My Dog is a Runner {& so am I}

Today, I’m over [HERE].
Today, I’m letting go of a hobby.  Well, maybe hobby isn’t the right word.
Breastfeeding and I have gone our separate ways for good and we’ve finished our intermittent six year love-hate relationship.  Milk, feedings were always hard for us to establish.  As natural of an act as it is, each babe and I had to work at its rhythms to learn each other’s terrain and language.  In all three relationships, I’ve shed a lot of tears with mastitis seven times.  There were days when I felt trapped by nursing’s schedule and longed for solo time, days when I felt prisoner to an on-demand nurser.  Bittersweet, then blue skies.
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To count Olive’s pregnancy, it’s been 27 months since my body was all mine.  It feels strange.  I think back to the dark, sleepy moments of feeding and the opportunity to sit and stare at my babe’s toes, fingers and wispy hair patterns as they’ve each grown, authentically enjoying breastfeeding’s benefits and bondings.
Olive ended in as unique and as silly of a way as she truly is.  She dwindled down to one morning feeding a day on only one side.  She’d shake her head no and quickly close my shirt if I offered the pair.  About a week ago, perched on my bed in the sunshine glow of a regular Tuesday she signed eat and please.  As I unbuttoned my red flannel sock monkey pajama top, she signed eat, please and mumbled a dstairs [downstairs].  And with that I felt the curtain close.  Olive is done nursing.  It’s a skill, a pastime I’ve spent 47 months of doing both with and for my babes.  It’s been my gift to them and I’m proud.  Four days after Olive gave up the habit, obviously in a hormonal crash, I sat with my knees to my chest beneath window’s screen while Luke and the girls played outside.  They don’t need me anymore, my head said.  Lingering hormones were making me crazy.

Since the sock monkey pajama top curtain closed, I’ve lost middle ground and only found myself at peaks and valleys.  To this, Luke’s coined the phrase Hormonal Daggers and said, best punk band name, ever.  He says this to eye’s glare I shoot when I reach a peak or valley.  
This hormonal shift, emotional instability began many, many weeks ago as Olive began to wean herself off of me and onto goat’s milk, local cheese, and big sister snacks like Pirate’s Booty and yogurt-covered pretzels.  
In running, I found I could leave my frustration over a sibling squabble at the top of a hill.  In running, I found my stress over laundry or bill’s stack would fall away by the first mile.  I’d come home with a clear head and a happy soul.  All this is pretty crazy – the me liking running part.  
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On Friday I tried running with my double stroller, with Lucy and Olive.  I ran two miles, but counted it as four since it was so hard, pushing up hills and keeping pace without my arms swinging.  I’ll try again, knowing that this view, right our my doorstep is such a lucky view for a mama and her stroller full of babes.  I had to stop to tie a shoe, pick up a strewn blankie and un-top a milkie.  It was exercise, but it wasn’t head-clearing, solo rebooting.
This week, I wrote about my new running partner and how I’ve learned to call myself exactly that:  a runner over at Today’s Mama.

I [Think] I am a Runner

TWith playlist perfect and skies blue, my mind cleared.  For the first time I got it.  So many of my mommy pals run.  My confidence grew in distance gained, my mood brightened.  I finished all my thoughts and cleared a path for new ones.  I wrote bits of this and that, then committed poetry, prose to memory.  Before I knew it, I was home..[Click HERE to read more]

17 Comments

  • Too true. It is so back and forth. Constantly questioning yourself – am I eating the wrong thing? are they not getting anything?
    And then wanting simply to reclaim yourself.
    But then just like you described it, the perfect moments where you have the time to do nothing but stare at your precious little one.
    Great post! Thank you for sharing this.

    • Char says:

      In the Trenches: Customer Reinhloastip Management – Intuit Small Business Blog The time has come to put together a better way to keep track of our customers.

    • Thanks S.B. It took me a few hours. Mainly because I kept switching out wallpapers and flooring…good times! THANK YOU! That’s my favorite room as well! And those two girls!? Gah! I was grinning while taking the pics!I know*hides face in shame!* But I was just being lazy! *sigh* But one of my resolutions is to see what this game has to offer. And that includes BS. I’m going to try recoloring and things like that! Dun, dun, dun!! Aww! Thanks! I’m glad! That makes me happy!

  • Strange… Is this what this is? How odd that I read your post today after buying running shoes on a whim two weeks ago. I went for my first run EVER (or perhaps since I was a little girl) on Thursday. I wanted to get out of the house and be alone… do something for me and not sit around doing it. It did not feel great, but it did feel liberating.

