With raising children comes regrets. It’s a natural part of parenthood.
Mum Elizabeth Broadbent, in her Scary Mommy story, realised hers as she watched her two-year-old sprawled on the bed whining.
Her boobs are the only thing that could stop it. If he doesn’t get it, he will start screaming, waking up his other brothers.
Of her other children, she describes them thusly: “They are sucked up against my husband like remoras. Sometimes each demands to sleep on an outstretched arm, and he has to try to get shuteye while cruciform all night. Other times the baby won’t stop nursing and grabs the opposite nipple and hits me.”
This led her to think that such behaviour could have been prevented if she and her husband had put their children in cribs, and this is just one of her many regrets.
“I think my 4-year-old is weaned,” Elizabeth says. “He is not. And when he gets upset, he tends to fling himself at my breasts, screaming “Mama milk!” And I say no, and the wailing intensifies.”
Her two-and-a-half-year-old is the same, and when he is not given his milk he goes into fits.
“I could have weaned everyone at say, 18 months, and none of this would happen. They’d be so far from milk that they’d never ask.”
“My babies were lovingly swaddled in cloth, put up on my back or cuddled on my front. I had piles of wraps for them to pick. I taught babywearing. But as soon as they got too big to want to be wrapped, they didn’t want to ride in the cart… If I had stuck them in strollers more, they’d have been used to riding in the cart.”
Elizabeth loves that her children are homeschooled, but some mornings she wishes that they were enrolled in a school instead.
“I’d have a hell of a time with car lines, but then I’d be gloriously free for at least three hours. I could clean. I could write. I could wash laundry or dishes. I could get my hair cut or go to Ulta and buy makeup.”
Elizabeth and her husband have long ago decided not to spank their children. After all, many studies suggest that it doesn’t benefit children in the long run. “But when one of them jumps from the top of the kitchen table to the plastic storage bins several feet away, I want to spank the shit out of him, for stupidity if nothing else.”