Your son still uses a bottle? She isn’t sleeping through the night yet? How are you going to help him give up that binky? My daughter was potty trained at 18 months . . .
We have all heard them. The casual comments at playgroup, daycare pickup, or mom’s night out. Those harmless little mentions that seem to scream “I”M A BETTER MOMMY THAN YOU!” They eat away at us at night, and make us question the choices we make with our children. They sometimes cause us to live a double life – presenting ourselves as Mommy Know It-All as we desperately try to hide our secret (never share on Facebook) survival strategies.
I have a confession to make. My son is 14 months old, and I still nurse. Why is that so hard to admit? In the world of mommy hood, it seems like someone always has an opinion. I recall my best friend saying to me when my son turned 1, “Now you can stop breastfeeding!” I quietly murmured that I would let him decide when to wean, and quickly changed the subject. All the while, I wondered to myself why did I feel so ashamed to admit that I am not planning to stop nursing anytime soon?
Here is a quick background of my feeding history with my two children. Another confession: both my children never had a drop of formula. Ever. It wasn’t an easy feat as a working mom, and I recognize that I am very fortunate it worked out for me because it was important to me. Important for all the typical reasons people make that choice. But also, I felt very heartbroken having to be away from my babies during the work day. Nursing and pumping helped me feel more connected to them all day long. It’s really a special gift I felt blessed to give. I also feel like I can help other mamas that want to give it a try, because I used every trick in the book to fill those bottles each day! (As Liz mentioned in her post, the breastfeeding vs. bottle feeding is a whole other challenging topic amongst us mums).
Now here I am with a 14 month old who is far from ready to let go and am on new ground. My daughter weaned herself at 13 months. She shook her head at me and pointed to a Sippy cup. My son, on the other hand, tries to dive into my shirt at any given moment, and I have had to set some limits. I no longer pump since I’m home for the summer, and he eats three meals a day. A start of a gradual weaning, but nowhere near being dunzo. I actually googled this very topic of “nursing beyond a year” because I was feeling so awkward about it. Thankfully, I stumbled upon some really great articles and posts that encourage my decision and helped me feel like I can confidently share what I am doing. I might even share this post on my Facebook page. Maybe.
As a mother of a soon-to-be Kindergartner, I have realized how fast the baby and toddler years go by. We shouldn’t be ashamed if our baby sometimes naps on our chest or that our toddler won’t go anywhere without his lovey. Or in my little guy’s case, that he loves our morning nursing sessions. They will eventually let go of these things and when they do, we will wish we weren’t so worried about it. And perhaps, let them be babies for a little bit longer.
So, what’s your Mommy confession?