Can I be honest? I kinda feel crazy writing this post. What’s wrong with me? I am the mother who wanted nothing more than to have a nursing relationship with both of my children. After one challenging attempt, I then gave birth to a baby boy who, for the most part, latched like a champ. It was far from easy, but after 6 months of exclusively breastfeeding, I can honestly say that we are now smooth sailing.
So why am I ready to wean? What’s so terrible about nursing that I feel like I can’t push on beyond a year? Welllll, I have several reasons.
1. I just don’t love it
Some women love breastfeeding. To them, it’s the sun, moon and stars. I can see that. Something beautiful happens when I glance down at my baby and catch him staring back up at me. Our eyes lock, his little hand wraps around my finger and all is still for that moment. But you know what? I felt the same bond when I fed my oldest a bottle. Nourishing a baby feels good. I don’t feel any more closeness to my breastfed baby than I do with my bottle-fed baby. I am grateful to breastfeed but I don’t love it. I’m absolutely OK with that.
2. It’s soooo exhausting
No one warned me about this. I thought exclusively pumping was demanding—and it was! But nursing a baby around the clock is enough to drive anyone batty. It’s the sleep deprivation and knowing that you are the only one who can feed your child. It’s getting anxious about trying to get your baby to take a bottle without the dreaded nipple confusion. It’s about stocking up a supply to return to work and travel without baby. It’s pumping, pumping and more pumping. It’s being concerned about your milk supply if you get sick or have to start new medication or want to start a new diet. It’s not being able to work out the way you want to, because of the potential dip. It’s waking up when everyone else is asleep, because even if someone can help you feed baby, you’ve got to express the milk. It’s tiring, and it doesn’t end for quite some time. I mean, my goodness, I haven’t slept for 6 to 7 hours straight since before my baby was born. Mama is tired!
3. It pins me down
Sorry, dearest 3-year old, Mama can’t fill up your bowl of oatmeal because baby brother has pinned me down and will wail if I unlatch him. What’s that you say? Carry baby AND tend to big kid? This is a tricky task that this mama with massive boobs has yet to figure out.
4. I want my body back
Bringing my children into this world changed my life. It was EVERYTHING. My body has done a lot of work, and I’m proud of her. From conception to pregnancy and nursing, she’s been a trooper. And she’s tired, I would love to sleep through the night without exploding boobs and having to wear two bras to strap these milk jugs down. I would love to send those nursing hormones away and focus on my REAL postpartum body. I’m already struggling with the extra fluff and would love to have my boobs back. It’s time, right?
5. I want to bond with my baby in other ways
While it’s funny when my son takes a face dive into my chest, I really want to get to the point where we can do more things besides nurse. I mean, yeah, he’s only 6 months old, and we have his entire life, but I want to enjoy him at this very special time, too. I know I’ll miss our still and quiet nursing sessions but bring on play wrestling with my little guy on the bed!
It’s that simple, you know? You can love your babies, love what breastfeeding does for them and be ready to have your body back. I have finally accepted this, and I am more than OK with it.