I put a lot of thought into this Ash Wednesday Eve reflection and I hope you enjoy it
The Gospel of the Snack

In which it slowly dawns on me: hormones?

I had a major case of The Rage again today. Actually, I think it started yesterday, when I forced Molly into my Cleaning All The Things Boot Camp while Jack was in preschool because I SWEAR if one more person got out one more toy without putting it away I was going to drop everything, including the baby, and flee to Fiji. 

My tolerance for 1) mess and 2) dealing with the people who think cleaning up THEIR OWN MESSES is BENEATH THEM is at an all time low. Or take the all time low and multiply by a frajillion and THAT is how low. I am angry and resentful and lashing out and OMG SUCH A PLEASURE TO LIVE WITH! 

I thought I was tired. 

So I was kind of excited about TODAY, because today was a no-preschool day and that meant if the kids slept late I wouldn't have to wake them up and I wouldn't have to go crazy getting everyone ready in the morning. It's totally not unusual for the big kids to sleep till seven-thirty or eight and the baby sleep till past that. I KNOW. 

Of course, this morning everyone woke up at six. By 9:30 I was about to commit myself. I should say: they weren't being UNDULY horrible. Yes, Molly is doing this THING where she cries at the drop of a hat, about every single stupid little thing and I don't know what it's about (is it her Three thing?) and it is SO wearing. And Jack is his usual bouncy, happy, chipper sasspants which I ALSO have no patience for anymore, but that's the thing. Where did my patience go? I used to have SOME. I feel like I have NONE. 

It happened to be sunny and glorious, however, and I thought that just the thing everyone needed was a nice walk outside. Even though I did NOT want to get everyone ready to go outside and did NOT want to put a super tired Emma in her little coat-suit, I knew she'd fall asleep in the stroller and the big kids needed to get OUT. 

So then OF COURSE, not three minutes into our walk, Jack starts complaining about how TIRED he is and how he's HUNGRY (it's BARELY ten in the morning) and his FEET hurt and Molly looks like she's about to cry and DUDES. Only the skinniest of threads was holding me together in the middle of the street in broad daylight. 

Which is when I thought: hormones?

I NEVER think ANYTHING is hormones. Ever! IT WILL NEVER OCCUR TO ME. Someone else has to say it or write it in a blog post or a comment before I'm all, "OH!" So my next thought was 1) I am improving in my physical self-awareness or 2) things are REALLY NOT GOOD. 

It took me many many more hours before I came up with a suitable explanation for having Hormonal Issues, however, and you will laugh, because it is SO OBVIOUS: I think we are done nursing. I THINK. I have never had a huge supply which I have never done anything about. Emma's been getting a bottle since her first HOURS in the hospital (needed to make sure her glucose levels were stable and my milk hadn't come in) and ever since that first week or two when I decided I had to give her a bottle to maintain my sanity, I haven't really looked back. I am SO OKAY with bottles. 

But nursing is free! Sometimes I like doing it! Emma can be really cute! And shoot, I breastfed my other kids for at least six months, I don't want to shortchange this one, right? Except... 

Yeah, I think it's That Time. I'm pretty sure my supply has decreased more over the last couple of weeks. I still nurse her at various times, but in the evenings when she's clearly Super Hungry, we go straight to bottles. And now that she's sleeping longer and going longer without eating, well, there you go. And I HEAR weaning makes you HORMONAL. 

I have no memories of this with the other kids. I don't! I keep trying to remember how I stopped and all I come up with is, "Well, one day, it just happened?"

I'm not weepy or any of those things... but I am SUPER SHORT-TEMPERED with the kids. I also want to EAT EVERYTHING. Though who knows if that's hormones or my old friend Eating My Feelings. 

Oh, and the other thing that makes me think it's hormones is that, for some crazy reason, I blossomed into Funny Cheery Happy Mom! tonight. WHERE DID THAT COME FROM? Seriously, pretty soon everything that came out of Jack's mouth was comedy gold. When Phillip came home I flat out told him that I had never wished more to be at work than I had today, but I said so with a GOOFY GRIN, like OH, ISN'T THAT FUNNY?! 

