Re: How do you redefine yourself as a mama after weaning?
You just give it time, acknowledge the sad moments as they happen, and try to let them go when they are over. I had to abruptly wean my son when he was 9 months old and I was terrified. Honestly, scared to death that I didn't know how to be a good mother without nursing. But as time went on (which it's gonna do one way or the other) I found other ways to fill the gaps that nursing left behind and we rebuilt the bond that I felt I'd lost (I suspect he never felt like he lost it, but I can't say for sure- I can say that I was a lot more upset about the whole thing than he was).
As for the guilt, I think you feel that no matter what. I had to stop nursing. I tried everything I could to avoid it, but it was necessary. And I still felt guilt. Terrible, overwhelming guilt at times. Every time I gave him a bottle I'd feel it all over again. But you adapt and your baby adapts and things settle into a new normal and it evens out.
You did a great job, mama. You should be proud of what you did for your baby. Focus on that, not on what you think you didn't give her.
“We are not put on earth for ourselves, but are placed here for each other. If you are there always for others, then in time of need, someone will be there for you.”