I’m not sure about you, but I always feel a little crazy this time of year. Like I am a walking to-do list, full speed ahead on a freight train rushing towards Christmas, checking off the end-of-year gatherings, presents, parties, work tasks, family commitments and everything in between. This usually fairly calm mumma has turned a little, well… tired, cranky, emotional and neurotic.
So it’s probably no wonder that my children have also been displaying the above qualities too.
In the past week, Nicholas had minor surgery to descend his testes. Basically, they were present but in the wrong spot so he needed to go under general anaesthetic and have a surgical procedure to bring them down. The hospital and staff were amazing, we were in and out within about four hours and Nicholas was an absolute trooper. Although a little grizzly and tired for the first two days, he seemed to be fairly unfazed by the whole experience.
However, whether related or not, the day after his procedure Nicholas started clamping down on me with two very sharp teeth whilst in the process of breastfeeding. (“Thanks for the surgery, Mum, this is how it felt…”) Umm, ouch. I remember Charlie giving me a nip or two around the same age and it took about a week to pass, but this constant biting down has really taken its toll, physically and emotionally, on both of us. Thankfully, he didn’t mention it out loud, but I’m pretty sure my husband thought I was a little nuts. While I really didn’t want to give up breastfeeding just yet, I couldn’t imagine getting past this point of dreading every feed. I started dreaming about our feeds and sharp teeth. The only feed of the day I managed to get through relatively unscathed was at bedtime, as he was so relaxed he stopped clenching his jaw. Anyway, long story short, after what felt like a very long five days of blood, sweat and tears, we seem to have weathered the storm and the biting rate has, thankfully, receded dramatically. I’m a little way from feeling relaxed through a whole feed, but we seem to be working through the phase. Alleluia.
Albeit painful, it was a pretty effective way of reminding me to slow down. I have had to return to quiet feeds, away from the noise and bustle of normal life, away from phones, iPads and other distractions. Just a baby and his mumma, looking each other in the eye. Slow and quiet can be good.
This week, I’m going to try really hard to slow down. To be present. To breathe. To read more stories, do Christmas craft and take the time to cuddle my four boys, rather than always sticking to a schedule and marking off a to-do list. To remember that, even in the festive season, it’s okay to be still.