In many ways, weaning is a lot like breastfeeding itself. It is a deeply personal decision many moms will have to make; It can be emotionally, physically, and otherwise painful; It's subject to a lot of really obnoxious social judgment from, well, everyone. As such, mothers can and will frequently second guess themselves no matter what they do or decide or attempt. And,like breastfeeding, weaning can be one of the best parenting decisions a mom can make for herself and her child. Regardless of all those obnoxious and disparate (not to mention unsolicited) opinions, weaning does not make you a bad mom. While I always knew that, deep down, well-meaning but judgmental factions within the breastfeeding advocacy community, and my own children, made me question just how good a mom I was when I eventually decided to wean.
By the time I decided to wean both of my toddlers, I knew I mentally and physically couldn't maintain breastfeeding any longer and simultaneously retain the overwhelmingly fond, happy, positive view of breastfeeding I was lucky enough to achieve in the first place. I was on the verge of being too drained, too tired, too emotional, and I wanted to get out before it overshadowed how much I had genuinely loved nursing my babies. Still, so much of what I read stressed that letting a child decide when they stop breastfeeding was the way to go. In fact, it's often stated as fact, depending on your source (but it's really just one perspective). This was not aided by the fact that my children, I suspect, would be nursing until they were in college if I let them. Their howling shrieks of righteous indignation and mourning were making me feel like the world's meanest mommy.
And yet, after I pushed the guilt aside and the worst of the tumultuous tantrums were done, I realized that, as I'd known all along, weaning when I did was the right choice for my family.
Everyone who breastfeeds or attempts breastfeeding has to decide, based on a great confluence of factors, what is best for them when it comes to how long to breastfeed, if ever. That could be a day or 5 years: there are no wrong answers here, people! Furthermore, and more importantly, you should never feel bad or be made to feel bad for what you've decided.