like my hormones finally figured themselves out, and boom! I’m back to normal. Suddenly it all made sense: my feeling more overwhelmed than usual when thinking about problems and looking for solutions, my lack of energy in dance classes, the unusual tiredness when waking up in the morning even after sleeping well, and this general feel of exhaustion of the past few days.

I knew it was going to happen, and I know it could have happened before, but for some reason I thought it would take longer. I thought I would have more time to… well, I don’t know, I just thought I’d have more time. And I apologise in advance if this post is not going to make much sense or be as useful as others I wrote, but the only way I know to handle sadness is to write it out.

I used to be a very emotional person, but living with a highly rational one for nine years has changed me greatly. So even now I can rationalise. I know it’s just those same mischievous hormones taking control of my emotions all over again, tearing up my eyes and making me feel breathless right now.

I can rationalise. I know that I should be happy because now monkey number two is suddenly a real possibility.

I can rationalise. I know that my feeling paradoxically sad and illogically vulnerable since Oliver started sleeping well is just due to not breastfeeding him at night anymore. I miss it.

I can rationalise. I know that this sense of mental discomfort is probably linked to the irrational fear of running out of milk now that Oliver is eating well and breastfeeding less during the day.

I can rationalise. I perfectly know that not having milk or running out of it is a myth, that my body will adjust to the change (and has already adjusted) and I’ll have enough milk for Oliver for as long as he needs/wants it.

I can rationalise. I know many women go through depression when they’re breastfeeding or weaning and I’m pretty sure this is not it.

So yes, I can rationalise. But on days like this, maybe I just don’t want to. Maybe I just want to feel the sadness; I want to allow myself to be sad because my little baby is already growing up and what I cherish most in the world—that sweet sigh when he takes the breast, that unique and special connection between us—is inevitably coming to an end, sooner or later. I want to allow myself to feel sad because he’s soon going to need me just a little bit less. And for the first time today, I understand how difficult it will be to actually achieve that maturity in motherhood that this mum was talking about in her notes on how to grow a son.

Today’s tears—irrational and eye-opening at the same time—washed out all the nonsense.

I spent the last three weeks looking for a nursery and babysitters, so I could continue my job and also have some time to myself—for a haircut, a run, my blog. Today I finally understood why it was taking so long. I’m just not ready to let my baby go. Maybe it’s not mature nor rational—we hopefully have a lifetime together and all the best is yet to come—it’s probably selfish, but it’s what it is. Not. Ready. To let him go.

In the past five months, Oliver started crawling, then he started walking; he tried lots of new foods and now eats almost more than I do; he started shaking his head to say no, pointing, sorting objects in his own way, giving us affection, missing us, and a million other mind-blowing things that just happened. One day, out of the blue. He’s learnt all this and more, all by himself. In just five months. I was here every step of the way to witness all this incredible change and imprint it all in my mind and (sometimes) on camera. Yet, today, it still hit me hard: I’ll never, ever, ever get this time back, he’ll be 11 months, 12 months, and every month after that only once in our lifetime.

Maybe in a week, or a month or as soon as this hormone storm clears out, I might be dreaming about haircuts and free time again, but right this moment, I just wanna hold him tight and never let him go. And you know what? That’s exactly what I’m going to do.

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I write mostly about gentle parenting, Montessori, multilingualism, sustainability and traveling with kids (we do it full-time).

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We don't know how to be parents, we learn it everyday as we go. This is my way of motherhood, the small victories and the bitter defeats, my inconvenient truths and the endless life lessons. And also all the baby products and toys we love the most.

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One day a few years ago my husband came home and said, "Why don't we put a mattress on the floor in the baby room? It'd be much more natural". "Never" was my reply. That's how our Montessori journey started. Since then we've been living, breathing and applying the philosophy at home day in and day out, starting from ourselves. Because educating children starts from the parents.

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Living sustainably for me doesn’t only mean to have a more eco-friendly lifestyle. It means to make decisions that are sustainable for our planet, the people on it, but also for our life, our lifestyle, and our happiness. It means to take any daily chance to evolve and be happier, healthier, kinder, more responsible and more caring human beings—the only sustainable way for a meaningful future.