"She doesn't need that anymore!
If only i had a penny...
"Is that your "professional"opinion?", I feel like replying.
If there is one thing that I have come to realize in this parenting gig, is that EVERY man and his dog has an opinion on your choices to parent.
I have never been one to shy away from peoples opinions of me and especially when it comes to my parenting style, after all, I am the Mother. Not them.
But as i have found myself feeding my 3 year old in public i must admit that yes, i have felt the need to hide at times and do catch people watching me with a turned up nose, and it has been bothering me, because I haven't always given a shit like I do now.
Maybe its age?, maybe its me not having the confidence in my own body like i use too?, or maybe....just maybe, its society slowly eating away at me and causing me to doubt myself and what is acceptable and what is not?
The other day we were at a friends birthday party for their 13 year old son, and he had his mates there, all teenage kids, boy, sexually curious and full of cheek, you know the kind.
As i sat on the couch and whipped out a boob to feed my over tired 3 year old I felt the stares from the young boys burning into the side of my head, like a laser beam, I felt uncomfortable for a short while and even tried to convince miss 3 that we should continue this later or in a different room, then, I thought NO!, they are not staring because they are trying to catch a glimpse!, they are staring because it is foreign, how sad is that, they don't know what to make of the situation and so they do what teenagers do best, stare and try and process the situation in their own minds.
This moment was a light bulb moment to me, I was kick starting a new normal to them, by me feeding and exposing them to the fact that older babies need breastfeeding also, I realized that I was breaking the stigma for the next generation and that the next time that they see a toddler sucking the life out of a Mother that the shock wont be so great, they will start to accept it as normal and embrace it, what a wonderful thing to give to the next generation!
I plan on feeding my daughter until she decides that she doesnt need it anymore, I refuse to treat it as a dirty little secret that we only share at home in private, because she too is coming to an age that she will possibly remember the times that we fed together, and I dont want that to be filled with memories of her Mother feeling shame to comfort her.
Feed long, Feed proud, Feed for the next generation