Lord, when the scandal about Attachment Parenting and Toddler Breastfeeding came out along with that ridiculous TIME magazine pose, I was too tired to say or write anything about it. Basically, I am still too tired (and sneezing from hay fever) to wax eloquent. Fortunately my friend Lauren of the blog, HoboMama said it so eloquently here.
But I do want to get just 4 short thoughts off of my chest..so to speak:
1) I’m Coming Out. I’m one of them. I still breastfeed my 26month-old. Sick, ain’t it? She has teeth and a big head. She can stand on a chair unassisted. She can ask for it. She’s even been known to yell “Booby!” when she’s hurt or extremely tired. Nobody really knows because it only happens 3 times a day around sleepy times, so I felt I had to come out of the closet with this picture:
Why on earth would I decide that there is a set time to wean that has to do with society and nothing to do with me or my child? I don’t do any of my parenting like that. Iris definitely seems to be weaning but I’m going to let Iris nurse until she gives it up of her own accord or until I physically or emotionally feel done. And as someone who has worked with children for 17 years- it has been lovely to see each individual child-parent duo to come to their own conclusion about the time of weaning. Some at 6 months because mom has other needs or plans and some at 5 years because it was mutually beneficial for that long. And the people who didn’t even try breastfeeding? I love you too for knowing what you want and what you don’t, but this isn’t your conversation.
2) People in life are saying, “Maybe 3 is bordering on OK, but 4 is just too old! These women are trying to keep their children babies longer.” How many 12-year-olds have you seen breastfeed? What’s the big f”ing deal about a 5-year-old breastfeeding once or twice a day? And what is actually wrong with a mother wanting to keep one last bastion of babyhood lingering until the child is ready to be done? Babyhood and toddlerdom fly by like a breeze and you know almost ALL moms are sad when its gone, trying to find ways of keeping their children babies. How about the moms whose children are still in diapers at 4 because “He’s Not Ready?” Oh, you just mean that breastfeeding becomes sexual at 4? That is your own perverted, pedophilic mind, not that of the child or the mother. I am so done with people genderizing and sexualizing children.
3)Also, thanks, TIME magazine for trying to make this Mother’s Day REALLY WIERD AND UNCOMFORTABLE by attempting to make mothers who don’t breastfeed a 3 year old feel not “Mother Enough” and also for pitting Attachment Parents against more mainstream parents and making both sides and everyone in between super defensive. I feel like we’re all going to wind up with “Parenting Choices PTSD” after this week. Also, thank you for not mentioning race, class, ethnicity, sexuality or family history as factors in why women choose to or choose not to breastfeed for a given length of time. It is always helpful to leave those things out of the conversation (and photos) when we are discussing topics which have EVERYTHING to do with those influences.
4) One thing I always wanted to say about breastfeeding photos and Nursing In Public: People are offended by these A-C cups, PLEASE?! Nobody should be batting an eye! The baby’s head (and certainly, Toddler’s Head!!) covers the whole darn breast! Try photographing me nursing a newborn with my G-cup gazongas and then we can talk about what its like to see somebody “Whip It Out.” To get those suckers out to feed the baby, I had to only wear button-down shirts, unhook the bra, and basically JOSTLE AND FLOP them boobies out! In the restaurant. While you were eating.
Happy Mother’s Day, All!