First off, let me just say that I am SO fortunate to have been able to breastfeed two babies until they were a year old without complication. I do really enjoy the convenience of being able to feed my babies whenever and wherever I need to. I’m also grateful that my career choice as a realtor has allowed me to bring both babies along to showings, inspections, etc. and nurse while on the job. I’m extremely grateful for the bonding it has provided me and my boys, as well as the amazing health benefits it has provided to both of them, as well as to me.
Of course, I am going to miss ALL of those parts of breastfeeding. However, as wonderful and beautiful and convenient and beneficial as breastfeeding your baby is, it also, like all things, has its pitfalls. Here are a few things that I will look forward to as my baby weans himself in the next few weeks.
1. NO. MORE. PUMPING!
This is probably the part I’m most excited about. I’m lucky that I don’t have to pump often, but when I do, my body doesn’t produce hardly any milk. Because of this, we have zero supply of breast milk on hand. Anytime I want to leave the house for more than 2-3 hours, I have to pump, and let me tell you – I DESPISE PUMPING. The setup, the terrible bras, the sound the machine makes, keeping up with all of the parts to the pump, pouring the milk into a storage bag (and sometimes spilling it). I don’t like any of it.
2. No More Time Frames
Currently, when I want to leave the house to run solo errands, go on a date night, or just have a little bit of time to myself, I am limited to 2-3 hours. I have to nurse the baby right before I leave, and give myself enough time to get whatever it is I’m doing done, and then get back home in time for him to eat again. I’m constantly checking the time on my phone, and slightly limited in what I can get done in that 2-3 hour time frame.
I am well aware that I can pump more often to have more milk on hand, but even if I were to take a vacation or go overnight somewhere, I would still have to stop and pump every 3 hours to keep my supply up and not get too full. Who wants to have to drag a pump around when they’re supposed to be on a relaxing vacation?! Not me.
4. Date Nights any Time I Want
The thought of being able to just call up a sitter and request that they come to keep my kids for a date night, without having to worry about how long we can stay out or if the movie we choose is too long, is amazing. Also, I won’t feel so guilty if I pair a beer or glass of wine with my dinner, because I know it’s not going to affect my milk.
5. Nursing Bras!!
They aren’t cute, and there is nothing flattering about them. Enough said.
I know that as we head into my baby’s first birthday week, I am going to have LOTS of emotions about him turning one. I’m sad that he has grown so fast, but excited to see how he grows and changes every day. I’m sad he won’t be considered a “baby” anymore, but excited for the fun that comes with the toddler age. I’m sad that our days of cuddling and breastfeeding are numbered, but I am EXCITED to throw my pump in the trash (JK- I’ll donate it to someone in need), and I am excited to regain a little more freedom for myself.
I’m fortunate that I have been able to nurse this long, but I am ready to feel just a little more like ME. It’s hard as a mom not to feel constant guilt and wonder if what you’re doing for your children is best. I know that I have done my part to nourish my baby, and I am not going to let myself feel guilty about the fact that I am ready to be done breastfeeding, and on to the next exciting adventures of motherhood/toddlerhood!