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Wishful Weaning

When enough is enough breastfeeding.

Wishful Weaning

I feel stupid for even bringing this up again, because, you guys, I have been talking about ending this breastfeeding thing since, like, 10 years ago. Ok, maybe just for the past six months, but still. We are STILL nursing with no end in sight at all. I know that it is totally normal to nurse as long as you want, and I want to hug and give spa days to the women who make it past two years but I. Just. Can’t. Anymore.

Believe me, I have tried to wean. I’ve offered many enticing bottles (ooooh! Yummy yummy pretty pretty bottle!) and he’s swatted them all away. I know I need to grow a pair (oh, wait) and go House of Usher on my breasts, building a brick wall around them or whatever, and just deal with the screaming and tantrums.

But like I said before, I am tired. I just want this to go away without my having to exert any effort at all and sadly that is not happening. I fear it never will. And now, with The Not-So-Little One being over 16 months now, and having become very um … vocal? Demonstrative? I don’t know, however it is that one describes how 16-month-olds let you know their needs without having a proper grasp on language and overall decorum – well, we’ve reached the point of what I like to call Extreme Nursing. Or better yet, Obscene Nursing, because I’m nursing a human being who can walk and whose body is so long, he needs to rest his legs on top of the table and who, when finished nursing, I half expect to snap his fingers and order a Martini or something. His latest nursing proclivities can make even the biggest nursing crusaders among us blush.

It would be one thing if we were just nursing in the privacy of our own home. There, no one would see that when he suckles on my right breast, he forcefully shoves my face away so that I can’t look down at him, and proceeds to play with my earrings. And if I dare turn my head to face him again, he will straight up slap my cheek. Or pick my nose.

If we only nursed at home, then it wouldn’t be weird that while he nurses one breast, he likes to rub my other nipple between his thumb and forefinger like it’s some kind of good luck charm. “Ah yes, Lucky Number Two,” I imagine him saying in a resonant smoker’s voice.

But no, this happens all over town, at every cafe or restaurant, every park, every Duane Reade we happen to be in at the time. Shit like, the kid is literally standing on the floor, pulling my torso down to him so that he can nurse with his neck upturned like a baby calf’s at his mother’s teat. I might as well get on all fours. That would surely impress the folks at Le Pain Quotidien!

Or how about the one I call The Bronx Cheer because of how he’ll paw at me until I disrobe and then nurse for all of five seconds before he pulls off, looks me in the eye, and blows a raspberry. Then goes back to nursing.

And the other weekend when we were celebrating his big brother’s birthday at Benihana in Midtown, I had to keep fighting him while nursing, to get his long legs off of the table because they were precariously close to the hot cooking surface where the shrimp were being made to dance and fly in the air into the chef’s hat. And while I was wrangling his feet, he pulled his favorite nursing move, which is to put two fingers in my mouth while he breastfeeds. I call this one The Violator. (He likes to save The Violator for family-friendly food establishments only). I can’t even fight him on this one. If I swat his finger away he jabs at my lips with a pointy nail and rams his finger between my teeth until they part.

But perhaps my absolute most despised nursing position of his is the Forced Pacifier one. This is when, just prior to clamping down on my nipple, he will remove his pacifier from his mouth and plonk it into my own. If I attempt to humor him by delicately holding the plastic edge of the pacifier between my teeth he looks at me like, “No, Bitch. But nice try,” and removes the paci before reinserting it so that I resemble Maggie from The Simpsons or worse, a fetishist.

It just ain’t right. Not anymore. My milk supply has gone waaaaayyyy down, so much so that he has to tug really hard to get anything at all. So hard, that he caused a fissure in my nipple that sends searing pain that I feel all the way to my toes whenever he nurses or when I get into the shower. Sure, this stuff is run of the mill to any mother of a newborn, but this should not be happening now, 16 months in.

I just want to tell him, “Give up the ghost already! Nursing is SO last year! Nipple-free is the New Black!” but instead I remove my super expensive, new non-nursing bra from Saks that I had hoped not to stain and stretch out by pulling it down five times a day for this guy. And I close my eyes and pretend that all the good people and It Girls at the taco restaurant in Soho where we’ve decided to have lunch at that day won’t judge me too harshly as I wince in pain, and eat my carne esada while someone gingerly plays with my left nipple.

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14 sweet 'just thinking of you' gifts for every mama

A sweet surprise that tells her you've been thinking of her might be the pick-me-up she needs.

Who says you have to wait for birthdays or holidays to give your bestie a great gift? A sweet surprise that tells her you've been thinking of her might be the pick-me-up she needs in these more-than-trying times. We've rounded up some of our favorite go-to gifts that are certain to be a bright spot in her week. But be warned, you may want to snag a few for yourself. (You deserve it, mama.)

Here are some our favorite "just because" gifts to give our hardworking mama friends.

New Mother face + body care duo

volition face + body care duo

This correcting oil and stretch mark minimizer is perfect for the pregnant mama looking to keep her pregnancy glow. The correcting oil brightens the skin while reducing dark spots, and the stretch mark minimizer works to smooth her ever-growing belly.

$70

Allover roller

esker allover roller

This jade roller goes beyond your typical face roller and can be used anywhere on the body. It works to increase stimulation and reduce puffiness and is perfect for applying any oils to the face or body. Plus, it feels like a mini spa treatment.

