PDA

View Full Version : Struggling to stay attached after weaning/depression post weaning?


joyinthejourney
10-11-2009, 11:23 PM
Has anyone else experienced this? I need some advice on how to maintain a secure attachment/bond with my child post weaning, into the preschool years. Also wondering if anyone here suffered from post-weaning depression, longer than the typical few weeks?

I weaned my son @ 21 mos when I was in my 1st trimester of pgcy with baby #2. He seemed to transition fine. But, I immediately began to feel detached from him in a way that was heart-wrenching...like a true heart break & depression. I know it was probably hormonal, esp since I was also pregnant. But, it has been a year now since his last nursing session...and I still feel like I'm struggling to keep our bond intact. I truly feel like I lost something way back then, and haven't been able to find it again.

I read AOL post somewhere What I find lacking in many AP circles is how to help children mature and grow up when they enter the toddler/preschool ages. I find this to be true, esp when it comes to maintaining the same bond through the preschool years that was there in the baby & toddler days. Although coming here has helped.

It is made worse by juggling 2 children, nursing her & not nursing him (I'd imagined I'd be tandem nursing, and I still ache to do this), lack of sleep, his growing independence & strong attachment to Daddy, & I'm sure there are still hormonal factors.

I am pretty sure I'm depressed & have an appt w/ a counselor. But, I can trace all of these feeling way back to weaning him in my 1st trimester of pgcy.

Would really appreciate some feedback if you know anything about this, or have experienced similar. Thanks.

ETA: I should add that pre-weaning, and esp pre-2nd baby, ds & I had an INCREDIBLE bond. It it also possible that his view of our bond is still as intense, but I am just feeling insecure as a mother due to hormones or depression.

joyinthejourney
10-12-2009, 05:15 AM
:bump

ValiantJoy07
10-12-2009, 09:03 AM
:hugheart
I wish I had something helpful to say... Dd1 weaned at 18.5 mos 2 wks before dd2 arrived. It has definitely changed our relationship in some ways, but I think having an ending and a begining so close together brings a lot of mixed emotions- and it's hard to tell what was weaning, what was having a new sibling ykwim? Its normal okay to grieve and to feel sadness over the change. One thing that has helped me is that "wean" is "ripe" and "fufilled" she wouldn't have weaned (even had I been pushing which I wasn't really- I mean not conciously. Nurisng was so painful and made me so crazy that I was naturally doing weaning thigns because I HAD to) if she wasn't ready and fufilled to take her place as her own person. She was ready to lose that ONE way of attachment, I can still cuddle and snuggle her, I still hold her close- it's not the same but I also now have another little one at my breast who needs me.
It sounds like counselling would be a great thing to work out all the conflicting feeling you're experiencing and make sure that if something is out of balance chemistry wise it can be brought back in line. :hug

Vicki_T
10-12-2009, 12:49 PM
:popcorn

joyinthejourney
10-12-2009, 02:31 PM
Ya know, I sounded pretty pitiful in the OP, but it was about 1:30am my time, and I could not sleep. Today has been a good day with my son, and I can understand how sometimes his independence looks to me like detachment. When I am able to play with him, no distractions, even WITH lil sis, he is affectionate to both of us. The times when I feel he's not affectionate are when he's avoiding something he doesn't want to do...and I tend to take it personally. Avoidance of bedtime = no kiss & hug, Avoidance of morning potty trip = no morning snuggles like he used to enjoy, etc.

Don't get me wrong, it has been HARD with 2 babies, the lack of sleep alone leaves me paranoid, sensitive, & insecure. But, on top of that, I've experienced a LOT of changes over the past year, and ESP over the past month, due to a recent stressful event. It is understandable that these emotions would be doubled in intensity right now. Those last baby days seem to be where it started, but I don't think weaning was the cause. It was just the beginning of BIG changes for us...and I'm not so great with change.

Thanks for being my vent when I couldn't sleep last night. I slept much better once I got it out.

Apple-Saucy
10-12-2009, 02:33 PM
You're not going to have the same bond with him as he grows older. It is natural for him to pull away from you in order to become a strong and independant adult.

joyinthejourney
10-12-2009, 02:37 PM
Thank you, ValiantJoy07 for your words of encouragement. I do remind myself often that if weaning had been a detaching factor for him, he would not have gone easily. It helps to hear someone else say it. Very confirming.:heart I also know that much of this independence is due to him being SO well attached through those baby days. Everyone said it would lead to healthier independence than unattached children experience. I guess I should be proud that my love gave him this gift of security.

Iveyrock
10-12-2009, 07:39 PM
:hugheart:hugheart:hugheart

I read your update, and I'm glad yesterday went so well for you :).

I have had similar feelings about my DS. I weaned him at 23 months, when I was pregnant. Right after DS2 was born, I revisited a lot of those feelings.

*For us*, There was a distance in the relationship. I couldn't define it to DH, but I knew it was there. Since DS2's birth (so, 2 years later :(), I have been able to work on that in me. One of the biggest things has been going on dates, just me and him. I started that because of some of his behavior, but I was really surprised by some of the things that changed.

joyinthejourney
10-12-2009, 08:04 PM
Thank you!! That suggestion really helps me, and makes me know I'm not crazy for feeling this way.

ValiantJoy07
10-16-2009, 02:04 PM
:think I'm curious too if it's different weaning sons as opposed to daughters. I hope that's not an insensitive question just curious on how that effects weaning as well.

