Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Weaning Wednesdays: Parenthood ain't a competition

Ever since I admitted that Junior J was still co-sleeping and nursing at night... I've discovered a few things.  That co-sleeping isn't uncommon, for various reasons, and sometimes it works to ensure everyone gets enough sleep.  That there is no perfect method/time to night-wean or train a child to get used to sleeping in his own room.  That there are mums out there that are still nursing their older than 2 year old toddler.  Thank you, dear readers, for those who took the time to share your own experiences with us, it was certainly heartwarming to know that parenthood is a journey that we travel with our children, at our family's own time and pace.

And speaking of parenthood being a journey, it seems sometimes it spirals down into a competition.  "I fed my 4 month old baby water at night, and he was sleeping through the night after a week!", I'm told by a stranger at a wedding dinner.  Extended breastfeeding seems to draw as much flak as not exclusively breastfeeding for the recommended 6 months.  "He a boy... and he's already so old!  He'll become a mummy's boy next time", or "Children who breastfeed til they are much older will become introverts!". (Oh yes, perhaps he was spending too much time under the nursing cover and not interacting with other kids instead.  My poor boy.)

Also, there are the mums I know who struggle through breastfeeding (by golly, they say its supposed to be natural, but it is so darn TOUGH.  I know since I've been through it too.  Engorgement.  Mastitis.  Not enough supply.  Too much supply.  Cabbage leaves in the freezer.  Feeding a ever-hungry baby that doesn't think twice on biting.  I know, its just gums at first, but hello, there's tough bone underneath those gums.), and some have regrets about it.  And sometimes the "breast is best" mantra just makes it worse.

Then there's also what you feed your kid ("You mean you let him eat cake, and fries?").  Or the child's learning pace.  Then later there's the test results in school.  And PSLE.  And it goes on.  And on... 

Junior J at 17 weeks, still chubby.  Before he started losing weight from all the fussy eating!

For me, the nursing still continues because the boy still wants to nurse, and that is currently still the fastest and easiest way to get milk into that skinny frame of his (it is still a mini battle to make sure he drinks his cow's milk).  Nursing is also time with the little boy... I know that I do not have much time before he grows up and no longer wants to hold his mama's hand.  Some day, the sweet little boy who loves to give hugs will grow up and we will miss him, so I treasure each and every moment I have with him now.  Even though it gives me funny looks when I nurse him outside under the cover. 

Meanwhile, let's loosen up, and leave each family to journey at their own pace...  Parenthood is tough as it is without having to make all of it a competition.  And for sure, pats on the back, and timely encouragement goes a much longer way to spurring others on! :)


  1. As if it's not tough enough to be a mum, some uncalled for comments and opinions really add stress!
    Hang in there! and stand firm in your beliefs and principles even when others 'make noise'! i agree that time with the bub right now is most important :)

  2. I totally agree, parenthood isn't a competition. Each family will find what works for them. I get stares when I nurse Max outside as well, but I've become immune to it over time.

    A big pat on the back for all parents!

  3. I totally agree. There is so much competition and comparison about there. I posted about this yesterday, too after reading a very touching post about a mom who struggled with breastfeeding and felt guilty for not being able to. Good for you for BFing for as long as your son wants to! I wanted to longer, but he self-weaned at 12 months. I miss it!

  4. I can't agree more with you, Jus! As my husband always says: It is not how they (as in the kids) start, but how they end. Many musts and must-nots of other people's expectations really don't matter in the life-long journeys of our children.

  5. Can't agree more! I guess those who are quick to judge and give their unsolicited advice should just learn to s*%& up for a minute and embrace other's ways and joys in parenting. How strange that some people feels that THEIR parenting is THE only way? Or likes to compare kids? And why can't all mothers and women just learn to get along and make peace with each other? ^^ Whatever it is, you know best. So Mama J & fellow moms, *big hugz* coz u deserve it.

  6. I tried to remind myself not to be too quick to judge when seeing a noisy boy playing 'swing' while the parent looking indifferent inside the mrt. They might be just tire and need a break on nagging their difficult kid. Also I tried to give the benefit of doubt to an angry shouting mum when outdoor. She might be too stressed out with a bad day.

    Thanks for yr post and it's certainly encouraging and good reminders for me.

  7. Well-said! *clap clap*

    Who cares what others say about what we want to do with our kids. It's our business and none of theirs.

    Good for you to keep on doing what you feel right with J and I so agree with you that we should cherish the days when the boys still want to be close to us, hold our hands and kiss our cheeks. These days are numbered and the smart mamas are the ones who cherish these moments.

    BTW, the comment about the boy spending too much time under the nursing cover and not enough time interacting is hilarious! Whoever said that is totally NUTS. :P

  8. Thanks everyone for sharing your thoughts! Seems like its harder to be a parent and stand our own ground in our kiasu, fast-paced society where everyone seems to have an opinion on how to raise your kids... reading everyone's comments really encourages me! :)



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