Sunday, February 3, 2013

Weaning


Having a baby again after 7 years, is a roller coaster experience all over again. But like I did with Tara who's now almost 9, I enjoy it, so much.

And just like what everybody said, after 7 years, this feels like the first time again. Especially, breastfeeding.

I only breastfed Tara for about 7 months – before she cut herself off after I left her for 10 days. A heartbroken experience, I must say. And this time, I have sworn to myself to never let that happen again with Lila. It hurt too much, for me.

More than 20 months have gone by now. And now it’s time for me to think of weaning Lila from breastfeeding. And I must admit this is a different challenge altogether. And I also have to admit there’s a little part of me that’s been crying since day 1 my brain’s told me that I should start doing it.

And that got me thinking.                                                         

This is not just weaning Lila from breastfeeding. There’s more to this. This is also weaning myself – from looking at her as my total dependant, to allowing her to be free, explore the world on her own at times.

This, suddenly I realise, is a sign post of the beginning of a long journey: that Lila needs to have a space of her own. When she’s 2, she has to know that she has more strength to explore. She no longer needs mommy all the time, she can make decisions on her own – for the little things (and later for the big things). And I have to be ready to give all that to her so she can be a stronger person. A person who I hope will be a better one than I am. 

Sounds too big and philosophical, maybe, considering I’m talking about a toddler!. But think about it. Weaning is not just about breastfeeding!. I think weaning happens all the time once you’ve become a parent.

As the children grow, we wean them from their dependency to us. We wean them from our forever watchful eyes. We even wean them from our pockets too one day!. So to think that weaning is only about breastfeeding is a simplistic view of motherhood, of parenthood.

And so as I am going through this topsy turvy period of making Lila thinks that the breasts are not her forever source of comfort and food, I am also preparing myself. Preparing myself not to disturb the process. Preparing myself to see her as an independent human being. As a person who has her will and wishes that I should respect. As a person who needs my guidance to develop her own rules of life, and not for me to force my rules on her.

And that applies too for Tara. I may not experience weaning breastfeeding with her, but all other weaning, I have to do them too. A different story altogether. But with the same intensity of emotion, I must say.

And so far, as much as I find this challenging, I am enjoying it. Just hoping that I am not making myself too much of a monster for my daughters. A monster who keeps saying, “No you can’t have that forever”, no matter how well-intentioned I am. 

And I hope they’ll find it in their hearts one day that mommy is just trying her best to make them better people than she is, by weaning them from things that they may have grown comfortable with. And that we will always remain in one another's heart. That love, is something that we will never wean ourselves from.

And they may need to wean themselves from things they've grown comfortable with one another too...though the hearts,will always remain as one..

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