It dawned on me the other night, after a series of firm no's at my son's instance to breastfeed, that I've started the weening process; in fact, that it has been going on for a while now, without any conscious effort on my part.
So much for planning. It's never been my strong suit. All the better that they say, "If you want to make God laugh, make plans." Last summer, relatives hinted around asking if I had a plan for weening him. My mom thought I would be offended because they might be suggesting that it was time to taper off nursing. But I wasn't annoyed, and if I was going to be, it would have been at the suggestion of forcing something as intimate and fundamental as my nursing relationship into a formal Plan of Execution.
And I was absolutely right on this one. It's happened, and it happened without me having to think about it, without me having to artificially fit the precious ritual into a rigid deadline. Nature takes its course. I was ready to stop feeding him when he woke to ask me in the middle of the night, and he was ready to hear the word "no," understand it, and accept.
Other things have limited our nursing. A new medication I'm taking means that I won't nurse him if it's in my system, so that limits the times of day he can nurse. So we've come down to two times: in the morning when he first wakes and at bedtime. That worked itself out without me intentionally scheduling him.
Other mothers who work full time or have health concerns may have to steer the nursing relationship more than I did. But I'm glad that I didn't waste a second on thinking about it.
Just as every child is different and every mother is different, every nursing relationship is different. It doesn't make sense to apply a systematic, textbook approach to this very personal thing. It's so like our modern mindset to want to control everything, down to the last detail. I reject that, and we're doing just fine. I don't know if he will give up nursing next month, or two years from now. And I'm not going to worry about it. It will happen when and how it's supposed to happen, and I'll have no regrets for that.