Feeling angry while nursing my toddler - Mothering Forums

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Old 08-25-2014, 01:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Feeling angry while nursing my toddler

Hi ladies. I'm new here, and actually pretty new to my area (Albany, ny area) so I don't know any natural-minded mothers who I can talk to about this. My DD is 2 (almost 2.5) and I find that I've been feeling anger whilst nursing her lately, like I really really want to wean her. I've always told myself that I wanted to let her wean on her own, but I don't know if my angry feelings are normal. I've night weaned her recently because she would nurse allll night and I couldn't sleep, I was just fed up, so now she sleeps and nurses around 5:30-6 when the sun comes up (mutual agreement). I recently went through a miscarriage and was trying to wean her because it was really painful while I was pregnant and I was not wanting to tandem nurse when the new baby came. I don't know if it has anything to do with my feelings, emotional rollercoaster or what. Any other moms feel like this nursing a toddler?? I think my feelings get more intense around my period time, and when my nipples are sore during ovulation. I know weaning will be extremely hard because nursing is how she gets to sleep. Right now, we are down to nap time,bedtime, and morning, and sometimes a random session in between.
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Old 08-26-2014, 02:02 AM
 
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I stopped breastfeeding at 27 months. It was years ago, so I don't remember exactly why, but I do remember being very angry when my husband wanted me to nurse her every time she cried or had a tantrum. So that probably had a lot to do with it. I've always been proud of 27 months. I've never thought I should have gone longer. When she was a baby, I planned to breastfeed for 3 years, but I think I just knew when the time was right to stop. Like I said, it was years ago, but I don't remember it being traumatic for her.

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Old 08-27-2014, 05:33 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I stopped breastfeeding at 27 months. It was years ago, so I don't remember exactly why, but I do remember being very angry when my husband wanted me to nurse her every time she cried or had a tantrum. So that probably had a lot to do with it. I've always been proud of 27 months. I've never thought I should have gone longer. When she was a baby, I planned to breastfeed for 3 years, but I think I just knew when the time was right to stop. Like I said, it was years ago, but I don't remember it being traumatic for her.
Thank you for the reply! I don't think I'll regret stopping now either. My original goal was 2 years and I've surpassed it. I'd rather stop the relationship with good thoughts about it rather than remembering feeling angry all the time. Do you remember how you weaned? I know my DD will freak out if I try cold turkey, especially since it's how she falls asleep for me. My husband can put her in the ergo and bounce on the yoga ball, that doesn't work for me.
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Old 08-28-2014, 12:53 AM
 
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No, I don't remember how I weaned. You'd think I'd remember that, but I don't. She was already sleeping in her own bed at that point, which she had gotten a few months earlier, so I don't think I was nursing her to sleep anymore. I guess the fact that I don't remember much about it is evidence that it wasn't extremely difficult. I also weaned my other child at 1 1/2 years because I had to start taking medication, and I don't remember that being difficult either.

Wow, I wish I remembered more. You think you'll remember things like this, but not necessarily!
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Old 08-29-2014, 12:11 AM
 
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WAY TO GO on nearly 2 1/2 years!! Congratulations!!! That is an enormous accomplishment - especially considering the societal norm. Try to keep that in mind as you find a way to get through this phase.

I haven't posted on a forum here in ages, but I read this post and just couldn't pass. I have gone through this a few times. While I can't speak to the emotions you are working through with the loss of a pregnancy, I can tell you that from my experience, it is normal for a lot of mothers to begin to feel frustration with extended nursing toward the end.

I have nursed through pregnancies, tandem nursed, and tandem nursed twins - and for me personally, after experiencing it with my first child, I know now that when I begin to feel frustrated and sessions are no longer enjoyable/comfortable, weaning is near. Once thoughts arrive like "yeah, you need to get off me now…" followed by pangs of guilt, then channeling inner focus to go longer resulting in annoyance that my relaxation/concentration isn't making it better, it's a matter of time (for me). Weaning the first time is difficult, IMO. I felt confident that I would be able to sustain 100% child-led weaning, but so far through weaning 4 kids, that hasn't been the case. Looking back, I think that's okay. All of my kids nursed for 2 years or more, and that is pretty good.

I think the hardest part is breaking the ritual of nursing at habitual times, i.e. sleeping/naps. I think nap times are the easier of the two to begin spacing out. It can be helpful to try various distractions (activities that make them more tired, being outside/fresh air/sunshine, etc) that may facilitate falling asleep without nursing altogether. That can be helpful unless you have a very dedicated nurser (I've had those) that have a hard time deviating from the nursing/sleep cycle. In those instances, I allow nursing for a short period of time (either having an exact duration in mind (which you can slowly decrease), or going with what feels right in that particular situation) and explain before/during that it isn't going to be very long. Initially, I often have to force unlatching. This usually involves some crying which results in consoling and cuddling (and whatever other methods are necessary, singing, stroking hair, and sometimes allowing more nursing). Then it slowly turns into voluntary unlatching albeit begrudgingly, followed by unlatching expectedly. Eventually you get to the point where it is acceptable to skip sessions altogether. For me it is a gradual process. Nursing until asleep and then immediately unlatching. Nursing until almost asleep. Nursing for 5 minutes … then 3 … then 1. Nurse for several days, skip one. Nurse for three days, skip one. Nurse for two days - you get the idea. Some kids are more accepting of the change after you implement a deviation from the routine.

