Are you ready to wean? (It’s okay if you’re not)

We’re in the process of weaning Willow from her pacifier.

Let me clarify what I mean by “the process”.  We took it away 10 days ago and now we’re dealing with the sad, disruptive, horrible fall out.

She loved her Nuk. It soothed her, comforted her, put her right to sleep.

She misses that soothing now, big time. She isn’t sleeping well. She cries herself to sleep instead of happily drifting off the way she used to and it breaks my heart. For ten of the past ten days I’ve seriously considered giving her that comfort back.

But it’s dependence on something outside herself for comfort, right?

We’re helping her by forcing her to learn to soothe herself on her own, right?

It all reminds me of when I try to take away my own pacifiers. Those things that soothe me so that I don’t have to rely on soothing myself.

Those things I can turn to so that I don’t have to sit there unabated, feeling my feelings. The things that allow me to distract myself from me.

When I try to sit there and feel what I feel even when it feels awful. No eating to push it down, no excessive caffeine to mask it, no hours of wasted web surfing to avoid it. Just feeling it, no pacifier.

It sucks. Until it doesn’t.

Truth be told, it rarely sucks for long. I’m really hoping Willow finds the same. I come out stronger for having handled my emotions the brave way, for having shown myself I can cope all by myself, like a big girl.

I hope the same is true for Willow. I have to believe it will be.

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