I was TRYING, I'll say that for myself. We made cookies - the one thing the kids and I do together that we all equally enjoy. Then we did a Shred because I was serious about eating all the things AND WE MADE COOKIES and my kids are HILARIOUS when they are exercising with me. And Phillip came home early. And Emma and Molly took extra long naps. I mean, there was a lot of good. 

But I think I will inform Phillip of the Possible Hormone Situation, because he always likes to know it's Not Him, and see how it goes. I'm not sure if we're really done nursing or just doing it once a day or what. I don't really want to be DONE done, but I can SEE being done done. If that makes sense.

Tomorrow after preschool we're picking up Phillip at work, dropping the big kids with my folks, and heading to Portland for the NDCF winter retreat. CRAZYPANTS. We're not actually ATTENDEES - I had the opportunity to pray behind the scenes and I am all over that and Phillip is just going to hang out with Emma and, as he put it, "attract the college girls with my cute baby".  Honestly, I am just excited about not having to pick up anyone's MESS for two days. WAHOO.



Ugh for hormones. I hope things balance out soon- and if that means no more nursing, go for it! You know what's best for you and your sanity and your family. I'll be praying that things even out soon. Have fun in Portland!


Sometimes if I just realize what the problem is, it makes it a lot better. Like I can say to myself, it's not me, it's hormones! Then it doesn't have as much power to affect me. I don't know if that makes sense.


Sometimes when it feels like it's time to quit nursing, then it's just time. When I went down to only breastfeeding my baby 1-2 times a day and then finally quit breastfeeding altogether, I was very hormonal for a month or so (anxious/nervous/emotional). I started having panic attacks. It was a pretty overwhelming month. I went to the doctor about it, and she prescribed Xanax. I didn't want to take the pills, so I started working out at a gym, which helped a little (and breathing through my feelings when I got overwhelmed). But I think this time around, I would 100% take the Xanax if I needed it, because I think it could have really helped with those hormonal feelings. Best of luck...follow your own intuition.


I'm with Jen up above. Sometimes, just knowing what the problem is makes all the difference.

Like when your kid's a jerk for days and you're ready to sell him to the circus and then LO, A TOOTH pops through. Your kid's still a jerk, but you know it's the teething, not anything you or he did and it seems better.


Could be the lovely female hormones. Could also be thyroid. If changes around nursing don't improve the rage, consider getting your neck checked. Thyroid turned out to be a problem for me in a huge way. Either way, I agree with PP that just acknowledging the problem out loud can sometimes make a huge difference, too. Have a great weekend though with no mess cleaning. I'm full of envy!


I just finished weaning last week. I did it slowly, over an 8 week period. And the last 3 weeks or so of the weaning, I was so ragey all the time. It was bad. I was hoping it was weaning-related, and I am pretty sure it was because now that I'm done, I no longer have The Rage. Yay!


I just read the blog posts that Maggie Mason posted yesterday about weaning and depression! http://mightygirl.com/2012/02/22/breastfeeding-hormones-and-depression/

I had no idea this was possible, but it certainly makes sense!


Not to be too personal, but I too have three close in age, and my daughter is 13 mos old. We had a pretty serious shift in nursing at 6 mos (she stopped nursing on one side) and it caused my cycles to start back. I was CA-RAZY for about a month during that hormonal shift. Anxious, angry all of the time, impatient. And, of course, certain it was everyone else's fault. It was bad bad bad. I wonder if that's what you're experiencing? If so, watch out, lest Cheung #4 surprise you. =)


Also, Phillip is funny. I hope he meets some hot college co-eds.

Kate P

That sounds like what my SIL kind of goes through whenever her babies reach about the 7mo mark. (Which reminds me I need to go make a note on the calendar so I can check in with her about taking the other kids for her or whatever.) Hang in there and I hope you get some answers and relief.

No one can resist the cute dad with the cute baby!


YES to what everyone said. Same thing happened to me when my cycle came back and my supply dropped (around 7 months for me). I was soooo irritable.


My hormones do this to me almost every single month since having the kids ... and nearly every single month I am shocked and taken unawares. Apparently, I am a slow learner.

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