Once I let myself accept that it's okay to begin the weaning process, it is easier to let it happen more organically even though I am the one that is initiating it. If I focus on any negative feelings (i.e. failure to making it to 3yo, failure to allow child-led weaning, guilt in making my child(ren) upset), the experience becomes exponentially more stressful which just heightens my emotions and intolerance in general. Don't get me wrong, even when I'm at peace with the decision, there are still times that the process is difficult. However, knowing that our relationship is gradually moving to a new phase that is happy for BOTH of us makes it better.

I don't know if that helps or provides you with any comfort, but I thought that I would share my experiences.

I hope you are able to come to resolution that works well for you both. Good luck!!
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Old 09-11-2014, 01:30 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Chelsea6905 View Post
Hi ladies. I'm new here, and actually pretty new to my area (Albany, ny area) so I don't know any natural-minded mothers who I can talk to about this. My DD is 2 (almost 2.5) and I find that I've been feeling anger whilst nursing her lately, like I really really want to wean her. I've always told myself that I wanted to let her wean on her own, but I don't know if my angry feelings are normal. I've night weaned her recently because she would nurse allll night and I couldn't sleep, I was just fed up, so now she sleeps and nurses around 5:30-6 when the sun comes up (mutual agreement). I recently went through a miscarriage and was trying to wean her because it was really painful while I was pregnant and I was not wanting to tandem nurse when the new baby came. I don't know if it has anything to do with my feelings, emotional rollercoaster or what. Any other moms feel like this nursing a toddler?? I think my feelings get more intense around my period time, and when my nipples are sore during ovulation. I know weaning will be extremely hard because nursing is how she gets to sleep. Right now, we are down to nap time,bedtime, and morning, and sometimes a random session in between.
just wanted to say you aren't alone, been feeling the same things myself! I'm also in the Albany area and haven't found any like-minded mama's yet either! Message me if you'd like
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Old 09-11-2014, 01:33 PM
 
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Originally Posted by j.e.n View Post
WAY TO GO on nearly 2 1/2 years!! Congratulations!!! That is an enormous accomplishment - especially considering the societal norm. Try to keep that in mind as you find a way to get through this phase.

I haven't posted on a forum here in ages, but I read this post and just couldn't pass. I have gone through this a few times. While I can't speak to the emotions you are working through with the loss of a pregnancy, I can tell you that from my experience, it is normal for a lot of mothers to begin to feel frustration with extended nursing toward the end.

I have nursed through pregnancies, tandem nursed, and tandem nursed twins - and for me personally, after experiencing it with my first child, I know now that when I begin to feel frustrated and sessions are no longer enjoyable/comfortable, weaning is near. Once thoughts arrive like "yeah, you need to get off me now…" followed by pangs of guilt, then channeling inner focus to go longer resulting in annoyance that my relaxation/concentration isn't making it better, it's a matter of time (for me). Weaning the first time is difficult, IMO. I felt confident that I would be able to sustain 100% child-led weaning, but so far through weaning 4 kids, that hasn't been the case. Looking back, I think that's okay. All of my kids nursed for 2 years or more, and that is pretty good.

I think the hardest part is breaking the ritual of nursing at habitual times, i.e. sleeping/naps. I think nap times are the easier of the two to begin spacing out. It can be helpful to try various distractions (activities that make them more tired, being outside/fresh air/sunshine, etc) that may facilitate falling asleep without nursing altogether. That can be helpful unless you have a very dedicated nurser (I've had those) that have a hard time deviating from the nursing/sleep cycle. In those instances, I allow nursing for a short period of time (either having an exact duration in mind (which you can slowly decrease), or going with what feels right in that particular situation) and explain before/during that it isn't going to be very long. Initially, I often have to force unlatching. This usually involves some crying which results in consoling and cuddling (and whatever other methods are necessary, singing, stroking hair, and sometimes allowing more nursing). Then it slowly turns into voluntary unlatching albeit begrudgingly, followed by unlatching expectedly. Eventually you get to the point where it is acceptable to skip sessions altogether. For me it is a gradual process. Nursing until asleep and then immediately unlatching. Nursing until almost asleep. Nursing for 5 minutes … then 3 … then 1. Nurse for several days, skip one. Nurse for three days, skip one. Nurse for two days - you get the idea. Some kids are more accepting of the change after you implement a deviation from the routine.

Once I let myself accept that it's okay to begin the weaning process, it is easier to let it happen more organically even though I am the one that is initiating it. If I focus on any negative feelings (i.e. failure to making it to 3yo, failure to allow child-led weaning, guilt in making my child(ren) upset), the experience becomes exponentially more stressful which just heightens my emotions and intolerance in general. Don't get me wrong, even when I'm at peace with the decision, there are still times that the process is difficult. However, knowing that our relationship is gradually moving to a new phase that is happy for BOTH of us makes it better.

I don't know if that helps or provides you with any comfort, but I thought that I would share my experiences.

I hope you are able to come to resolution that works well for you both. Good luck!!
j.e.n
Thank you for your reply, though not the OP, I'm very appreciative of your words of wisdom, especially about your reaction to it (negative feelings about not making to a certain # or CLW etc). Needed them today.
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