Friday, March 14, 2014

Letting Go...

Well, the day is finally here.

DeeDee nursed for the very last time this morning. It's hard for me to believe we have been doing this for 21 months! I never expected it to go on for so long, but I'm really grateful it did. There were a few tears, surprisingly not from me, when I told her no this afternoon. We talked a little about how she was big now, how we needed to start saving the "nursies" (or "nonnies" as she calls them) for a new baby. She was over it quickly, moved on to coloring in her Dora book. Admittedly it felt less bittersweet than I expected. She's such a wiggly, giggly toddler now that it felt like any other play time to her. I mean, let's be real, it's hard to feel sappy when you have an almost-two-year-old blowing raspberries on your boobs and then giggling hysterically! It leaves little question in my mind that we chose the right time.

Still, it feels odd to have a finality to it today. I've told her no before, but there was always an expectation that she could nurse again the next morning. Feels a little like I'm letting go of my baby's babyhood. Not in a bad way, though. She's just growing up, and it's just one of the many "letting go" days we will experience. My sister-in-law once described motherhood to me in that way.

  Motherhood is just a series of letting go. 

Today it's breastfeeding, some other day it will be kindergarten, training wheels, a driver's license... 

It really does go by as fast as everyone tells you. That's the one piece of parenting advice I'm really, really glad I listened to. Savor your time while they are babies. Smell their little heads. Memorize their features. It's over in a snap, and I'm so happy that I didn't waste (much) time worrying about the next milestone and when I would have more free time. I let her nap on my lap for more months than I care to admit, and I don't regret it at all. I definitely still miss the snuggles, since they happen a lot less now, but I feel like I memorized the feeling so well that it will always be imprinted in my mind. And nursing was such a pivotal part of that idea. It forces you to slow down, take a few minutes out of your day to look in your baby's eyes, just soak them in for a bit. It allowed us a lot of private bonding time, time to engage each other. It's definitely something I will miss, but I think we are ready to move on. 

What was it like when you stopped nursing your babies? Was it sad, relieving, bittersweet? Share your stories in the comments!

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