Motherhood is a lonely journey

The long nights we face alone are a testament to the hardships of the role

In Summary

• It takes discipline to avoid silencing the child with breastfeeding while weaning

A mother breastfeeds
A mother breastfeeds

I'm in the throes of breastfeeding weaning. I'm five days in deep, so that means I'm five days' sleep deprived.

Getting my almost two-year-old off the breast during the day was easier than the current night-time weaning. He was occupied with school, family, and we could easily rock him to sleep. The night-time feeds, or lack thereof, are a different story entirely… 

Every night is the same. I rock my child to sleep and transfer him to a crib as I have also decided to stop co-sleeping with him. He sleeps for three to four hours before he wakes up with an inconsolable wail. You see, in the old days, whenever he rolled over, mummy was there to offer him comfort and, of course, soothe him back to sleep with the breast. The consequence of that is, I now have a toddler who does not know how to self-soothe.

Hence, nothing will get him back to sleep. Not carrying him, soothing him or letting him cry himself back to sleep. I have tried every method under the sun and nothing has really worked. Every night I brace myself for the long sleepless nights, the never-ending cries and the futile attempts I make at comforting him.

I knew it was going to be a hard road to wean my son, considering how much of a breastfeeding enthusiast he has been since the get-go. However, what I did not expect was how lonely this journey could be.  

Even as I choose to return home to finally embark on the full weaning journey so I could have 'help', I find myself facing the turbulence alone. My parents and family are willing to help, but there is not much they can do in the dead of night with a screaming tot.

So I brave the nights alone. I soldier on without sleep and on the brink of giving up. All it would take to calm down my shrieking baby is a lift of the shirt and we could both go to bed blissfully…

Then I think of the long nights we've had in the past and the bleakness of the days to come. Most of all I remember the storm I weathered the last couple of nights to get me to where I am, and I choose to continue on my mission. In those moments, alone with a crying baby with no end in sight, I realise just how much of a mother's responsibility a baby is.

Whether we are surrounded by helpful people or have overly affectionate spouses and fathers to our babies, for those hard days, that baby is the mother's child through and through.

WATCH: The latest videos from the Star