I neared the breaking point tonight regarding my role lately as human pacifier. I’m so over it. For the past few months, as our family can attest, I am the only person who can soothe Zuzu. Sometimes by just picking her up, but in the evening, only nursing will do. It’s odd because Eric always carried the weight, rocking and walking with Zuzu in the evenings, until she was about six or seven months old. This was the only way I got my dissertation written. She refuses to go to him anymore when it’s time to sleep.
I had intended to nurse the baby for at least 18 months. A year is a pretty arbitrary cut-off point but 18 months is as long as I’d feel comfortable. I planned on maybe just nursing mornings and bed time after her first birthday. At this point with a baby when she can’t communicate, it’s still one of the perks and, for me, one of the dearest parts of being a mother.
But it’s the beginning of job applicaton season. I have to get manuscripts ready to submit for review and, hopefully, publication. I have to write cover letters, teaching statements, research agendas. It actually takes a lot of time that I don’t have like I did in the spring. In the evenings, I have to be on hand for Zuzu. Have to. If I get away, I’m on a short leash, heading back when Eric calls because she’s getting fussy. Day time is just fine anymore, but she doesn’t fall asleep on her own at night and I have to nurse her back to sleep every single time. This has led to her spending all night in bed with us. A king size mattress would help in these matters…
So I’m reconsidering the length of time I will nurse. Zuzu does not calm down until she gets what she’s after, and her panic just escalates. She throws up if left to fuss very long (damn reflux!!!). There’s no signs that she’ll be interested in weaning on her own. I don’t know why there would be; she’s with me all day and all night. She started taking a bottle when I was gone to defend my dissertation, even taking a binky. That stopped as soon as I was back.
I just feel like her dependence on me for soothing is hindering her emotionally. I could be wrong. It is also wearing on me emotionally and beginning to frustrate me because I cannot get things done during the times of day I prefer to work. Any feedback or advice is welcome. I’m open to suggestions and looking for information to make this easier on both of us.