In the early days of breastfeeding, I was simply desperate to make it to the six-month goal I’d previously set. However, once my son and I got the hang of it, a different set of concerns started to creep in. All of a sudden, instead of not knowing how to establish a routine, I was faced with not knowing how to change a routine. Even now, as he’s a full-fledged toddler, I’m still figuring it out. I mean, weaning is like a breakup, in so many ways, and I'm completely lost as to how I'm supposed to say goodbye to a relationship that, while difficult at times, was ultimately fulfilling for all involved.
So, instead of making a clean break the way most relationships should be ended, I'm left feeling completely confusing as to how and why this relationship is changing. My son and I are growing apart and, in a way, I'm being transported back to past when ending a relationship just made sense, but wasn't necessarily easy. Like, I’m going off to college next week and there are going to be lots of other boys there and it just doesn’t make sense to do long-distance, Eric. In other words, you won't be touching my breasts anymore.
In all seriousness, though, weaning is a a bit of an emotional roller coaster (at least, it has been in my experience), so it’s no wonder that it shares some similarities to what’s probably the number one other emotional roller coaster that many young adults and adults and people of all freakin' ages because heartbreak is not biased, have experienced (aside from watching UnREAL, which, if you haven’t done, go ahead and do that and then let me know your thoughts and feelings). Let’s compare, shall we? Because, if we're being honest and in the case of both potentially gut-wrenching situations, the following is probably true:
You Have Doubts
"Are we sure this is what we want to do? Like, I realize that all signs are pointing to this decision as the best possible option, but I can't help but wonder if this is maybe just not the right time. It's only been two years."
You Have Unanswered Questions
To be fair, I can't expect someone with um, very limited language skills to be able to have a legit, in-depth conversation about the topic of weaning. I also can't expect him to understand phrases like, "Hey, I'm never opening my shirt for you ever again." Although, it would sure make things easier if he did.
You Just Wish You Knew How The Other Person Feels
"So, I think I understand what he means by the adamant head-shaking and the fact that he runs away from the spot on the couch where we normally nurse, but I really wish I could be sure about it, you know?"
You’re Excited About Your Freedom...
All things considered, at least now I can have a semblance of freedom back (as long as there's another parent or family member or sitter involved).
...And Ridiculously Excited About Going Out With Friends
When you're going through a breakup, most friends at least understand your need to go hard. However, sometimes it's more fun when they have no idea where your energy came from, aside from the fact that your body isn't burning like 800 extra calories to feed another mini-human.
You’ll Probably Drink More Than You Would Under Regular Circumstances
Breakup drinks can be about forgetting. Weaning drinks can be about remembering how to drink. It all comes full circle.
You Can Wear Your Cute Underwear Again, And Just For You
Underwire bras serve so many purposes in life. Not only they do provide adequate support, but they are a daily reminder that we're not in danger of causing blocked ducts.
You Wonder What Kind Of Memories The Other Person Will Have
Is he going to remember that special spot on the couch? Is he going to remember the late nights and early mornings together? Will I be the only one of the two of us that hold those memories close to my heart?
You Slip Back Into Old Habits More Than You Care To Admit
Why yes, I would like to wear this constricting sports bra and then drink three mimosas in the middle of the day. Thanks for asking.
You Wonder How You Could Have Possibly Done That, For So Long
Looking back on breastfeeding can make one feel proud or tired or emotional, or even like a natural woman. It's not unlike reflecting on the end of a relationship.
Classic Breakup Lines Could Actually Apply
Seriously, my son did nothing wrong. I'm just ready for something new. We've just grown apart. He doesn't look at me the way he looks at his bottle. It's not him, it's me.
See? Going through all those breakups in college finally paid off. I'm a pro.
You're Careful To Make A Clean Break, And Not Lead Anyone On
You don't want to send the wrong idea. To anyone.