Hi Lena baby,
Your mama's been thinking more about nursing these days. I actually read two books from La Leche League, Mothering Your Nursing Toddler and When Weaning Happens. It's funny that before having children of my own I would have thought La Leche League to be full of useless hippies, and honestly I've never been to a meeting, Lena girl, but after reading these books my opinions are a little higher. They were some of the most gentle, most kind ways to approach subjects that as a nursing mother in American society can be hot topics. A friend recommended them and I'm glad that she did, I may even purchase the first one though as of current they were loaned to me by the library.
But why did I love them so much, I think because for the first time ever it seemed that I finally had someone who took the pressure off of nursing but instead explained the woahs and the good too, the challenges and the benefits in a way that I really felt encouraged instead of discouraged. I realize that what I am doing really isn't all that common. If you surveyed folks about nursing, or even look up general nursing advice on the internet, it mostly stops at a year.
We went to visit folks for a holiday and I really had a hard time with some of the social expectations, mainly because I was the only currently nursing mother there. While I respect other ways of feeding babies, and have done at least pumping bottles for some of my children, it is still a hard place to be when your child is screaming about nursing all the time because she's scared about being in new situations and just really needs to be comforted by her mama, and her mama is stressed because she's going to have to nurse a very amazing verbal almost two year old in public or in front of folks that just didn't really nurse all that much and think you should be done with that nursing thing by now. But we aren't, are we baby girl.
And don't get me wrong I love these people, with all their colorfulness, but I'm solo in this gig of toddler nursing here and sometimes mama just wants someone to talk to about these things. :)
However, I have realized that over time things have changed with my general company and nursing babies. First, when I started most people I know nursed for a year and that was that. And while that can be fine for them and their family, weaning was particularly stressful for me, at least night weaning was. Eventually with your older brothers, weaning pushed itself along because of pregnancy and neither boy cared to nurse much past a year or 18 months anyway. So for the social circles I was in, this was okay. It wasn't till you, my third baby, that a game changer came into play. You, baby girl, from the beginning have gotten her mama time by nursing, and your comfort in rough situations too. And so oddly with you I also have made stronger friendships with women who have nursed multiple toddlers. It's so amazing to me to see how at ease with nursing these women are in their nursing, they aren't hung up in the over sexualization of breasts, (something I can struggle within relationship to the outside world) but are really nourishing their children with it and being there and comforting them.
And so for me its neat to see how God had his hand in even this. In something as simple as feeding a child, feeding you, God knew I needed more support and he knew more about me than I did. So, I am thankful, thankful for the people that God has put in my life to introduce me to the other, to the being at peace about things and not forcing them. To really try to be okay with a child weaning when they are ready. So one day, I hope you too will know its okay to nurse your baby longer than the outside would say to do so, to trust that your baby will wean on their own, to not push them to stop something they might not be ready to do.
Thanks for being you.
*For more Dear Lena posts, click here.