For one boob nap, a second child becomes an only child

As I tap this one-handed on my phone, I’m nap trapped. My toddler has fallen asleep breastfeeding, leaving me unable to put away all the kids’ new toys, go through unopened mail, unpack our suitcases or do any of the other things on my list. But I am not complaining. Today, I’m happy for this boob nap.

Kiwi rarely falls asleep on me these days. And on the occasions she does, I can’t let her snooze on me. I don’t have that flexibility; I have a preschooler.

But Peeper went down to Eugene with her dad to pick up our dog, so for today I am mom of only one kid. And that “only child” has a doozy of a cold. So it’s really not that shocking she fell asleep at the breast—and why I let her keep sleeping on me, boob nap style.

When my toddler fell asleep in a boob nap, I stayed put. She and I both got exactly what we needed. Ten Thousand Hour Mama

Second child mommy guilt

Moms of two kids, I’m sure you feel me here: I often feel guilty that I’m not able to give one-on-one attention to my second-born.

With Peeper, I stared at her eyes flick this way and that under her eyelids as she slept. I wondered about her future as her tiny body rose and fell with each breath. I let hours go by while she napped on me.

With Kiwi, though, I tried to put her down as soon as I could. I rushed back to Peeper, hoping she hadn’t taken scissors to her hats or colored a giant heart on the wall again.

As the second child, Kiwi has only known sharing me with her big sister.

There are benefits to that, of course: In theory, Kiwi will become patient and independent. But sometimes I wish she could enjoy having a mom with nothing else to do than watch her as she sleeps.

A boob nap gives comfort and so much more

So here I sit, listening to Kiwi’s snotty snores. She nursed herself to sleep because breastfeeding is about the only thing that makes her feel better.

Kiwi is our last baby. She’s of course not a baby anymore; she’ll be 18 months in a few weeks. She probably won’t breastfeed much longer and once she’s done, I will never again have this kind of closeness.

Breastfeeding will be replaced with other ways of bonding, but none of them has the same kind of direct comfort.

Breastfeeding takes a part of me—milk my body made specially for my child at this moment, customized to her nutritional and health needs. I am literally giving myself to comfort and nourish her. She will know no love this direct until she breastfeeds her own baby, should she have kids and choose to nurse. There is nothing like this.

A prescription for me, too

By now my leg is asleep and I have to pee. But I can’t bear to wake Kiwi. I’ll let her rest as long as she’s able.

I’m grateful that she is comfortable enough to sleep—that’ll help her fight this bug. She occasionally swallows, too, so she’s also getting antibodies and sickness-fighting support from my milk.

What am I getting? I’m getting the closeness I crave, the rest I need and memories I’ll draw on when Kiwi is grown (and weaned).

Today, a boob nap is just what the doctor ordered—for her and for me.

4 thoughts on “For one boob nap, a second child becomes an only child

  • January 3, 2017 at 3:53 pm

    Oh sweetie. This post made me cry. I remember so clearly those last days with my last baby, holding on as tightly as I could, through leg cramps and back aches and screaming bladders, for just a few more minutes inside that profoundly sacred embrace. I wish I could hug you right now, for sparking this memory today – snotty snores and all. Thank you. ♥
    Renee @ The Good Hearted Woman recently posted…12 Good Reads for 2017My Profile

    • January 3, 2017 at 5:53 pm

      That is one reason why I write posts like these (and type on my phone while they’re happening): so I never forget. So glad this brought back some tender memories for you, Renee! Hugs!

  • January 3, 2017 at 10:19 pm

    This post is so lovely. I am so glad you are writing these moments down and treasuring them in the now as well. I have my old parenting posts starting from when my oldest was a few months old (he’s turning 13 this year!) and it’s incredible how differently I remember moments in my head and heart compared to what I was feeling in the moment.

    • January 4, 2017 at 10:59 am

      Wow, that would be so fun to look back on old posts. I do that sometimes through my Facebook memories, since I share posts there. It’s so fun to see where Peeper and Kiwi were years ago. I can hardly imagine the time warp I’d feel after THIRTEEN years! 🙂


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