For four years straight, I was either pregnant or nursing.
Last month, I weaned my second child from nursing, and guess what? I don’t feel sad at all.
Before you gather your friends and march to my house with pitchforks, hear me out.
I was one of those lucky few blessed moms who had no problems with breastfeeding. My first child nursed for a year, then just lost interest. My second child nursed for two years and obviously had no plans of slowing down until he left for college.
I was tired. I really missed wearing regular T-shirts and not thinking about clothes in terms of boob access. After mastitis and six months of infections that you don’t want details of, I was mentally, emotionally, and physically worn down. I’m pretty sure even my boobs were emotionally worn down.
But I saw my friends struggle with nursing, and I knew how blessed I was. I saw my friends struggle with infertility and miscarriages, and I just couldn’t forget that this parenting thing is a gift. I heard so many other moms saying, “It goes so fast!” And I knew they were right.
I knew I didn’t deserve to have these beautiful, healthy, boob-loving children more than anyone else, so I refused to take any part of it for granted. But everything can be taken to an extreme.
During some really difficult parenting stuff, I didn’t feel the freedom to admit that it was really miserable. I just felt pressure to handle every single stage with perfection, or it would seem like I wasn’t thankful for the gifts I had been given.
But when I finally weaned my son—against his will—I got my body back for the first time in four years. He started sleeping through the night and just cuddling with me, instead of constantly demanding for something.
I look back on the years of nursing my babies, and I am so, deeply thankful for that time. It was beautiful. But I don’t miss it. Not even a little bit.
The end of breastfeeding was emotional with my first child. But the second time, it was needed. As beautiful as the breastfeeding journey was, it wasn’t meant to last forever.
Motherhood is a gift. Every stage is beautiful, including the good and bad—but none of them are meant to last forever. And maybe that doesn’t have to be such a tragedy.
When I look back on those short months when my babies were tiny and required military precision to get them to sleep, I’m so glad that I didn’t wish the time away. I’m glad I appreciated every moment, because it was so special. But honestly, I wouldn’t go back. I don’t miss it.
Right now, it’s a new season for my kids where everyone has just a little more independence. I don’t have two under two, like I once did. My daughter can get herself dressed; my son can sit and eat at a table with a fork. Both kids can spend time with a babysitter, away from me, without going hungry or losing their mind. I love that. They also both throw an average of three tantrums a day. I won’t miss that, but I know it won’t last forever.
I still never want to take any part of being a mama for granted. However, I really think that you and I need to let go of the pressure to handle every hard thing with only dignity and giggles.
Motherhood can make us want to pull our hair out, but that doesn’t mean we’re not thankful. It just makes us honest.