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August 23, 2020

I don't want to breastfeed anymore and I feel really guilty

I don't want to breastfeed anymore and I feel REALLY guilty and selfish but there is a part of me that is okay with being selfish. Why do we do that to ourselves? beat ourselves up for wanting to be a little bit selfish. I mean I have breastfed for over a year now and I feel that I did my absolute best even when my milk didn't really want to cooperate at times. So why am I being so hard on myself? I feel like I did a great job so why the guilt. It is insane how guilty one can feel over something that is not selfish to begin with. I really do love her and want to continue to put her first, but what about what I want for me? Why does that thought make me feel so BAD.



We have formed this connection, I have given her lots of nutrients through breast milk and I feel that we have succeeded together during this journey...I am done but the guilt is too much. What if she is mad at me. What if she feels sad. What if she needs that comfort for a while longer.



I have come to terms and learned throughout the years as a mother and as a birth worker that every pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding, parenting journey is going to be different. EVERY single time. That being said I think we need to keep in mind that if something is or isn't working we should feel comfortable stopping or continuing to do something and disregard how others may or may not feel on the topic. I feel like part of the issue is I am too concerned on what others might thing of my choices to wean or to stop nursing cold turkey [whichever I feel is necessary].



I think that is a common issue. You want to make a choice for you and your child or children but you fear the judgement from others will come and then you instantly change your mind and back pedal. Not only that, my mental health is suffering not because I am breastfeeding but what I need to do for myself while breastfeeding. I cannot take the medication that I need to take because it is too strong, I feel confined to being home in order to need to breastfeed therefor making it hard for me to work or go visit friends. The guilt. I need to take care of me while taking care of my kids. I cannot be my best self FOR my kids if I am putting myself last. But if I put myself first I feel guilty because I should be putting my kids and family first.



So what do I do. That is the hard question that I feel that we are constantly asking ourselves when it comes to choices and our children. Potty training, breastfeeding, bottle feeding, co sleeping, vaccinating. Oh the list is endless and it doesn't matter what we feel is best we will always feel guilty regardless of the intent. I feel incredibly selfish because I am eager to quit nursing so she isn't so dependent on me and will spend more time with other family members. But I also feel sad because that bond that we share while breastfeeding will come to an end and she will be onto other things and won't need me, and I am not ready for that.



So I think for now I will breastfeed. Slowly wean. And when she is ready or when I feel that I am really ready I will really work at it, we will work at it together and then that chapter will close and new chapters will begin. I think that is how we have to view parenting. We can mourn those little chapters and stages as they grow but we also have to remember they are constantly shaping into new older people with new stages in front of them and we are a part of that journey.



It is okay to feel selfish and to put ourselves first while having the best intentions when it comes to our children, I just think we need to figure out balance.



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