I must remember this.
this connection to you, sweet baby
this meeting of needs
this providing for
this soft suckling
this sacred gaze
I must remember it
This season is closing, changing,
you grow, independent of me and I of you
this end, I know, is not the end, but an end
Goodbye is a fitting expression
And so, goodbye to this path
my wholeness will include you
my freedom bound to you
to the life you lead
apart from me
never apart from my heart
I will remember it all
As I begin to wean my baby, end my breastfeeding relationship with him, I am struck by how much of motherhood is about experiencing new seasons…and then letting them go. Watching them change. Saying goodbye to them.
My son is 10 months old. Weaning him is bittersweet for me. It marks the end of a part of our relationship and also the end of any breastfeeding relationship for me as we are not having any other children. I am eager to have my body back to myself. I’m ready to free myself of the anxiety I feel about what I eat and how it may or may not be affecting him. At the same time, I feel the loss deeply. Letting go of control is hard. More than that, giving up the intimacy, that life-giving ability to provide for him, that is harder. Knowing there are no more babies on the horizon for me is harder still.
From a health perspective, weaning means my hormones will change again. It means less oxytocin in my brain. It means I’ll burn less calories. It means I’ll probably start menstruating again soon. It means I have to re-learn what my body needs. Again. In truth, though, I am feeling more energetic. I’m anticipating my independence. I’m proud to watch him thrive even without my milk. I know that it is time for me to let go. It is time for our relationship to transition, just a bit. I’ll still get cuddles. I’ll still be vigilant about what he eats. I’ll still nurture him in every way possible.
I loved breastfeeding my children. I am grateful for the season, and grateful that it is done.
To everything there is a season.