I may have said this before, but I really never planned to breastfeed for this long. Really.
Even after reading really crunchy, natural parenting magazines. Even after going to LLL meetings. Even after meeting a couple of moms who were still nursing their 3 year olds.
I didn’t have any issue with anyone else doing it, especially after reading more on the subject & considering that “milk teeth” would generally fall out about the average world-wide weaning age of 7. I didn’t (and still don’t) think I’d be nursing a 7 year old. But I didn’t really give it too much thought when my babies were born.
I wanted to breastfeed. Everything I read said it was important. It was difficult in the beginning and I’m so glad I had the support from my doula to get things off to a good start. (We didn’t have any family nearby & didn’t have friends with kids when dd #1 was born.)
When many people think of nursing a toddler, they think of the frequent feedings of a newborn going on for multiple years. My little one generally nurses 2 times a day- first thing in the morning and right before bed. And as long as the morning comes after 5:45 am, I generally don’t mind that she’s still interested.
I choose not to nurse in public anymore, mostly. There are exceptions- if she’s hurt, at LLL meetings (she always wants to nurse when she sees so many others nursing!) Because we nurse at home, it doesn’t come up in conversation much. I don’t feel the need to defend my choice.
I go out running on Saturday mornings and leave the house before anyone is up. When I get home, a happy toddler runs to greet me at the door shouting, “Mommy, will you nurse me now?” It’s times like these that I know I’m making the right choice for us. She isn’t ready to give it up. And I don’t have to force it.
Do I want to quit sometimes? Absolutely, yes. I keep my sanity with boundaries. If I really don’t want to nurse at certain times, I tell her so gently, and we talk about when might be a better time. Sometimes I’ll count to 20 for each side and then we’re done nursing and will cuddle. But cuddling doesn’t last very long in the busy life of a two year old.
The bottom line: She’s not going to continue breastfeeding forever. I’m just choosing a more gradual weaning process and trying to allow it to unfold in its own time.