In my earliest days of breastfeeding, all I could think about was weaning. In fact, most days I breastfed I thought about weaning. For me, weaning was as mysterious a concept as figuring out how to breastfeed in the first place. Despite my uncertainty, however, I was pretty confident that, based on reading I’d done and stories I’d heard, I’d definitely be dealing with some of the things no breastfeeding mom actually likes about weaning. How does it work? How will I know what to do? How will my son handle it? What will it do to my body? Would I miss breastfeeding? Would I be so glad to be done that I'd end up feeling guilty? In the end, I really had no way of knowing until I did it.
Turns out, for me, the experience of weaning mirrored the experience of learning how to breastfeed. I didn’t know what I was doing, I probably overthought the situation, my kid seemed to care far less than I expected, and I relied on my phone — as a source of information and comfort — way more than I thought I would. Just like anything else that comes along with motherhood, I was learning as I went.
Weaning my son was a slow and steady process that happened over the course of months, so my own physical side effects were fairly limited. In other words, I think it's important to acknowledge that my own experience was less painful than it can be for other women, but I see these other women and I want to acknowledge their experiences, too. On that note, and even though every woman's weaning experience is different, here are a few universals I'm fairly certain every breastfeeding mom dislikes: