Tuesday, March 25, 2014

A STORY ABOUT NURSING



Do you ever feel misunderstood?  Or not understood at all?  I do.  Often.  That's why I'm writing this post.  This post will most likely only reinforce the opinions of those who already don't "get" me, but I'm willing to roll with that if this post makes even one other person feel less like an alien.  And I don't like to write lengthy posts, so I'm gonna keep this short and to the point.

Tom will be 2 in May.  Tom is still nursing.  It's just what we do.  I nurse my babies a long time.  And, yes, I am fully aware that Tom eats other foods and doesn't necessarily "need" to nurse.  I also recognize that it is mostly a comfort for him, and I'm fine with that.  It's something he and I share, and it is misunderstood by many, which, by the way, doesn't make it wrong.  

Tom still nurses during the night, too, so I don't spend nights away from him.  I sleep with him every night and have been doing so for almost 2 years.  And, yes, this means I'm sort of a fuddy dud.  I don't go on trips and leave him behind.  Do I like to have time away from my brood? YES YES YES YES YES!!!  Is it exhausting to be "needed" at night by a toddler?  Sure!  But I am a mother.  It's part of my job.  Doesn't have to be, I guess, but it is how I choose to do my job.  I believe it is how mothers did their job for centuries.  Does that mean it's how everyone should mother?  Absolutely not.  I don't think that at all.  There is more than one way to get the job done, and we all should say that over and over to ourselves and to each other.

I also believe there are more out there like me than let on.  Why?  Because you sorta get labeled a weirdo around these parts if you nurse your kids longer than a year.  I'd be willing to bet there are many mothers who would nurse longer if they felt supported and weren't made to feel like aliens for doing so.  As a mother, you are already filled with much self-doubt, so you're sensitive to anything or anyone that makes you think you might be doing something wrong.  So I'm writing this for you.  This is for anyone who wants to keep nursing or for anyone who is nursing a toddler and feeling like a weirdo for it.   I get you.  There are others out there like you.

And to anyone who is nursing a toddler and has tackled night-weening, advice is appreciated.  This is on the horizon for us.

Peace and love to all mothers and fathers who are putting in their time as parents and doing the best they can.  And just remember, you aren't normal unless you're a little weird.

13 comments:

  1. It's a beautiful bond you and Tom have! No weirdness at all. I would still be nursing Preston if I could have. He weened himself at 15 months, and I was sad to see him go (but definitely not the pumping). They grow up so fast, so what's another year of nursing in the grand scheme of things?

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  2. Meh don't sweat it. I only nursed my 2nd for 8 months, mainly because I work full-time outside the home so that can make it harder to support nursing. I would have longer if I could have. BUT, he still does co-sleep with me like 99.9% of the time. Co-sleeping is another "controversial" point among some parents. My 1st, who is now almost 4, co-slept with us in our bed until he was about 2 1/2 then graduated to a big boy bed. Now, at almost 4, he does sleep in his own bed, but still calls out most nights for my husband to lay down with him. I figure when they're teenagers and embarrassed to be around us, we'll miss these times when they want to be close to us.

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  3. Love these stories. I weaned my first born at 30 months, and that was only because I was 7 months pregnant and it was getting painful for me. Plus I had no desire to tandem nurse. I day-weaned first, as it was easier to distract her. Night weaning took a few attempts, but one night, it just worked. We co-slept so that probably made it harder for her. I nursed my second born for 37 months, until last August. He would probably still be nursing if I didn't initiate the weaning process. I was ready to reclaim my body and get rid of the nursing bras!!! When he nursed, he always put his hand on the other breast. To this day when he falls asleep or needs comforting in the middle of the night, he still slips his hand over one of my breasts. He doesn't even remember anything about nursing, but says he likes to put his hand there because it is comforts him. Some people probably think that is cooky and weird, but I see it as an extension of nursing. And I'm OK with that. Night weaning just takes tons of patience. And probably multiple attempts.

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    1. So sweet! I can relate to much of this! I've actually done the night weening thing with my other children, but Tom is more insistent. He's a different beast ;) Thanks for sharing your experience!

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  4. Thank you so so so much for sharing this. One of my favorite people ever confided to me just over the weekend that she too is still nursing her 2 year old. When she told me she was quite ashamed and I was just confused as to why she would expect such judgment. It's sad to me that mothers can neglect their children and be free of any shame, but you are giving your child the best kind of care in your own way and it is frowned upon. :\ I can't wait to share this with her.. thank you.

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  5. I am still nursing my youngest. He is 29 months. I have nursed all 3 of mine for about 2.5 years. He nurses when he wakes up, at naptime and before bedtime. I am afraid if I stop he won't nap anymore!

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    1. I feel your pain! It's an easy fix for when they are upset or needy or tired. Not ready to give up my easy fix.

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    2. Whenever my nurslings were upset, having a meltdown, tired, etc, my husband would announce, "Signe, we need an attitude adjustment, stat!" Which was code for: nurse this kid now!

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  6. ha! it's so true. it's "great and wonderful" up to a year, and then after that- you're labeled a weirdo if you're still doing it. well, i'll let you in on a secret: you're in good company. ;)

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  7. They only way I have been able to wean my toddlers is to send them to grandma's for a week. When they come back my milk is gone & it is much easier.

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    1. I've considered that method. Wouldn't mind a week off either ;)

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