I want it, but I don’t
Sometimes the breastfeeding journey with older children starts not to be as pleasant as we had imagined
Months have passed. Maybe we started breastfeeding with complications, or maybe not, and our baby has grown and practices a lot of postures while taking the breast. Breastfeeding is more than established and entrenched, but something in us is changing: “Is asking for a tit again?”; “It seems like they are newly born again and demand it all the time”; “At night she wakes up lots of times, and I’m exhausted”
This can generate breastfeeding agitation and rejection when the child wants to feed at the breast all the time. Then the guilt appears (the guilt faithful companion in this vital journey called maternity) and also the doubts about continuing with breastfeeding. And the possibility of weaning starts to resonate in our heads, but we don’t know if we really want to do it or how to put it into practice. At the same time, we want to continue with breastfeeding, but this means assuming that the baby is no longer a baby, that it is all over. And then what?
We are in a contradictory and disconcerting situation: We want to breastfeed, but there are moments when we do not want to.
Many times, a breastfeeding journey goes on for months, even years, and without even thinking about it, we still keep breastfeeding. Other times, it is a thoughtful decision, and we have achieved what we had set out to do. We have overcome the looks, rejections, and belittling comments from people who give opinions about others and the advice of outdated ‘professionals’ in breastfeeding to continue to give the breast beyond the socially established and accepted.
And here we are, with doubts inside: do we continue with breastfeeding, or do we start to wean? But there is no clear answer because there are many reasons on both sides: our reasons, our dreams, our animality, our motherhood, and our experience. So, leave the guilt parked. Whatever it is that we decide, that is what makes us happy. Many times, we can stay in this indecision for years: we are in a state of whatever has to be, it will be. Other times, we end up finishing the stage of breastfeeding. Whatever you do, let it be a respectful decision with yourself. It is important to take care of ourselves so we can respect ourselves to be able to care for and respect our children. Whatever you decide, it will be fine.
Guestpost by Núria Andújar