Before I became a mom, I honestly thought I would make a terrible one. I was afraid that my toxic childhood would affect my parenting and my need for freedom would trump a kid's need for stability. I was afraid that, after struggling to simply take care of myself for 20+ years, I wouldn't be able to take care of someone else. Turns out, according to society, my fears were just the tip of the iceberg that is "ways to fail as a mother." However, there are so many reasons why weaning early doesn't make you a bad mom; reasons that I had to search for when I weaned my son after breastfeeding for seven months (above the national average) and facing a seemingly never-ending sea of judgment and shame.
Turns out, thanks to "mommy wars" and the shame every mother seems to face on a daily basis, there are so many ways that you can be a "bad mom." If you have a home birth you're a bad mom but if you choose an epidural you're a bad mom. If you breastfeed in public you're a bad mom but if you choose to formula feed you're a bad mom. If you decide to go back to work you're a bad mom and if you stay at home you're not a motivated mom. I mean, you just can't win. I thought I was doing the "right thing" when I chose to breastfeed my son and, after seven months, I thought I was doing the "right thing" by weaning. Turns out, many mothers thought that seven months was far too early to wean and, in turn, the choice to give my son formula was the wrong one.
I was simultaneously sad and thrilled to be weaning (a decision my son actually made) and that mix of emotions made the shame and judgment I was experiencing all the more debilitating. After a few pep talks by way of my partner and some moments of necessary reflection (aka a few glasses of wine) I realized that my choice to wean was just that: my choice (well, and my son's, in this case). Weaning "early" doesn't make me a bad mother, it just makes weaning part of my breastfeeding story.
So, with that in mind, here are a few reasons why weaning early doesn't make you a bad mom. After all, what constitutes "early," anyway? What you do with your body and for your baby is entirely up to you. End of story.