New baby, new concerns

When I was pregnant with Iris, I was so confident about becoming a mother of two. I was proud of the way I had parented Willow and figured I would be an expert the second time around. In some aspects, I was, like nursing for instance. That came really easy. But the majority of the other time, I felt like I was completely losing my mind.

Friends told me: “One to two is the hardest. Two to three is a piece of cake.”

“Ha! Three, I thought. That’ll be the day…”

And that day will be sometime this July when we welcome a third little hooligan into our family. It seems I have completely lost my mind.

This time, I’m unconfident about virtually every aspect of parenting a third child. Oddly, even with 5 years prior experience, I find myself most anxious about nursing again.

Unlike when I anticipated breastfeeding my firstborn, I’m not worried that I won’t produce enough milk. I know enough now to trust my body. I’m not worried that my baby won’t latch. I know enough now to trust my baby.

Instead, I’m concerned about developing nursing aversion as I did with both of my daughters. (Our weaning and burnout stories here and here.) I’d love for my breastfeeding relationship with this baby to be pleasant enough for me to allow child-led weaning like I wished I could have done with my daughters. Even more, I’m worried that the aversion will onset before an “appropriate” time to wean. By appropriate, I mean the standard I’ve held myself to to nurse my children until at least two years old as recommended by the World Health Organization.

When Willow overheard me express my concern, she reassured me: “It’s OK Mom, we can give the baby chocolate milk instead.” At least I have options.

I have options when it comes to nursing in public too. The thing is, I’m not actually worried about nursing in public. I’m worried that if someone were to discriminate against me for feeding my child, I would respond so ferociously that I’d be setting a terrible example for my children and fellow breastfeeding moms.

Quite honestly, Willow and Iris might not even be in sight when this hypothetical, discriminatory situation occurs. Mostly likely, they’ll be scurrying through grocery store aisles on their own agenda, leaving me to panic. How do mothers wrangle multiple, mobile children while NIP?! I’ve never been fond of child leashes but come July, I just might be in the market for a couple.

Finally, I’m concerned about how I’ll make time for my husband when the new baby comes. When Willow was born, I was so occupied with being a new mom that I completely forgot that I had a husband who needed me to nourish our relationship too. It wasn’t any different when Iris was born. With a third on the way, I don’t anticipate Addison and I finding much free time to spend watching House Hunters and gazing into eachother’s eyes.
All of my concerns considered, I should mention that I’m thrilled to be growing our family. It’s just that, we mothers, we never stop worrying, do we?

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