Working Mom Weaning Guilt

I’ve been breastfeeding for 48 months so far, with a 6 month break between kids, and it’s been mostly great.  Part of the reason I’m into extended breastfeeding is that I work full-time and spend 9+ hours each weekday separated from my kids.  I pumped until they each turned one, at which point they were able to drink non-human milk during the time I was not with them.  With Charlotte, I continued nursing her mornings and evenings until I was into my second trimester with Campbell.  At that point, it seemed to be a good idea to wean her for 2 reasons: it was getting increasingly uncomfortable for me, and I wanted there to be a good chunk of time between the end of her nursing and the beginning of her sibling doing so to try to offset any associated jealousy.  She did fine with stopping, mostly because she LOVED cow’s milk in her bottle.  Weaning her off the bottle was a battle, but that is for another post.

Now that Campbell is closing in on his second birthday, I’m starting to think about closing up the milk bar.  There is NOTHING better than snuggling with him in the morning or at bedtime.  But if you were to ask my advice on what nursing position has worked best as he has grown into toddlerhood, my answer is…defense.

Unlike Charlotte, he never took to a bottle (even with expressed milk), so I don’t deny him a nursing session if he requests one.  And he requests one often when I’m around.  If I stayed home during the week with him, I would not be giving in every three hours like I presently do on evenings and the weekends. Even though the working mom guilt is tugging firmly at my bra straps, I’m seeing the signs it may be time to wean my 22-month-old:

1. He multi-tasks; nursing and rehearsing his acrobatic skills.

2. His legs are long enough to reach behind me to my kidneys, which he kicks repeatedly.

3. Every couple of minutes he pops off for some idle chitchat: “Shoes?  Wow.  Hello!”

4. He wants to bring snacks.  But he doesn’t share.

5. Sixteen teeth and a determined jaw.

6. He thinks if I’m sitting down it means I’m available for nursing.  Even if I’m on the toilet.

7. He loves to run his fingers through my hair, and pull.

8. His word for my boobs?  “Mine.”

I know that the time to stop will be when nursing is no longer working well for BOTH of us (and I have to remember that I count in this equation too).  But I think I need him to be my baby just a little while longer.

How have YOU struggled with weaning? 


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6 responses to “Working Mom Weaning Guilt

  1. Too funny! And too true about nursing a toddler and preparing for battle! 😀

  2. tartetitou

    You’re amazing for nursing as long as you have. I do miss the cuddling; I’m trying to teach Pdot how to give hugs but he seems to think it involves pulling on my pony tail and chomping on my collar bone.

  3. I have not struggled with weaning. But I totally hear your dilemma. Maybe you could try reducing the sessions first and see how that feels for both of you. Hugs and good luck! You’ve done an amazing job nurturing your babies with the best food on earth (that isn’t chocolate).

    • I have started cutting back on the bedtime feedings. I miss it, but it has allowed me to partake in some wine! Also, it’s better for us if the tot can deal with either mom or dad putting him down, instead of it all being on me. Thanks Rachel!

  4. I nursed both kids for 2+ years … my youngest was the hardest. I weaned her about 5 months ago and she still insists on ‘tweaking’ while going to sleep or when anxious… which is driving me crazy. I’ve resorted to wearing band aids and telling her that they are ‘broken’. Oh the lengths we will go to wean!

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