A couple of days ago I went to the library with my two children, for the nursery rhyme session dedicated to 2-3 year olds.
There were many mothers with toddlers there, but one in particular got my attention. She was on the floor with her son, reading a book in their native language. At some point, she sat the boy on her lap, pulled her shirt up, started nursing him and continued reading, all with no interruptions, like this is was the most natural thing to do – breastfeed a toddler in public!
And there I were, with a 2,5 year old and a baby, feeling ashamed.
Ashamed of myself for allowing the society convince me otherwise.
I was ashamed that I have been feeling ashamed for breastfeeding a toddler.
I felt ashamed for every time I bowed my head when my parents, my in laws, my family, and surprisingly my mom friends were telling me that my eldest was too big to be nursed.
I felt ashamed that instead of doing what this mom did, openly, I preferred to hide the fact that I tandem nurse.
People don’t feel ashamed for giving children milk from a bottle up until they go to school, or for offering then formula, or cow milk. They are happy their children are healthy and well fed. Should not mothers who breastfeed older children feel the same?
I am not here to tell mums for how long they should nurse their kids. This is something entirely up to everyone. I also know that the fact that I tandem feed my sons does not make me a better parent. But I do encourage you to think outside the box.
Like I said here, with my first born, we had lots of nursing challenges and I had no idea I would be nursing for as long as I have. For me, breastfeeding is the best way to bond with my sons and to help them bond with each other. Let alone the nutritional value of breast milk, for me nursing is also the easiest way to sooth and comfort my children. There will come a day when they won’t need it anymore but until then I don’t want them to ever think there is something wrong with them because they want to nurse.
It is up to us to normalise breastfeeding. There might be a lot more of us than we think.
Breastfeeding Week ends today but it is not too late for a little exercise. If you are a breastfeeding mum, be proud of yourself! Don’t hide! Take your boob out and nurse that child, no matter how old he is and send it to another mom with a few words of encouragement! (I would love to see some pictures in the comments!)
Before I hit the Publish button I just want to add that I know all the risks of posting this, how I’m exposing myself and what people might say but I’m ready for it all! I don’t want to feel ashamed anymore!
On this note, I will leave you with a video that speaks volumes about what kind of society we live in.