  • Weaning is such a hugely emotional ritual. It's so heartening to hear, though, that you have a new ritual (and a new partner!)in running. One that is all for you!

    I hope you feel celebratory about all the important years you shared milk with your babes and now you can run-run-run all over that beautiful island of yours in celebration of the body that is entirely yours now.

    Good job, Mama! I hope to be running again soon too…

  • hooray for you! nursing and weaning and running. all hard and good! right there with you for all of it! i nursed on one side for what felt like FOREVER…7 yrs total…and was so happy when it was done, melancholy too, but mostly happy. the next phase was right there waiting for me and the kiddos. and the running rocks, doesn't it! love your view,too.

  • Gnat says:

    It is funny that I just read this after commenting to my fellow mom that I wanted to start running with her! 🙂

  • Melina says:

    How funny that we have such different lives yet we find ourselves at a similar place. I have no children except the squabbling children in my head who want me to eat! now! sleep! work! play! find a job get insurance sleep more get a boyfriend be alone!!! it's like a constant temper tantrum and sometimes the only way to get 'em to be quiet is to put in earbuds and run circles around Green lake.

    I've studied a lot about breastfeeding in my doula classes, and I congratulate you in breastfeeding for so long, and wish you luck with the emotional/hormonal peaks and cliffs associated with weaning.

    And thank you- THANK YOU- for a wonderful comment you left on the wilder coast. It brought me to tears.

    xoxo
    Melina

  • Ivey Patton via Today's Mama says:

    love it! go dog go! when we lived in port townsend i'd run on the beach with wilma, our mixed breed bullet. It was thrilling to see her so incredibly wild and happy. It made my running almost effortless.

  • Cory says:

    LOVE LOVE LOVE this post. I get all of it! It's all so bittersweet. It's major, too. Major point of transition and oh YES there will be mood swings, tears and the rest of it. Good for you for being healthy-minded enough to start running and getting that personal space for body and mind (even if you are pushing the stroller.) Gosh, I don't know what I'll do when I'm not pushing a stroller anymore. ; )
    XO

  • Elissa says:

    a little jealous that you are liking running…

    you know, sort of. and leaving nursing behind IS so strange even when it wasn't always smooth sailing to do (and it wasn't with me either!)

    but i'll buy the album when Hormonal Daggers releases its debut. awesome band name.

  • Running two miles counting as four…I love that. Sometimes I take a big hill on my bike with the kids in the bike trailer just because it may be my only exercise for days.
    And yes, the hormonal swings, the peaks and valleys, such ever-changing stuff this motherhood (they need me, they don't, they need me, they don't….really, they do and always will).

  • mamascout says:

    bittersweet… nursing is. i have breast feeding free for a few years and sometimes miss it, but overall am glad we are done. it was a huge struggle with each in the beginning, but was then like magic.

    congratulation and condolences together.

    i am reading _born to run_. have you heard of it? you might really like it. is in an engaging story and might encourage you to start running barefoot.

  • Thanks for the book thought. I can't picture myself running barefoot, but not to long ago I couldn't picture myself running.
    Thanks for all the kind words about quitting nursing. It's been an emotional struggle. I also love the pep words concerning running. So much love and support — it's great to come HERE.

  • Just came across your blog, funnily enough I'm am just in the process of finishing feeding my second daughter, Harriet. She too is down to one morning feed and barely taking two 🙂 Its such a mixed set of emotions – being set free yet yearning to remain blissfully trapped in the nurturing role. I was expecting to come across a post about a dog running by a pram so I'll hop over and read that now. My dog Rhubarb occasionally posts on my site when she has had a particularly happy day out in our little tin boat. 🙂

  • I somehow missed this post. Man, does it send a bolt of some sort of emotional concoction into my heart. Ruby still nurses, isn't slowing down. We are down to once in the morning and occasionally in the late morning. I never had the chance to feel done with Margot because she chose suddenly at 14 months old. Now I know it's probs because my milk was different as Ruby was growing inside. I feel like I could nurse in the mornings with Ruby forever. I winder when she'll be done because I don't know if I will ever make that choice…I suppose one of us will. Probably soon.

    xo

  • Zane Wooder says:

    Running while pushing that stroller is hard work. You'll be really strong muscles form that work. I love your growing passion for running.

    -Zane of ontario honey

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