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Along Abbey Road | A Lifestyle And Family Blog : Weaning Sucks


Weaning Sucks

Sometimes I feel like a terrible mother because I get bitter and resentful toward Wes for weaning before I was ready. Or before I thought I was ready.

At 12 months practically on the nose, he just up and stopped breastfeeding one day. I picked him up, swung his body horizontally and plopped him on my right side. But instead of latching in that needy, hungry way babies do when they are sure they are going to die from thirst, he turned his nose up at me. It was if he was saying, "Ew, mom! What is that thing?!"

I was completely confused. Baffled. Totally dumbfounded! Nursing was his favorite thing in the entire world up until this point. Why the sudden and drastic change?

You know those scenes in the movies where there is a perfectly stacked pile of papers, which has taken weeks or even months of energy and time to compile? And then one harsh gust of wind blows it all away into chaos, never to be returned? That is exactly how I felt. The whole situation left me disgruntled and deeply mournful. I felt like the bond we had grown and carefully nurtured was ripped and torn apart in an instant, just like an unexpected outburst of wind.

(The very last picture I took of Wes still breastfeeding. It will always be special to me.)

I had a hard time dealing with him the next four weeks. Usually I would console him by nursing whenever he was grouchy. The nights were more peaceful because I would cosleep with him and simply roll over to feed him if he was waking in the middle of the night. But that all changed. He would scream and cry, and there was nothing I could do to comfort him. I felt helpless and incredibly frustrated by the incessant wailing. The nights were even more brutal. Any time he would wake up screaming from his crib I had to a) hurry in there so he wouldn't wake Luke and b) drag my butt all the way downstairs to get him a sippy cup of milk. And not just pouring it in quickly and running back up in a zombie half-sleep. It had to be warmed up because of his fondness for the warmth of breast milk, which he was not ready to give up. I asked myself a million times, Why am I doing this? However, now that I have two kids, turns out I will do next to anything to get some uninterrupted shuteye.

It has been about a month since all of this transpired. I would say I am doing much better—we are doing much better. But I still miss it. And honestly, I just really struggle with the 12-18 month phase. They are still babies, but want to be independent and cannot communicate their wants or needs efficiently enough without having a meltdown every 10 minutes. I remember feeling this way with Luke as well. Does that make me a horrible mom? I feel so conflicted about it sometimes, like I don't love Wes enough or something. And he often goes to bed a half hour early because I just can't handle it anymore. It will all pass, though. It will pass more quickly than I will want, and then I will be pining for the days when he was tiny and would let me still snuggle him and breath in the scent of his head with the fluffy baby hairs. Such is life, right?

Motherhood is a funny thing sometimes. It has the power to completely unhinge us, turning us into legitimate lunatics. But it always redeems itself with that little whisper of, "I wuv you, mama" or the warmth of small, chubby arms wrapped around our necks. And in the end, it's always worth it.

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At December 29, 2014 at 1:20 PM , Blogger Offer KINDNESS. Choose GENEROSITY. Give LOVE! said...

Ugh to weening. I feel I am not far behind you Abby as we are just approaching 13months.
I too struggle with guilt, I just want my body back, but I don't want to give up nursing. Such a struggle.
All kiddos are different. These saddened moments will be filled with happy ones, like tiny baby conversations, open mouth sloppy kisses, first words and pee pees on the potty. All good signs of getting big. SIGH. Being a Mumma is so hard isn't it!
Thanks for sharing your personal story.
Your photo reminds me that I need to document better before my time is up nursing too. Thank you for that reminder. These are private and sacred photos.

At December 29, 2014 at 6:04 PM , Blogger Lauren said...

My baby girl just turned 12 months but gave up nursing in the exact same way at 10 months...we also didn't know what to do - she had already given up nursing at night but she still needed the nutrition for brain growth and development so I had to give her formula - which I am not opposed to but she never liked it or took it before. We fought for about a month and a half and then she finally got a taste for it. Now we can start her on regular whole cow's milk but I don't know if I have it in me to go through another transition.
I felt the same way about giving up nursing. She's my first and I never expected I would love nursing her as much as I did but it was amazing and I wasn't ready for her to stop. It took time but I found that we bonded in other ways. And she grew up so much since then. She's started saying mum mum when she wants to eat and "up" when she wants to be picked up. So now the only thing that sucks about not nursing her is that my chest shrunk and is now even smaller than it was pre-baby. Bra shopping is literally the worst!

At December 29, 2014 at 9:07 PM , Blogger Unknown said...

This is one of my absolute favorite posts of yours to date. I always get a kick out of your humor, and honesty. Today, I felt like you spoke directly to me. So many of the feelings you are feeling/felt I can relate to. It's an amazing gift for someone to share their honest truths at the exact time I need to hear them. I have been struggling with letting go of the control over weaning Jade. It's an unimaginable bond that I'm not ready to end. I realized that it isn't about "us" as much as it is about them. There are so many emotions that arise, but it's a stone they must cross at some point. Thank you for giving me another perspective. So thankful for your stories and honesty!

At December 31, 2014 at 9:42 AM , Blogger Unknown said...

Thanks for this sweet comment! I really appreciate your words of encouragement. Every stage is so beautiful, and it is good to focus on every moment! Good luck with your weaning. (Also, it is awesome to have my body back finally!)

At December 31, 2014 at 9:44 AM , Blogger Unknown said...

It is such a crazy transition. I love how you point out that you were able to bond in other ways and cherish those moments. Also, I totally feel you on the boob situation! Rocks in tube socks at best, ha! ;)

At December 31, 2014 at 9:45 AM , Blogger Unknown said...

Thanks so much, Kerri! This is why I blog and I am so happy I was able to speak to you on a personal level. It is absolutely a control thing, as much as I hate to admit that, so I suppose it is harder for us "control freaks." Sending love and thoughts your way during this transition! xo

At December 31, 2014 at 3:02 PM , Blogger Madi said...

this was beautiful.

At January 4, 2015 at 12:09 PM , Blogger MrsMuddamalle said...

This post was so encouraging. I have had a love hate relationship with weaning. I get excited for their independence and of course having my body back, but it's horrible at the same time. You're little baby isn't a little baby anymore. You have to reevaluate what works for your child at every season and it can be stressful. Thank you for encouraging is in these difficult seasons and sharing your story with us!

At January 4, 2015 at 4:55 PM , Blogger Christine said...

I have a eight-month-old and, up until recently, have been looking forward to weaning (I'm a teacher and pumping at work has been a huge pain). I plan on starting around a year and am now starting to realize that some grief will accompany the relief.

At January 8, 2015 at 9:29 PM , Blogger Erin @ Love, the Campbells said...

Weaning totttttally sucks. My pump recently stopped working and ever since then my milk has slowly decreased to where I can only feed addison twice a day and it's completely devestating. Different situations but I'm being forced to quit too (just not by her) and I don't want to in the least. And yes I am so with you on the ripe age of 12/18 months. Addison is only 11 months right now but I can tell I have a rough patch with her coming up right around the corner with whining and frustration on her part.


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