I Thought I’d Have Stronger Feelings About My Kids Weaning
Breastfeeding is weird. Not the act itself: that’s pretty much a staple of survival in the animal kingdom to which we belong. But the social implications attached to it are strangely pervasive and deeply felt; depending on where you go and who you ask, breastfeeding is either a horrifying activity that must be furtively performed at home, preferably in a darkened closet; or it’s the most important thing you can do for your child that, if skipped, turns you from a mom into a mom-ster.
With the double whirlwind of stigma and reverence surrounding it, it’s no wonder a lot of women feel strongly about their nursing relationships with their kids. I know I did: the whole sense of I have nourished babies with my actual body, I am a goddess is an addictive elixir. So when my kids started losing interest in the taps Chez Mom, I started to feel anxious. The relationship was changing, and as is pretty standard with all things kid-related, it was happening on their time-table and not on mine.
A part of me also thought it was going to be a huge weight off my back. Not being tethered within a certain distance to the kids (or the pump) for a huge chunk of a time every day was certainly going to make life a little simpler. (Plus, being able to go back to wearing one sports bra to run instead of two would be an added bonus.) Either way, though, I thought I’d feel something.
But then, the day came and went where the kids woke up in the morning and went straight to play with blocks or books instead of the old “fall on the floor and cry until Mom gets the nursing pillow set up” routine. And a funny thing happened, which was: nothing at all. After all, the laundry still had to get done, breakfast still had to get made, and the kitchen floor was still sticky. (Spoilers: it is always sticky.) And by the time I had a quiet moment to process it, it was just another day come and gone.
The extra convenience of not being attached to the kids a few times a day is nice. I’m a little sad to miss out on that special mom-and-kiddos time together, too, though. But I sort of thought after all that, I’d feel like a hearty fist-pump to the sky, or at least have the satisfactoin of a good cry. After all the hoopla surrounding breastfeeding and all the storm and stress that can come with it? Mostly what I feel is a little bit let down that I didn’t, and don’t, feel more that it’s over.
(Image: alexey05 / iStock / Getty)