I have called this “The Breastfeeding Controversy” because that is exactly what it is and what I plan to write about in this blog post. We all know that breastfeeding is a controversial topic, but some people don’t realize that breastfeeding is purely a natural part of life. Women have been breastfeeding their children for years and years and years, throughout their children’s toddler years as well, and us women will keep breastfeeding our children in the future. Past, present, future… it will keep going and going and going…. much like the energizer bunny.
The reason why I am writing this is because of the recent cover of Time Magazine. If you don’t know what cover I’m talking about, take a look: http://www.time.com/time/covers/0,16641,20120521,00.html . The title on the cover is “Are You Mom Enough?” Seriously? Are you mom enough? I’m almost as offended by the title than I am at finding the photo on the cover inappropriate. I find this a little disturbing, even though I am an active breastfeeding mom to my 20 month old son. This photo does not show the nurturing side to breastfeeding, and I am positive I’ve never seen a mom breastfeed her child that way. The photographer or editor who chose that stance for the mom and the child to be in did it for a reason… and that reason was because they knew the media would go crazy over it. There is no nurturing nature about the stance that she is in and the fact that her son is standing on a chair breastfeeding and looking at the camera seems a little uncomfortable (for the reader, for the child, and for the mom). The title makes it seem like only the “best” moms breastfeed their child well throughout their toddler years, which I could also debate (but for the sake of my fingers, I’ll save it for another time).
In my opinion, even though I am pro-nursing, there are so many choices on how to raise your child. I think we should all just drop it and leave it up to the moms to decide what is best for their child and for themselves and their families. If you want to breastfeed your child until he or she is four or five years old, go ahead. If you want to wean your child after six months, that is fine too. If you and your husband want to share a bed with your child, do it. If you want to act on your child’s every cry or whimper, then it is your choice. Anyone who has a difference of opinion can just deal with it. We all have reasons on why we do things. A woman has enough things to deal with without having to explain her every parenting action. Don’t judge just because you can… think of the reasons behind an action before you burst out your judgmental comments.
Personally, I breastfeed my son, who is getting closer and closer to two years old. I do not practice the full on attachment parenting. My son never sleeps in our bed at night. He uses his own bed in his own room, and hasn’t slept with my husband and I since he was about four months old (unless we were on vacations, then we shared a bed). I also do not come running every time I hear a whimper out of him. I used to, but that had made me even more exhausted and sleep deprived than I already was. I do, however, still breastfeed him, and will probably breastfeed him for the next four months or so. I especially like breastfeeding because there is a one-on-one bonding time between my son and I. We don’t think of it as a necessity, like when he was an infant, even though we have a routine. During our time, I don’t only breastfeed him, but I’ll talk to him, read to him, cuddle, and create a loving and nurturing mother-son relationship that I think is important. I’ve gotten comments and questions from other people asking me why I still breastfeed, and I definitely get those judgement looks when I tell them how old my son is (even though he isn’t even two yet). Believe me, I initially didn’t think I’d be breastfeeding him this long. Another reason why I’ve chose to breastfeed this long is because of my son’s eating habits. I want him to get enough nutrients and vitamins as possible. He is probably the pickiest kid I’ve ever come across…. he will not meat or any kind of vegetables and barely eats pasta of any kind. He is just one of those kids that just needs a little time to adjust to all of the different tastes and textures of food. I keep him healthy and strong by allowing him to breastfeed to get all of the nutrients that he may be missing if he didn’t breastfeed. There are many reasons behind each parent’s choice on how to raise their kids. You don’t have to agree with everyone about their choices, and you have a choice to be around them or not when they make their choices. You can give input, but it doesn’t mean they have to listen to it. Everyone can raise their child how they see fit. Let’s leave it at that.
I’ll leave you with one last link to an article. It shows man’s point of view on the issue of breastfeeding, particularly with this Time Magazine’s cover. http://jasongood.net/365/2012/05/from-breasts-to-boobs-and-back-again/. He says what most people think, gets his point across, and adds a little humor in there as well. Enjoy!