Learnin'2B
10-16-2009, 07:59 PM
:hug2 I don't have any useful advice. Just :hug2

newday
10-16-2009, 08:06 PM
i would find books to read and snuggle together with. if he isn't fond of reading yet then you could always do it with some favorite snacks and a story on your lap or snuggled up beside you. a couple of times a day at least. :heart

joyinthejourney
10-17-2009, 06:41 AM
This week, he was obviously happy to be back on his routine with just me home. (Dh was off all last week, and although he was happy, he began tantruming over the weekend.) I took lots of time to play with him one on one, esp when baby was sleeping...I didn't try to clean during that time, just sat in the floor & played with him. He was very happy & affectionate. Touching my arms, face, & hair while playing...just like he used to. Sitting in my lap, etc. I'm finding that first thing in the AM seems to be the best bonding time for us. I'm going to have to rearrange my day to make sure he always gets this time. I think we both needed it bad. Adjusting to 2 is so difficult. Sweet, but hard for both of us.

PurpleButterfly
10-17-2009, 06:55 AM
Adjusting to 2 is so difficult. Sweet, but hard for both of us.:nak2:yes2:hugheart:heart

lotsoflovehere
10-17-2009, 04:07 PM
I am so sorry you are having a hard time. I weaned my DD at 6 months due to being depressed and the doctors telling me to (which was absolutely wrong and bad idea!) so I think I can empathize with you a little bit...because I felt that after that until about aged 2 I did not have a good bond with my DD. On the otherhand, with DS #1, I went to a year and stopped and then regretted that decision and tried nursing him the very next day and it didn't work. It was tough....I cried and had to "mourn" for awhile. This time, I think it will be even harder. DS #3 LOVES to nurse. I will go on nursing him definitely past 1 year...I don't know if this helps you any, but wanted you to know I can emphathize. I do think that for me at least, the son-mother thing was very important in nursing. I tried finding something else we could "latch" (HA!) onto for a bonding time...reading ,playing a certain game, whatever. It's a loss- no doubt..but you have a child who is growing as he/she should, you know?

joy
10-17-2009, 05:16 PM
Don't forget just carrying him around sometimes - belly to belly with your arms fully around him. It's a big long hug just walking down the street. I know my DS still feels my love when we do that.
:hug2

lotsoflovehere
10-17-2009, 08:47 PM
Don't forget just carrying him around sometimes - belly to belly with your arms fully around him. It's a big long hug just walking down the street. I know my DS still feels my love when we do that.
:hug2

Oh yes! That is wonderful!

Sparrow
10-18-2009, 11:14 AM
:hugheart I don't know what to say, except I was there. I weaned Aaron at 28 months when I was 30 weeks pregnant. I went through a period of depression too. I cuddled him a lot. I'd snuggle him to sleep instead of nursing. We read lots. :heart

---------- Post added at 05:14 PM ---------- Previous post was at 05:07 PM ----------

I can understand how sometimes his independence looks to me like detachment. When I am able to play with him, no distractions, even WITH lil sis, he is affectionate to both of us. The times when I feel he's not affectionate are when he's avoiding something he doesn't want to do...and I tend to take it personally. Avoidance of bedtime = no kiss & hug, Avoidance of morning potty trip = no morning snuggles like he used to enjoy, etc.



I just had a thought. I sometimes feel really insecure about my attachment and bond with Aaron. It's changed since weaning, and since Brendan has been born. I think that part of my insecurity comes from a fear that I will do something to wreck that bond. And that insecurity comes from a really lousy bond in my early years with my mom. I'm not saying this is you, but you said you were going into counseling. :shrug3 Kinda don't know how to finish my train of though here.

AngEngland
10-18-2009, 03:27 PM
Massage! Such a great way to reconnect with your kids - even a simple foot massage when they are going to bed. :-)

Angela <><

joyinthejourney
10-19-2009, 07:43 PM
:hugheart I don't know what to say, except I was there. I weaned Aaron at 28 months when I was 30 weeks pregnant. I went through a period of depression too. I cuddled him a lot. I'd snuggle him to sleep instead of nursing. We read lots. :heart

---------- Post added at 05:14 PM ---------- Previous post was at 05:07 PM ----------



I just had a thought. I sometimes feel really insecure about my attachment and bond with Aaron. It's changed since weaning, and since Brendan has been born. I think that part of my insecurity comes from a fear that I will do something to wreck that bond. And that insecurity comes from a really lousy bond in my early years with my mom. I'm not saying this is you, but you said you were going into counseling. :shrug3 Kinda don't know how to finish my train of though here.

:think ...pondering this. Thank you.

Aisling
10-19-2009, 07:54 PM
I recently had a breakthrough in my relationship with dd#1, regarding me feeling like we'd lost our strong baby/mommy bond.

God basically had to show me that we *had* lost our baby/mommy bond, that it was OK to grieve that, but after I'd grieved, He needed me to accept/embrace our new mother/daughter bond and take delight in her as a big girl. I'd been trying to find my baby there and failing, and feeling like a horrible mother for it. I needed the Holy Spirit to show me that she was the same soul :yes, but that He never intended her to be a baby forever, and my bond with her as an independent girl was just as beautiful and crucial for her as a life-long individual as the mother/baby bond.

That brought my heart SO much peace, and so much healing and joy to our relationship. :hugs I hope you're able to find a thought that brings the same! :hug :heart:heart

joyinthejourney
10-19-2009, 07:56 PM
:think I'm curious too if it's different weaning sons as opposed to daughters. I hope that's not an insensitive question just curious on how that effects weaning as well.

There may be something to this. I think way down deep, with daughters, we imagine that the bond will last and even rekindle into womanhood, as we will share that mother/daughter bond. But, weather it's true or not, we imagine (or at least *I* do) that sons grow up & leave, and won't need us anymore. :shrug3 Although, I'm sure that's probably not true. Someone tell me it's not. (I'm not concerned so much with not being "needed" as much as just carrying a special bond on into adulthood.)