My husband and I had a loose plan to wean our son when we returned from a road tripping, border crossing, ferry waiting sort of camping trip. The planning, preparation, and execution of the trip made the weekend buzz by so incredibly fast that now I am at the seat of this wean plan. My team (husband, daughter, and son) are all sleeping and I am nervously blogging – expecting little sleep tonight.
Husband: “So it’s Monday. 8:40 pm. How were we going to do this again?”
Me: “Look online! Quick!”
Husband looks online. I am literally reading quotations from co-sleeping mamas, “Things are going to be different tonight. This is your last milk and then you’ll have more when the sun comes up.” Looking at several sources confirmed this was a good script to follow. We see mention of Dr. Jay Gordon’s night weaning plan, and that kicks off a second tier of web research.
We night weaned our daughter prior to the birth of our son. They are 23 months apart, so it felt imperative and proactive to be addressing both my and my daughter’s sleep issues prior to our son’s arrival. It’s hard enough to get sleep in those last weeks of pregnancy. What I remember is that it was difficult to stay strong. I was resolute on sticking to the plan because my sleep was being jeopardized every night, but my husband’s wasn’t. He wasn’t entirely convinced she was ready. It’s hard to commit to a plan when your child cries through the night. And some of you know how I feel about letting kids cry it out – I don’t like it one little bit.
But I have a greater distaste over my frustration, anger, and resentment over sleeplessness. A lack of sleep leads me straight into a strange state where I don’t truly get that my child isn’t maliciously undermining me and sabotaging my slumber. A more honest baby book page would have quotes of the crazy ass things I’ve said over the years in my less-than-glorious moments. What DO YOU WANT? What is this child trying to do? He won’t let me sleep. I think I’ve even referred to my sweet cherub as a “little fucker” in my angst.
But here we go again. At this moment, it is harder on me. I am emotional over the thoughts of this leading my son and I down the path to the end of his breastfeeding. I am not looking forward to the lack of sleep it will take to commit to this plan. I don’t like the thought of the tears to come.
Parenting is an ongoing experience where tough choices are being made again and again. And these choices get easier. I don’t want my skin to get too thick so that I stop being truly sensitive to what my child is experiencing. But maybe this is where the division is between “parent” and “friend”. The parent separates him/herself somewhat so a more rational longterm decision can be made – ideally, one that seems to be in the best interest of the child given the information that said parent has at the given time.
I love my son. I love to breastfeed him. Perhaps after this trial we will feel that our daytime nursing sessions have a greater sweetness to them.