“But all he wants is you, mom!”

George is sick.  Just a bad cold, icky nose, crusty eyes, wet cough.  Sick little boys want their mamas.  Only their mamas.

A long, long time ago I had to wean George. 

I’ve been thinking about this lots today because Elizabeth Foss asked us all to pray for her friend, Katie.  Katie is a young mom with MS who has had a severe flare and lost the use of her legs.  She is doing an emergency wean so that she can start some powerful new MS drugs.  I know how hard it is to stop nursing a baby, and I even sort of know how hard it is to not be able to take care of your baby (and husband and everybody else) the way you want to because of medical troubles. 

All day today as I’ve struggled with my regular responsibilities… getting my arthritic fingers to fasten Danny’s braces tight enough… lifting George to the bathroom counter to change him…. finding some energy to put dishes in the dishwasher… getting up off the floor after fixing the wireless router… arranging the minute-by-minute schedule for childcare and driving and everything for while I’m out of commission at the end of the week… I’ve thought “Well, at least I can walk.”  What would I do?  How in the world would I run this household? 

But anyway, back to weaning George.  This was very traumatic for me.  We had worked for months to get him to breastfeed, then I had successfully nursed after one mastectomy, but once I started chemotherapy, it was over.  You know what my biggest worry was?  With my others, even when we had nannies, even when I was working, nursing was the one thing that only I could do for my babies.  They depended on me alone for that sustenance. 

  I know this is going to sound silly, but he was so young, and we knew so little at that time about how severely his Downs would impact him cognitively.   When I had to wean George, I worried that if I wasn’t nursing him, he wouldn’t know there was any difference between me and anybody else taking care of him. 

If I wasn’t nursing him, how would he know that he was supposed to love me best?

And then I worried that because I had to delegate so much George care to other people, he would REALLY get confused.  For a while there, I think somebody different put him to sleep every night.  It was so hard (OK, let’s be honest… it IS so hard) not being able to take care of him the way I wanted to. 

Fast forward to now.  After another mastectomy, relactation wasn’t an option.  We’re working diligently with a speech therapist who is an expert on feeding issues, but George is still drinking formula out of a bottle.  Oh well. 

But the big thing is this:  When George is tired, or sad, or sick, or wants someone to watch him do his new puzzle VERY FAST, or is worried because the box of Triscuits is empty, I often ask one of the big kids to take care of him for just a minute until I can get there… I move slowly and don’t multitask at all. 

At least once a day, I hear words that in any other situation, about any other child, I’d find frustrating or a burden.

 “Mom, he just won’t stop crying!”  or “Mom,  George is just NOT falling asleep for me.”  or “Mom, I can’t fix it this time.”  or whatever.

Then, no matter how tired or sick I am, or how much I’m hurting,  the next sentence is joy to my heart:  They say,  “I’ve tried, but all he wants is you, mom!”

15 thoughts on ““But all he wants is you, mom!”

  1. Thank you for this post, Elizabeth. I guess I needed to hear it because I have my own Elizabeth who just wants mom. You reminded me what a gift this truly is.

    My prayers for you today, Michelle

  2. :misty eyed:
    You are such a great mama I can see why he only wants you.
    I’ve been AWOL as life is dragging me behind the bus but I think of you and pray for you often.
    Blessings,
    amy in ne

  3. You’re such a good mama! (We all want YOU when we’re sick!)

    Hope that sweet boy is feeling better soon.

    Love, hugs and prayers!

  4. Thank you so much. I needed this today as I continue to rebel and wish my baby would go to someone else while I try to make dinner or just get a few moments of peace. When he stands outside the bathroom door and howls because no one else will do, I desperately wish he wanted someone else. Or at least I think I do. But you are right, in my heart I am so very, very glad that I am his mother and all he wants is me.

    Just a few months ago I was wracked with grief when he decided to go on a nursing strike and weaned himself overnight with no gradual easing off. Nothing I could do would make him nurse and I so desperately wanted that relationship to continue. How soon, how soon we forget.

  5. Oh, how this resonated with me … “I move slowly and don’t multitask at all”… Yes. But I can cuddle my little boy, and brush my daughter’s hair — their favorite ‘sit down with mama’ things to do. George knows how much you can still give him, and do give him.

  6. Isaiah 49:15
    Motherhood has taught me much about God.
    You have taught me much about motherhood, too.

    Love and hugs from RI

  7. Elizabeth-
    I just want you to know that you are my “mama” hero. George and all of your kids are truly blessed to have you as their mother. This message was something that I needed to hear as I have a 20 month old who is teething and wants to nurse more than he did as a newborn! How fleeting this season is in our life! Thank you for reminding me how precious the here and now is with our kids! Bless you and you are in my prayers.
    Jennifer

  8. Elizabeth, I’m not sure what the best way is to contact you, but I wanted you to know that I read your post (I am the Katie Elizabeth Foss mentioned on her blog). She gave me the link to your blog.

    Thank you so, so much. I’ve had such similar fears regarding my baby – if I can’t nurse him, and right now can’t even take care of him, how will he know that I am his mother? Your post spoke to my heart and gave me comfort.

    I will pray for you and your family! God bless you.

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