Written by Girl Birthday Gift
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.
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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