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Saturday, May 12, 2012

TIME to Get Some Ni-Nis

On Thursday night,  E said " I love Ni-Nis." (Decoder: "I love nursing"). He said it, out of the blue, as we were walking in the door from a nightime walk.

On Friday afternoon, TIME magazine showed up in the mailbox just as E went down for a nap.

I am compelled to comment. Every feminist bone in my body (and that's all of them) is aching.

I am an "extreme breastfeeder." Although there is absolutely nothing extreme about it. It has been a gradual process of adapting to E's needs and my production issues for 20 months. We are "attachment parents." We don't have a guru named Dr. Sears. In fact, we don't have a guru period. We didn't even know about Dr. Sears, until we were trying to normalize the fact that we don't want to and it's just easier not to move E out of our bed. AND I STILL breastfeed.

I still breastfeed, not because it's some reality T.V.-like extreme challenge but because it's what E needs and wants. Not because he said, " I love Ni-Nis." Although, darn it, I deserve to hear "I love Ni-Nis" after all that I have been through. I am still feeding him and will feed him until he's ready to wean himself because:
1) at first it was about his nourishment, now it's more about his emotions (Hello, TIME Magazine? I know, this is just me, a lowly mom but emotions are important too. I know it's an ingrained cultural tendency to minimize the emotional life of our children, our women, and especially our men (shout out to Hottie, a.k.a. Diet Coke Papa) but COME ON! Just a little blurb on the emotional needs/lives of infants would round out your "extreme" story).
2) I trust that he'll know when he's ready to move on
3) I believe that my milk has nutritional value specific to Elias's needs
4) It's easy - when there is an ouchie or a fever or a bad dream or he's thirsty and I don't have a water cup with me - I've got the Ni-Nis.
5) Breastfeeding is a natural mammalian process. And these are MY mammary glands. I have carried them around my whole life and I'll use them to feed my kid. I'll do it in public and I'll do it in bed. I'll do it when he can speak in full sentences (which brag-brag he occasionally does at 20 months).
6) I do it because if he gets married and has children I want him to be the kind of husband that supports his wife in feeding their child if she chooses to, (because there is so much support needed) just like his Papa.

Do these decisions make me Mom enough? YES. I was Mom enough the very second that E was born, before I even knew that I needed to make these kinds of decisions.
Do these decisions make YOU Mom enough? What kind of question is that? What do my decisions have to do with your Mothering? Why do we have to compare our mothering choices? Why can't we just support each other in the world-wide effort of raising children? It is after all the most important responsibility on the planet. Hey TIME, why don't you ask that question on the next cover? And next time don't make breastfeeding look like some kind of perverted display! It's totally normal ALL OVER THE WORLD if not here!

Check this out:
http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/story/2012-05-11/breastfeeding-rates/54909940/1

In the meantime, E just walked in the door from time out with Papa. It's TIME to reunite. It's TIME to get some Ni-Nis.

"Want Ni-Nis." On a walk at the pond.





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2 comments:

  1. Update: My comment box works now. Comment away!

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  2. Nana Lambert aka Grandma says, "Thank you sooooooo much for writing your blog. The pictures and videos are great as well as the text. :) Thank you for bringing us up-to-date. I hope you keep them coming as they help us feel closer to you all. I love all you very much."

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