I have breastfed my son for just over 14 months. I’m headed on my first trip away from him in a few days and I am going back to work part-time in September, so my goal this past month has been to wean him almost entirely. This process has made me reflect on the ways I’ve muddled through motherhood so far and the things I’ve realized.
Realization #1: When it comes to parenting, I tend to completely overdo it with research, and, in particular, random google searches. This tends to do me more harm than good.
I often find I’ve read so much about a particular parenting step or challenge that I feel more confused about which way to proceed than when I started. So, when it came to weaning, I first had to wean myself off my usual research “feeds”. I only read a short blurb on La Leche League’s website (I had to get my bearings!), I asked a couple of mom friends for advice, and the rest I went it alone with what felt right. I feel a thousand times more confident in my approach to weaning than in my approach to anything else related to my parenting journey so far.
Realization #2: My child is growing more independent with each day and I need to embrace and enjoy that. Otherwise, I will always be pining for times gone by, rather than savouring each magical stage of his life that I get to be a part of.
My heart just aches sometimes, because I love seeing my son grow up and learn things, but unless he’s Benjamin Button, he’s only going to be a baby once. It’s hard not to already feel nostalgic.
Realization #3: The never-ending breast or bottle debate is one that can make you feel judged as a parent straight out of the gate; it’s part of an unwelcome welcome package.
After trying to stay as immune as possible to the effects of this “debate” I’m going to engage with it momentarily to share my simple thoughts on the matter. Here goes: Some women are able to breastfeed and some are not. Some women want to breastfeed and some don’t. Either way, crying over spilled milk that isn’t your own in the first place doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.