Something a Little Different…

My little guy is in love.  With boobs.  My boobs.

I have to begin by saying that there may be some naysayers out there- some of my closest friends and even family.  I am nursing my 28 month old.  Some friends have nursed past six months, some past a year, and some still past two years.  I am aware though that I am a minority.  We nurse before nap and bedtime every day.  And most mornings.  And when he’s sick.  And when he takes a wicked head-knocker.  But that’s it.  Promise.

Image

Co-workers: Some know and some don’t.  The ones who know may talk behind my back or not.  The ones who don’t, well they may now.

Family: They know.  Most support.  Some judge.  Some pretend they are cool with it- and those usually ask way too many questions.

Friends: Well, there are two camps.  Camp One: Supporters.  Camp Two: Non-supporters.  Nuff said.

I didn’t ever make a decision that I would nurse long term.  When he was born, I remember thinking we’ll just go as long as we can.  The La Leche (nazi-breast feeders) says that children will wean themselves by a year, two at the most.  Lies!  These are lies!  No child of mine has ever “self-weaned”.  It’s a forced week of crying and husband hating.  But still.  Let’s try this.  A year came and went.  Well, let’s see what happens.  Eighteen months.  Huh.  He surely will wean by two!  Two years old.  Um.  Where exactly are we going with this?  I have no clue.

And people want to know.  They seem to really want to know.  Oh, you haven’t weaned yet?  How long are you going to go?  Well, he’s got to stop by kindergarten!  No wonder he’s so attached to you…

The truth is that I shouldn’t care.  I shouldn’t let stares, comments, questions bother me.  Because I am not nursing other people.  I am nursing my child.  But it matters to me.  I can’t help but feel insecure.  It’s not enough to make me wean him but it’s enough to make me more guarded about who I tell.  It’s enough to make me feel insecure.  And it’s enough for me to ask myself Should this be over?

Whatever we are doing seems to be working for us.  So please.  Unless you have nursed an older baby, unless you have seen that little latched smile, unless you have had your breasts kissed goodbye, and even if you haven’t: please don’t judge.

We Mamas make choices that we think are the best for our children and we feel strongly that these are the safest, smartest, most logical decisions.  We scour the internet, read books (and books and books!), take classes, talk to our friends, listen to our Mamas, our sisters, teachers, babysitters.  We buy stupid stuff that people tell us we need, or that we see others using so it has to be useful, right?  We bend over backwards to make sure our kids will have the best shot at life.  That they will grow up to be smarter, more secure, more independent, stronger, softer, healthier, more successful then the generation before.  So why do we judge the decisions of others so harshly?  I believe it’s because we are insecure.  We need some shred of assurance that we did the right thing.  And we get that by shooting down the choices that others make which might differ from our own.

Be secure.  Your child is alive.  Your child is strong.  Your child will be smart and independent and healthy.  Because of you.  And mine will be because of me.

A beautiful thing has happened because of this blog.  Mamas are coming together. I am not taking credit for this- it’s merely happened that women with children have been brought together because we all yell at our children.  We all know we shouldn’t.  We don’t judge each other.  I feel the strength from my closest friends when we trade texts about how our kids are driving us up the wall and it seems not quite as bad.  It seems comforting, reassuring, comical even.  We need each other.  We need cheer each other on.  Let’s try to do the same with sleep training, homeschooling, potty training, curfews, breastfeeding.

Peace Mamas.  Feel the love of Mamahood!

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11 thoughts on “Something a Little Different…

  1. My daughter was over 3 1/2 when she weaned and my son was 28 months and I stopped with him because I had just had my daughter and it was crazy when he was gulping and my milk came in. Plus with him it was before bed and my husband was putting him to bed more. With my daughter it was mornings and when she was nervous or hurt and we had gone on vacation and she was distracted. My daughter is still obsessed with my boobs. So I guess I’m a supporter. 🙂

  2. That is such a special picture! I have one up close and personal b.f. photo.that i hold near and dear (for a few reasons)!! You know I am a supporter! And I think you should do what is best for you and your little man!

  3. By no means are you hurting your child, that really should be the only reason why someone should have any negative opinion. My sister nursed until her son Logan was 3. With time my sister helped Logan see the beauty and fun on becoming a “Big Boy” and it really helped her and him get over the process and be proud of the nutrition and love that she was able to provide him. I say follow your heart and grow with him! Best Sarah! I Love the way you mother and can not wait to raise my child similar to how you do with your children.

    Respectfully,
    Laura Jordan

  4. I’m a long term nurser…I won’t share my whole story but I didn’t set out to nurse my first long but I did and then naturally I followed suite with my daughter. I went even more extreme with my daughter and co-slept until she transitioned to a twin bed…but what your post made me think about was my time when I acted as a trained breastfeeding supporter for expats mothers in Paris. I was so motivated in the beginning and in the “breast is best” camp but over time I began to realize that while I do believe that breastmilk is best, what is most important is that mothers feel confident and informed in their choices. There is so much judgement. So much pressure. I could no longer be on the side that encouraged women to exclusively breast feed at all costs, I got fed up with the us vs them mentality surrounding this subject…I’m not sure I’m being clear but I guess what I desired, and what I still desire, is to just sit back and listen to mothers share their experiences without judgement. We are all struggling to navigate this uncharted territory (since for each parent and child it is always new and different despite the fact that humans have been doing this whole reproducing thing for ages) and it is this struggle, this questioning, this curiosity, that deserves support without judgment. Anyway, I’m sort of rambling here but your post stirred a lot or thought and emotion for me.

    By the way, I stopped nursing a year ago but my daughter is still obsessed with my breasts. Whenever we are cuddling she manages to sneak her hand down my shirt to play with them like she used to do when she nursed. I keep asking myself if I should stop her or wean her of this last stronghold to nursing but since it doesn’t bother me and usually it is done in private, I’m ok with it for now. 🙂

    • You are so right- so much pressure is put on us mamas! And most of it comes from our peers. I loved hearing your thoughts on this and I completely agree with you- I’m so glad you shared! I firmly believe that if every mother had someone to hear them- really hear them- these insecurities could be eliminated. Also… My nearly five year old still reaches in for a comforting rub every now and then… and I’m okay with that too 🙂

  5. Pingback: Goodnight Without the Boob | Mama Gets Real

  6. you should do what feels right between you and your son. i am hoping that my daughter will self wean but she loves LOVES the boob!!! i am not going to rush it, when we are both ready i am sure she will not want it!

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