30 April, 2015

Weaning Will

Will on the slides today at the park :)

Today is the first full day in Will's life that I haven't nursed him. If I could have, I would have continued nursing until he got on the bus for the first day of Kindergarten. Well, maybe not that long, but longer than this. For health reasons, I've known for a while that I would have to wean earlier than I'd hoped, but now that it's actually happening, my heart is just broken.

I remember when Will was about six months old and I was feeling especially fluffy. It was frustrating because I'd been dieting and exercising like crazy, but couldn't lose the baby weight. I considered weaning and dismissed it almost immediately. I couldn't deny that if I weaned him I'd lose weight. I couldn't deny that losing weight would make me feel better. But far more importantly than both of those points, stood the resolute fact that weaning Will would be based on purely selfish reasons.

And now I'm at this horrid point where the selfless decision is to wean. It just hurts.

And I'm having to remind myself of the truth that has taken years to sink in and still isn't quite there: selflessness = happiness.

As a mother, especially, but of course as a human in general, I've watched this play out in my life - the more selfish I am, the more miserable I am. The more selfless I am, the more peaceful I am. That doesn't mean that in the moment there isn't pain.

Of course, with breastfeeding there are hormones and instincts and bonding-type-things that come into play which make it a different realm of difficult. It's hard to explain what it's like. It feels like you are betraying someone; it feels like you are turning your back on an innocent baby in need; it feels like you are being replaced; it feels like everything is changing and you just want normal back; it feels like you aren't needed; it feels like you can't do anything right. It feels like a lot more things but I'll stop there. Weaning is hard. It's so so so hard.

And that is good.

I'm glad that it's hard for me. I'm glad that I'm being forced into weaning. I'm glad that I fought the fight to keep doing something that was not always desirable for me, because I love Will. Maybe I'm starting to understand, in a small way, what it's like to live for others.

Here's something. I'm not great at positive self-talk. But I'll try. I'm glad I'm the kind of mom that didn't stop weaning because I wanted to lose weight. Or because it wasn't always convenient. I'm glad I'm the kind of mom who puts my children first. That makes me feel proud of myself, it makes me feel blessed. It makes me feel like progression is real in my life.

Today is the first day I haven't nursed him. It's the first day that his life hasn't been dependent on me. But I feel really, really good that I'm the kind of mom he can depend on. Breastfeeding or not.

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