During a (now frequent) barney with my other half recently I demanded more ‘time off’, it was a particularly emotional scene where I broke down in tears and did a lot of shouting and asking for help and announcing I wasn’t coping. It was a bad day and it probably coincided with one of her infamous nap-less afternoons. The long and short of it is after him making a massive error along the lines of him saying he has to work and I was on leave he soon agreed that yes, I should have a little more time to myself. So he comes home from work and, all delighted with himself, announces I should go away for the weekend. Indeed. Off I go for a whole weekend. I should tell you that she is breast fed and has never gone to bed without boob.. let alone gone a whole day without it/me so the idea was ludicrous. Anyway I don’t want to go away for a whole weekend on my own.

My husband is lovely and helpful and usually does what he is told but the idea of him spending any real time alone with the baby seems preposterous right now and that got me thinking. I mean he can do an hour here and there, especially if she is asleep when I leave but we’ve never done the naps without me or bedtime or anything really. I don’t think we ever progressed from the natural process of mummy looking after the new born. I wonder should I have persevered with expressing when she was younger so we could share the responsibility more but the situation is what it is and we are dealing with it. And of course if I didn’t want to be in this situation I don’t have to be (she now takes a bottle occasionally). I could play hardball and get her off the boob but clearly that’s not what I want. Although every now and again it feels like I’m in a prison of my own making.

This is what they don’t tell you about breastfeeding in those classes, it’s bloody hard work, only one of you can do it (expressed just doesn’t cut it round here) and it’s not easy to stop. Perhaps if we had given her a bottle every day from 6 weeks old it would be easier but if you breastfeed a baby they will fall asleep on you in 99 out of 100 instances. This is fucking good news when they are 2 weeks old, 2 months old and even 6 months old but then you realise you have a 9 month old who is completely reliant on you for her chill out time you wonder if you have gone wrong somewhere. I’ve read all the nonsense out there about putting baby down awake and it’s all horseshit. A breastfed baby will be either out for the count or milk drunk as a monkey at the end of a decent feed.. it’s one of the perks of breastfeeding! But can someone please tell me how to go from that to, well, anything else??

And then I remember that I might just get hit by a bus tomorrow and they’d cope. She wouldn’t starve and she’d sleep eventually. And after a very short time she’d have forgotten all about me (sob) and I wonder if I need to get out more. Maybe this prison is more than a figment of my imagination.

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