Between trying to get pregnant the first time, and then again the second and third times, being pregnant, and then breast feeding for a year, it has been a LONG time since I've had my body all to myself. "Long" being defined as circa 2007. It's amazing how the brain reprograms itself to care for its offspring. In the past each time I wanted a glass of wine or needed an Excedrin my automatic first response was, "...but I can't because of the baby." Now when that automatic thought pops into my head the truth is I can, because he is no longer a baby. And that truth feels so extremely alien. I feel like I'm no longer being the best mother I can be if I'm not physically sacrificing my own level of happiness.
Can't drink a beer with dinner? No problem, because that must mean that I'm a good mom. Excruciating migraine that is making me cross-eyed? Bring it on. I earn extra bonus martyr-mom points for that one.
Now that I've stopped breast feeding I am suddenly riddled with guilt. I try to tell myself that I planned to nurse him until he was one, and I met that goal. So let go. But I can't. It isn't something that I can put to the side and then come back to later. Once I'm done, I'm done. I will never nurse him again. I'm not even sure if all women can identify with this attachment. But it is hitting me hard. I think my fear is expanded because of the current state of my marriage. What if Lex is the only child I will ever have? I'll never again experience that incredible bond. Scary.
I need to find a new method of finding my value as a mother. That's a hard one...