Mixed Feelings

My feelings about breastfeeding Ellery are very similar to my feelings about being a parent in general. After almost 16 months, we are down to only one breastfeed in the morning when Ellery awakens from his night of sleep. Originally, I had planned to just nurse him until his first birthday and then stop, but after awhile, it became so second nature and more convenient than giving bottles. It’s become so easy and such help when Ellery is sick and won’t eat or drink much of anything else. I can hardly remember how unbelievably difficult it was at first to nurse Ellery in the hospital when he was born, and for the first few months.

For the first 6 months of Ellery’s life, I kept looking forward to the time when I could stop breastfeeding because of how demanding and exhausting it seemed, but now I’m feeling sad that this special bond and closeness will be ending, and I don’t really want it to end.

As a parent, I have mixed feelings as I look forward to Ellery being potty-trained, walking, feeding himself, dressing himself and being more independent. It will be great, but at the same time, I don’t want him to change or grow up because I will miss him as a cute little baby. He’s only 16 months old and I’m already missing the time when he was so helpless and little. He is a toddler now — not really a baby anymore — and when he grows up it will be forever. I will never see that baby again, except in the photos and films we’ve taken and my distant memories. Childhood and especially baby and toddler age is such a precious time that I really want to enjoy this part of Ellery’s life, but it is with mixed feelings. I can’t wait for him to be out of diapers and be more independent, but I’m starting to miss that little baby so.