I am considering gently nightweaning my 2 1/2 year old son as I have to go away to summer school this July and may not take him with me. I have attempted to spend a night away from him already and it was basically successful in that my husband was able to comfort him back to sleep all night without any crying. I pumped a few times and woke up not well rested as it was a stressful night for me but I still had a bit of excitement that it had gone so well. A few hours later I was overcome with anxiety and saddness and so much worry about whether or not it was the right decision. The following night my son showed some signs of being unhappy about the night away frome me and because I was feeling so emotional and bad about it I went right back to nursing him all night and feel like I repaired any damage done.
I have battled inside myself all week about what the right decision is. I guess what I'm wondering about now is if I do decide to nightwean (which will be the end of our nursing relationship as he doesn't nurse during the day and I would be weaning because of my upcoming absence) how do I deal with what I know will be strong emotions on my part an quite a difficult time for me. Has anyone else out there experienced a very emotional time with weaning and how did you manage it?
Much appreciation for any suggestions coming this way!
I found weaning very emotional, of course - I think everyone does. What helped me was the gratitude that my baby was growing up so strong and healthy - he can't be a baby forever - and the realization that this is also a joyful, natural progression in your relationship. Honestly it just gets better and better the older they get. The language in your post that you un-did the damage by returning to nursing all night is just one perspective - you could also think that you took the first step toward helping him be a big boy. Mindfullness and gratitude.
Wow, thank-you! I appreciate the different perspective and it made me feel much more lighthearted when thinking about it all. I tend to be hard on myself and I question my decisions about all things parenting so I think that's why I rushed to "un-do the damage". I feel some positive emotions around it all too, hope being the biggest one as it made me realize that we will get through weaning and it might not even be as hard as I think it will be. I'm finding it very difficult to discern when it is right to move towards letting go, and I think you're right about focusing on gratitude as I test my comfort level with decisions that involve more independence for both my son and I.
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