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She’s nursing no more, but it’s a bittersweet milestone

I nursed Coraline until she was two years and seven months old. I never planned to go so long, but I guess I am much more of a hippie parent than I even realized. 

Did you catch that nursed is finally written in the past-tense? I have not been nursing for a few weeks now. I am dooooooone.  

Start up the band. Cue the fireworks. This woman right here is finished. 

To ease the suffering of my tiny child, I managed her expectations for months. I constantly reminded her that once she was a “big girl,” we would be finished with bedtime and overnight nursing. So naturally, in order to mark this momentous occasion, I threw her a “Big Girl Party.”  

Now, Pinterest moms, I respect you, but I am not like you. There were no sweet little party favors, whimsical garland, or creative homemade desserts. There were just a few Dollar Tree decorations and a small not-custom-ordered cake from Giant that said “BIG GIRL!!!” on it.  

Some other things that came with being a big girl: no more diapers (potty training time!) and 15 more minutes of screen time per day.  

Coraline had just tackled her first cross-country flight, was the most adorable flower girl in her TiTi’s wedding  (even if she didn’t get the hang of what to do with the flower petals), and was wrapping up a wonderful week with her grandparents from Indiana. Lots of big-girl items getting check-marked off the list.  

Her party was small and intimate, unlike the rager I plan to throw once she’s vaccinated, but it was beautiful and relaxed and exactly what our girl needed.  

The next day, I reminded her every 30 minutes (it felt like every three minutes) what a big girl she was. Potty training commenced, and we were off to the races.  

That evening, I was expecting that special kind of intense sorrow and agony that only a toddler can showcase. Choking sobs, screams, frustrated to the point of screeching…but none of that happened. 

My daughter went to bed simply and calmly. She just wanted to “snuggle in bed,” and then she drifted off to sleep after some lullabies.  

I was shocked. I almost felt disappointed. Shouldn’t she be losing her mind? Not only am I completely changing her schedule, but I am taking away her biggest source of comfort. Instead, she acts like it’s no big deal, and I’m just some sad, desperate, needy mom. 

Well, that’s super rude.  

She went to bed like a little lamb, and I full-on sobbed. I couldn’t even tell you why I was crying. I had been feeling done with nursing since she was about a year and a half old. I continued because I really wanted to make it to two. Then, I read an article about the efficacy of the vaccine for kids of nursing mothers, and I extended the timing again. 

She’s a big girl, and I’m a sad mom. That’s not how this was supposed to go. 

I shouldn’t have been fooled though. That first night was definitely a “first time’s the charm” situation. She woke up several times that same evening in full panic. The next week, going to bed was a nightmare. We are a few weeks in now, and we are finally at the point where it’s starting to settle out. 

Though, she did drop a two straight on the floor last week. 

We’ll get there when we get there.  

Until then, I’m exhausted, but absolutely enjoying the adventure of it all. 

Bitsy McCann
Bitsy McCann owns a boutique graphic design firm in Harrisburg, PA, performs original music all around Central PA, officiates one-of-a-kind weddings, and spends most of her free time obsessing over her husband and toddler. She would absolutely welcome your thoughts and commentary - send her a message on either LinkedIn or Facebook

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