I’m a Modern Mom…Who Breastfeeds a Toddler
If you know me in real life, one thing that most are aware of is the fact that I’m a nursing mom. I’m a strong advocate for nursing and haven’t written a post on it in a while, but if you’ve followed this blog since it’s conception, you wouldn’t be surprised to hear that I’m nursing a three year old toddler. Some might be surprised to hear that, since I “seem like a modern mom”. Well, I am a modern mom! Lol. But, unfortunately, we tend to stereotype nursing moms as the barefoot and pregnant type with little education and a “hippie” lifestyle. So, am I a “hippie”? …well, I love bohemian clothing, fine arts and buying organic whenever possible. But, does that make me “crunchy”? I also love mechanics and technology. I change my own brake pads, do tuneups and I’m my husband’s go to for any project he’s working on…so yes, I wear the pants in a number of ways. Does that make me “anti-crunchy”? Hmmm…just wondering what box I’m going to be put into. Do I have to have a box? I mean, I’m an advocate for anti-racism, feminism, special needs and yes, I nurse a three year old toddler. Is that so strange?
When I first started nursing my daughter, my family thought of it as a fad. ”Oh, I think it’s great that you’re going to try to nurse.” My husband’s family was a little caught off guard too. But once everyone got used to the idea, it became a thing of beauty, something amazing that they felt honored to witness. Both my mother and mother-in-law were so impressed and in awe over my commitment and that I let them be a part of this journey, but as my daughter aged, I could see the worried faces coming back. It escalated shortly after she turned three months old, “So, when are you planning to wean her?” ”I don’t know,” I said, “I’m trying to at least make it to six months.” Then the six month mark came and I wasn’t stopping. The worried looks became more anxious. ”She’s too old, what will people think?” Too old? She’s barely eating solid foods! At nine months, they started with, “If she can ask for it, she’s too old. Why are you still nursing her?” and I would get these comments that nursing my daughter was somehow a practice of perversion. Are you kidding me? This is her food! These things aren’t even mine anymore in my opinion…lol.
So here we are now, at three years old, and I’m not pushing for her to wean, but I’m ready whenever she’s ready. When I first started out, I never would have dreamed that I would make it this far. I was honestly afraid that it would be some awful disaster with terrible constant biting and sleepless nights as both our families had warned. I was afraid that I would have buckled under the pressure of both families telling me how “strange” and “uncomfortable” it was for them. But after three years, I can safely say that I have been a much stronger mother than I realized I could be. I’ve combined two heritages and languages despite worries and complaints, so breastfeeding felt like a breeze in comparison to those ever present challenges. Ultimately, a mother has to stick to her guns and do what she feels is best for her family…for me, it was breastfeeding.
Despite the stereotypes aimed at breastfeeding, I can say without a doubt, that my circle of nursing moms is filled with some of the most well-informed and decisive women I’ve ever met. Some would fall into the crunchy category, while others just choose to nurse and leave the crunch to the more highly-versed mamas. Regardless, we all have one thing in common, we want what’s best for our children.
I’d love to hear more about your experiences…are you a nursing mom? How long have you nursed? If you’re a supporter, I’d love to hear your thoughts too. Thanks for reading and Happy World Breastfeeding Week!
I’m celebrating World Breastfeeding Week with Natural Parents Network!
You can, too — link up your breastfeeding posts from August 1-7 in the linky below, and enjoy reading, commenting on, and sharing the posts collected here and on Natural Parents Network.
(Visit NPN for the code to place on your blog.)
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