Breastfeeding moms you’ll want to read this one.
When it comes to being mothers of young children, we need to stand in solidarity and offer our support, and put our own personal agendas and prejudices aside and offer non-judgemental support.
Each of us makes decisions daily that someone else may not agree with. But we are being good mothers who sacrifice, love endlessly, and fight for our baby cubs.
**Disclaimer: Please read this blog post and reply with kindness. Hurtful comments will be banned. This mother (and other moms who I know in my community as well as nationwide) have received more than enough judgement and negativity and do not need to receive anymore through my art work. This image is being shared FOR those mothers, who feel alone, who feel like they should have to hide, for those who have no one to stand up on their behalf and say "yes, you are a great mother, and this bond you have is beautiful, selfless, kind, proper and sacred” so I will stand up for them.
Below you can read the mom's thoughts on extended Breastfeeding and how she feels about publicly talking about it, it was her side of the conversation as we discussed whether or not to share this image online. The following written message was shared onto this blog with the approval from the mom who wrote it:
“I am conflicted. On one hand, I don't want to share a picture in a way that my family would see it. They thought breastfeeding beyond a year was self-indulgent, even bordering on obscene. Some of my family unfollowed me on FB when I posted sweet nursing pictures during breastfeeding week when my daughter was 2. I do not want to deal with their criticism again. There are some fights you just can't win.
On the other hand, there is nothing wrong with a 5 or 6 year old who still wants to nurse. Many 5 and 6 year olds nurse, but no one talks about it. And no one will talk about it if no one starts talking about it. BUT, I don't know if I want that conversation to start with me.
After about age 3 or 4, nursing is not demanding like it is with an infant or a toddler. It's not as much about nutrition, as it is about soothing comfort, intimacy with your little one, and habit. By the time your child reaches age 3 or 4, it's very different. You don't need as much outside physical and emotional support. Your child can understand waiting to nurse if you want to be discreet. Nursing my daughter has been easy these last couple years.
I guess if you have a way to share a picture that won't show up on my FB wall, then go for it. I'm sure there are mothers who will benefit. I'm sure there are mothers whose children would like to continue nursing but are cut short because the mother thinks she is supposed to wean by a certain age. I admit I thought it was weird too, until I saw a couple of my La Leche League co-leaders allowing their children to self-wean. Seeing them opened up my eyes, for sure. Children WILL wean on their own. Many awesome kids (like mine) still nurse and you'd never guess it. In the end, it's nobody's business - it's between the mother and her child. Each woman should have the freedom and the courage to follow her own breastfeeding path.
I don't know if I've shared any words of wisdom... What I have learned is that mothering is the hardest job: it takes great courage for a mother to stand up for her beliefs and stand up for what feels right for her and her child. But every time she does it, she works her mothering muscles and she gets stronger. And in the end she becomes a warrior."
-Christine, nursing her daughter (age 6)