My toddler just had his third birthday, and I know that our breastfeeding days are numbered.
I can see that little Steven is growing up, my toddler is feeling more confident in this big world. As he nurses less and less, I realize that I have grown to love the deep connection that breastfeeding brings us. I know that his wings are growing and that he’s just about ready to fly and that’s something to celebrate, but I can’t help but think about what I am going to miss when my toddler weans
1. Falling back to sleep after a bad dream
Sometimes my toddler wakes up at night really upset. His body flails and my heart aches for him. He could care less about my soft, soothing voice. He doesn’t want me to pick him up. If he breastfeeds, though, he falls back into a peaceful slumber. In like a minute.
2. Free, organic milk packed with antibodies for breakfast
The morning routine can be really stressful. Getting two little kids fed and dressed and out the door by 8 am is a huge feat for me. I am happy about the days that my son breastfeeds early in the morning before we get out of bed. That’s one less person to tell me that he doesn’t want what I have made for breakfast and can I make him something else. But not that. And not that either. Can I eat Nutella out of the jar with a spoon? Yes, I get asked that a lot.
3. Reconnection after a long day apart
I work every weekday for a good 8 hours. Steven goes to preschool. We miss each other. Sometimes we nurse after school and all of that missing each other seems to melt away. We tell each other with our eyes that we are still good. If either of us had some tough moments during the day, we remember that we were thinking about each other. We’ve got each other’s backs. We just need a couple of minutes to remember that.
Soothing the woes of toddlerhood
Sometimes it’s really hard to be a toddler. People take your toys. Your sister always has something cool in her hands that she will not give you. Your mom tells you that you cannot watch TV for an entire day. Don’t even get me started about car seats. Sometimes when I can tell that Steven has the world on his shoulders and he can’t problem solve any more, breastfeeding gives him that little push of confidence to carry on. I can feel his body relax and then rev up again. Nursing really does give him roots so that he can grow wings.
So.. what’s next?
The days are drawing nearer that I’m going to have to start thinking about healthy breakfasts for everyone every day. When my son feels overwhelmed we are going to have to talk things over. I’m going to have to really figure out when he’s open to listening and when he needs to be heard.
How will we establish a connection that will live up to the superpowers of the breast?
It will be a long journey for both of us, but really this is the journey of life. We’ve all got to figure out how to really understand ourselves and the people around us. It’s not easy for toddlers, and it’s not easy for adults, but each step towards understanding each other is a step towards a more peaceful world, so I guess it’s worth it.
So here’s to you, my son, and your journey away from me. I know you’ll be great, and that I won’t always be able to help you out. But if you need me, I’m here.
What do you think you will miss about breastfeeding?
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