I remember being younger and hearing the cliche "It's going to hurt me more than you" a lot on TV and in movies. It always seemed to be in conjunction with discipline. As in, this spanking is going to hurt me more than it hurts you. I always thought it was such a silly phrase. I mean, do parents really say that kind of cheesy stuff in real life?! Mine certainly didn't but maybe that's because I was so perfect that I never got in trouble. But, I digress.
I don't know if real parents say that to real kids but I know that if I would've understood what I was doing almost 4 weeks ago, I would've said it to Lily. And it would've been true. And we both know it now.
Starting just after Lily's 17 month birthday I decided to start weaning her from breastfeeding. She's always been such a boobie monster that I thought for sure I had my work cut out for me and it was going to be a long rough time full of tears and resistance. She nursed 1st thing in the morning, before her nap & then before bed. But she *needed* to nurse to fall asleep. So slowly but surely we weaned her down first by cutting down the amount of time she nursed and then cutting out nursing one session at a time. We're down to only nursing for 5 minutes before bed at night.
And Lily's doing great!
Me, on the other hand, not so much. Emotionally, it's been rough. It's hard to willingly give up such a special time that's just for the two of us. I figured that at least we'd have our snuggle time and I wouldn't feel like I was missing out on so much. The joke was on me though. Now that she doesn't need me to fall asleep, she doesn't need me at all at bedtime. Instead of rocking per our usual routine, when we go in the bedroom she points at her crib and says "nigh, nigh". She doesn't want to be held. She doesn't want to be snuggled. She doesn't want to be rocked. She wants for me to lay her in her bed so she can play for 10-30 minutes and then fall asleep on her own.
And it kills me.
It feels like by expediting the weaning process instead of letting her self wean, I've expedited her growing up. In a matter of 3 weeks she's gone from my baby to my little girl. I know that not only is this a part of nature, but it's a good thing. She'll be able to stay elsewhere and me not worry about being there in time to nurse her to sleep. I know that this will give me freedom to do more things because I won't be "tied" to her. I can't even count all the times I've had to pass on something because I knew it would interfere with nursing. Not that I regret any of that! But I can definitely see where this is a good thing for both her & me. But, I already miss my baby and a part of me wants her back. And wants that special before bed/nap time back. The time where I'd watch her eyes get heavy and feel her body go limp in my arms. The times I would spend an extra 20 minutes rocking her sleeping body just so I could watch her and wonder what she was dreaming of.
But gone are those days and I can truly say that this transition has been much harder on me than it has for her. But, isn't that what being a mom is about? Don't we want to take all our children's pain away. My guess is that, this is going to be the 1st time of many that I will feel this way. And maybe it's a cliche for reason.