I wrote this for another fabulous parenting blog Mumfidential a couple of weeks ago and I got the most amazing amount of positive responses, I never imagined or expected I would get. I wrote it not only to get it off my chest, but to potentially help even one other mama who was going through my situation and try and give her the courage and reassurance that it’s ok!
Celebrities make it look easy and beautiful on social media, which makes a lot of mothers who are unable to do it feel upset and angry.
It’s publicised for being wrong and it’s publicised for being right. It’s deemed the most natural thing in the world by some and “just put them away” by others.
Yes, I’m talking about breastfeeding!!
My little boy is 17 months old and SHOCK, HORROR, I am still breastfeeding him during the day.
AND during the night.
When he was under a year old and I’d tell people I was still at it, I’d get nothing but praise and “wow well done you”, but it all changes when your child hits the one button.
It then becomes really strange that you’re still giving your baby your boobie.
And yes, I actually do get embarrassed if I have to feed him in public, even though I have now mastered hiding the boob.
I’m aware of people’s thoughts and they get to me.
I never planned to breastfeed for so long.
I didn’t want to. I quite want my life back (he’s still waking at night for it so I have never been out in the evening! shock, horror again!).
I’m ready to give it up but nobody tells you how difficult it is to stop breastfeeding, on you and baby, when they are so busily telling you the benefits whilst you cradle your newborn.
I tried to stop. I went cold turkey (on doctors advice) during the days for a week (nights are a feeding heaven for my boy so I was keeping the hardest bit last) but then I got a terrible bout of mastitis and another doctor told me to continue feeding if I could, until it cleared with antibiotics and then to drop feeds.
What doctors can’t advise you, is on situations out of their textbooks.
At 17 months it’s quite hard dropping a feed as the feeds are not for hunger but for comfort I suppose.
I’m the dummy, the comforter, the “blanky”, the special toy all rolled into one.
It’s what brightens up your baby on a rainy day and it’s what makes them happy when they’re going through life changes and teething and hurting themselves.
And I know it can be replaced, and sometimes I wish I was tough enough to just stop. No more. End of!
But he’s still little and it’s his favourite thing in the world.
I can sacrifice a little longer. I can because I’m home with him for now, and that’s why! I’m very lucky.
But things will change. I will go back to work and I will have to stop things. And I hope I’ll get the encouragement any woman deserves as it will be harder for me than for my boy, of that I’m sure!
I’ve essentially come too far and am feeling guilty/clueless and somewhat terrified about taking his boobie away from him! (how do I make him sleep without boobie???).
And I’m sure I’m not alone..so please don’t judge us, or think we’re strange.
We’re not all into attachment parenting and we’re not all crazy about breast feeding.
Parenting throws situations at you that you get wrong sometimes and that are difficult to fix, so it takes a little longer to work them out!
Have patience with us and please don’t label us or put us in the looney box, but wait until we’ve overcome this obstacle and cheer us when we’re done!
And to those many of you who are always kind and supportive and there when it’s hard, thank you.
Thank you so much!