$65

Kombucha making kit

farmsteady kombucha making kit

What could be a more perfect gift for the health-obsessed friend? This kombucha making kit comes with everything you need to brew your own homemade green tea kombucha. They'll think this is the tastiest gift ever.

$45

Laetitia lipstick

cupid & psyche laetitia

This red lipstick is perfect for your makeup enthusiast bestie who is looking to spruce up her life in quarantine. Crafted in the United States, these bee and vegan-friendly and cruelty-free lipsticks are created to flatter all complexions. Cupid and Psyche Beauty makes finding the perfect red lip way too easy!

$23

Jigsaw puzzle

inner piecec jigsaw puzzle

Mamas need to destress now more than ever during quarantine. This adorable jigsaw puzzle is perfect for the mama who needs a brain break! The 500-piece puzzle designed by artist Ray Oranges features an abstract gradient design that fits a standard frame when completed. Bonus: It's printed on recycled paper and the company donates $1 from every puzzle sold to youth mindfulness programs.

$30

Matilda's Bloombox

matilda's bloombox

If we have to be stuck inside, we might as well have some gorgeous florals to brighten up the space. Matilda's Bloombox locally sources blooms, delivers them to her door and provides simple tips on how to arrange it into a beautiful bouquet.

$39

'I Am Enough' bracelet

I Am Enough bracelet

Let this dainty bracelet serve as a constant reminder to your bestie that she is enough. She'll wear this on her wrist and read this daily oath to herself, "I Am Enough."

$35

Glow assorted teas

vahdam low assorted teas

This tea gift box set covers the entire spectrum of flavors from sweet to spicy. Individually packaged in beautiful tins, your gal pal will feel like a queen sipping her morning tea. Originally $40, this set is currently on sale for just $24. We'll take two, please.

$24

Find your voice journal

find your voice journal

Journaling is a great way to ease anxiety and will slow your bestie's racing mind before bed. This gift is perfect for first time journalists and includes prompts, daily quotes and coloring pages to help her unlock her potential and find her voice.

$22

Premium frother

shore magic premium frother

This gift is fitting for your latte-sipping bestie who can't go a day without her coffee. All she has to do is add two scoops of collagen to her favorite drink, and she'll have a perfectly foamy drink ready in seconds. Skipping the drive-thru line has never been so easy!

$25

Bath soak infusion kit

maude bath soak infusion kit

Say hello to hydration! She'll be feeling smooth and relaxed as ever after a long bath soaking in these salts. This vegan + cruelty-free set incorporates dead sea salt and dehydrated coconut milk powder for an ultra hydrating experience.

$32

Tiny Tags 'mama' necklace

Tiny Tags 'mama' necklace

It's a hard-earned title she answers to a hundred times per day. Whether she's new to the club or a seasoned professional, this delicate script 'mama' necklace is guaranteed to be a perfect fit.

$105

Superfood honey

Beekeeper's Naturals B.Powered honey

With a lack of sleep and jam-packed days, getting through the afternoon can be a real challenge. Send her a powerful pick-me-up in the form of a therapeutic blend of royal jelly, bee pollen, propolis and raw honey. It makes the ideal companion for tea, smoothies, yogurt or even on its on.

$17

Calming midnight mask with melatonin

Who doesn't deserve a reminder to pamper themself every once in awhile? Even better, this mask does all its work at night while you're sleeping with no extra effort needed. It's an amazing plant-powered antioxidant-packed mask that has melatonin, wild dandelion leaf and hyaluronic acid to rehydrate, repair and reset facial skin. It's so good, you might want to gift it to yourself. We won't tell, mama.

$68

We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

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This incredibly soft comforter from Sunday Citizen is like sleeping on a cloud

My only complaint? I've slept through my alarm twice.

When it comes to getting a good night's sleep, there are many factors that, as a mama, are hard to control. Who's going to wet the bed at 3 am, how many times a small person is going to need a sip of water, or the volume of your partner's snoring are total wildcards.

One thing you can control? Tricking out your bed to make it as downright cozy as possible. (And in these times, is there anywhere you want to be than your bed like 75% of the time?)

I've always been a down comforter sort of girl, but after a week of testing the ridiculously plush and aptly named Snug Comforter from Sunday Citizen, a brand that's run by "curators of soft, seekers of chill" who "believe in comfort over everything," it's safe to say I've been converted.

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I wasn’t sure if I wanted to have kids—so here’s what I did

We asked our three most pessimistic friends who have kids whether it's worth it or not

As told to Liz Tenety.

Around the time my husband and I were turning 30, we had a genuine conversation about whether or not we wanted kids. I was the hesitant one because I was like, "Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. Let's just hold on. Okay, let's talk about this. Because we love our life. We like traveling. Is this what we want?"

My husband said, "Let's ask our three most pessimistic, crabby friends who have kids whether or not it's worth it."

And every single one of them was like, "Oh, it's unmissable on planet earth."

So when I got pregnant, I was—and I'm not ashamed to say this and I don't think you should be—I was as connected with the baby in my belly as if it were a water bottle. I was like, I don't know you. I don't know what you are, but you can be some gas pain sometimes, but other than that, we're going to have to meet each other and suss this relationship out.

But all the cliches are true that you just know what to do when the baby comes out. Some of the times are hard, some of them are easier, but you just gotta use your gut.

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