So my son is officially over the one year mark that - according to North American societal norms and the baby food companies - indicates it's time to start weaning him from breastfeeding. Well I'm not weaning yet. That's right, I'm still nursing my 24 pound toddler 4 times a day. DEAL. (Sorry...I'm a little sensitive about this).
I was not prepared for the pressure (from family, strangers, the media, my own imagination) to STOP breastfeeding. It seems like breastfeeding is strongly encouraged up to a point, but after that it's not really accepted by society. You become "one of those" moms. You know, the vegan ones with dreadlocks and hairy armpits who swear by 'the family bed' and breastfeed until their kids are 5 (please know that I'm not judging or making fun, it's just a stereo-type I'm trying to describe).
"You're still breastfeeding?"
"Doesn't he have teeth?"
"It's time to stop when they can ask for it."
"If you breastfeed too long he'll remember it and be emotionally damaged."
"Doesn't he eat real food yet?"
F--- off! You ignorant mother fu......(sigh). Sorry. Still a little touchy.
I'd like to clear a few things up:
- Yes, he has teeth. No, he doesn't bite me when he's nursing. (But he bites everything else.)
- I have clean hair, and hairless armpits, and I eat meat.
- My son sleeps in his crib, mostly.
- He will not remember feeding from my breast.
- If he learns to ask for it without whining or crying, then frankly my life will get a lot easier.
- He eats real food several times a day.
Consider the facts (and forgive me, as I don't mean to preach):
- breastfed children benefit nutritionally
- breastfeeding into the second and third years is healthy and NORMAL in most parts of the world
- breastfed children get sick less often
- they have fewer allergies
- they develop normally psychologically, emotionally, and socially (some research indicates they are more well-adjusted)
Okay, I'm feeling a little better having gotten that off my chest (no pun intended). I hope I didn't sound like a breastfeeding pamphlet, because I'm all for mom's having the choice. Ultimately, I think we all do our best and want the same thing - happy, healthy babies, and sane moms.
So kindly get off my case, m'kay?