I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that the end of breastfeeding feels just as mysterious as the beginning. I’ve been wondering about weaning ever since I started nursing, and I’d bet that there are lots of things that other moms think about weaning that they don't necessarily say out loud, too. I suppose that, technically, I’ve been weaning since my son started solids, but seeing as he just had his second birthday and I still breastfeed once a day, I’m certainly not an expert. It’s confusing, OK? So I’m just supposed to wear turtlenecks for like three days in a row and he’ll get the hint? I don’t even own turtlenecks. I’m not The Rock circa early '90s.
Perhaps I’m over-complicating things. Parenthood is supposed to be super-simple and totally straightforward in every way, right? I mean, every mom who’s ever breastfed a baby has also stopped at some point, so surely I can figure it out. At the same time, I know my baby is different and I'm different and our situation isn't exactly the same as everyone else's so what works for someone may not work for me and my kid. See? Totally overthinking. I mean, I'm right, but still. Overthinking.
I guess, in the meantime and until I figure out exactly how I'm going to successfully wean my son so that I'm not emotionally scarred in any way, I'll keep thinking the following:
"How Does It Work?"
So we just, like, stop? What happens if the milk keeps coming? What if my kid goes for my shirt? What if I leak again? What if he is so upset that I can't stop? Just thinking about it makes me want a drink. Then again, I can't drink because I have to breastfeed my kid. Ugh.
"Is It Going To Hurt?"
At this point, it's more just a curiosity than an actual fear. My breasts and I have been through plenty since breastfeeding began, so honestly, weaning will just be one more thing to add to the list.
"Is This Really It?"
When my son so much as glances toward my shirt with a less-than-enthusiastic expression, I find myself questioning if it's finally happening. Again, this is what overthinking does to a mother who is just trying to do her best.
"Maybe This Isn’t It..."
So far, every time I've wondered if my son is done with breastfeeding for good, he comes back around. At this point, I'm not sure who is going to give up first. It's the longest game of "Chicken" I've ever played.
"What’s Going To Happen To My Breasts Now?"
Does everything just go back to the way it was? I think I know the answer, but I really don't want to hear it. Seriously, don't answer this question. Don't tell me. Don't even think about possibly telling me. Just give me one more night of dreaming.
"Well, I Guess We Should Schedule My Party Now!"
Speaking of dreamy nights, can I please have a party when breastfeeding is actually done? I'm almost there, guys.
And while we're at it, let's plan a road trip, too. Maybe Sonoma County? Temecula? Somewhere with lots of wine, please.
Actually, wait, hold up. So you mean to say that I won't have an excuse to smell the top of my son's head? I'm going to have to rely on him to just willingly sit still for such a thing? Who's peeling onions?
"Now I Have To Find A Way To Justify All My Extra Snacks"
The hunger was real. So is the collection of snacks we keep at home. I can't let all of it go to waste, now can I? That would just be irresponsible.
"Do I Have To Give Up The Comfy Bras?"
Stop. Just stop right there. I'd never lived until these shelf bras came into my life, and you can't take that away from me.
"What Can I Say To Get Out Of Conversations I Don’t Want To Be In?"
I mean, "My baby needs to be fed," was the most perfect excuse ever. You mean to say that I need to go back to following social norms? But wait, I still get a party, right?