Wean Art: The Gentle Journey of Weaning a Toddler
by Jasmine Wood
Originally published August 20, 2013
As I watch the leaves fall away from the trees I am reminded that seasons come and seasons go. As there are seasons of the year, there too are seasons of motherhood. Rita and I have recently been through a change of seasons.
At 25 months, our family weaned little Rita (Yes, dad played a big role too) from the breast. I knew it was our time, but yet as we moved closer to her last nursing sessions I felt uneasy. Reflecting on this, I feel it was fear of the unknown. As nursing was the one factor in our routines that had remained constant from birth to two years.
Having read about birth art I decided it might help my emotional journey forward to create some "wean art". The following poem I have shared is the culmination of our breastfeeding journey. Written minutes after Rita's last nursing session, while she slept peacefully beside me, the words poured out of me. I wanted to share this with our community of mothers, because it was empowering for me to reflect on the weaning process itself, but also because I thought it would resonate with some of you out there!
It seems to me there is much emphasis on beginning breastfeeding but not ending it. For me, I needed as much emotional cheerleading to end our special journey as I did in the first days of nursing. It is my hope you enjoy the read whether you are pregnant and preparing to breastfeed, just starting out, or like me have moved into a new season of mothering! Be well!
30th August 2013
An Ode to my Little Champion,
My breast buddy for two loving years.
From first latch minutes after birth,
To your last latches,
With tears in my eyes,
I soaked it all in.
How much my baby has grown.
Like a seedling who readily soaks up the sun,
You have hungrily taken in gulp by gulp,
Mama’s complete nourishment.
The milk which has allowed you to flourish & blossom,
Into the toddling, curly haired being you have become.
Mama will always remember our time as breast buds!
The way your body, like a puzzle, nestled perfectly into mine,
A true symbioses, even at 30lbs & counting.
The way your tiny ears left an indentation, a perfect ear print,
In my arm after long passes of time you sat nearly motionless, except for jaw.
The way your little head would slowly get sweaty against me,
& the uniquely pleasing smell of your sweet sweat.
The smell of my milk on your breath,
As you released from latch, lazily drifting off into dreamland.
The way your grabby little hands clenched & wandered my breasts
As you navigated your path to complete comfort.
The short grunts of contentment that you uttered,
As you moved from breast to bed
In the peaceful realm of sleep.
My darling, My baby, My friend, My teacher,
May the milk that provided your little body nourishment for your first two years
Provide your soul with a lifetimes worth of nourishment & contentness.
May the act of weaning,
Reinforce our bond, not reduce it.
May you always walk in the light of my love.