Tuesday, January 16, 2007
The title of this post refers to what Johnny says when he wants to nurse. As crass as it may be, we have come to think it's quite funny and cute. Believe me, I have tried to get him to say nurse or nursey, anything else really. But, no. It's boob. Anyways, in the recent edition of Mothering magazine they chose a universal symbol for breastfeeding in hopes that it will appear in public places, on the door of a mother's lounge for example. The point is to create a more breastfeeding-friendly society. I love the image they chose and hope to see it in public. I, personally, have never had a bad experience breastfeeding in public. We aren't nursing a whole lot anymore but when I did I was always comfortable nursing wherever I happened to be. I've been invited to some nurse-ins by La Leche League but have never gone. Maybe if I'd had a bad experience where I was told to leave or something I would feel like more of an activist about it. But also, I've avoided them (nurse ins, not LLL) because I just don't view nursing my son as a statement. I think that why I know a lot of women are turned off to LLL, because they seem to come on too strong and want everyone to be activists. Don't get me wrong, they are a wonderful organization and can provide much needed support, especially in the first weeks when nursing can be stressful and painful, and I love the books they have published. Come to think of it, I must have tiny bit of activist in me considering how much I love the breastfeeding symbol and think it would look great on a t-shirt or baby onesie, etc.. I guess it's just sad how it seems like we have to choose sides in terms of how we mother. We put eachother into categories. This is especially evident to me when I attend a baby shower. As I talk with women about my birth or children and they hear I am still nursing my son, or that I had a drug free birth, they act like or sometimes come right out and say, "oh you are one of those." It bothers me. Some of you have been blogging a little about this and I guess it got me thinking. I know I personally am really trying not to put other women into a box or assume too much about how they mother by something like whether they nurse or not. I suppose that is another reason I have not gotten too heavily involved in LLL or AP play groups. I just don't want everyone I hang out with to have the exact same philosophy on mothering that I do.( not that I even follow AP by the book, anyhow) One of my best friends has raised her babies very differently than I have raised Johnny, yet I think we share the a very similar heart and passion for being moms. However, my carefulness in not judging others' methods of mothering has also encouraged me to be more open about my own. I used to feel embarrassed about telling people that Johnny sleeps with us, especially if I had already heard them go on and on about their baby sleeping through the night is his own room. I figured they would think I was a real push over. Our decision to co-sleep wasn't made by default; we gave it a lot of time, entered into it with a let's-see-if-this-works attitude, and felt at peace with our decision. We followed our hearts and I think that is the best we can do when it comes to those issues of parenting. I just hate to see women feeling like they have to decide how they are going to mother their baby when they are six months pregnant. Let them enter the world, stare at their little faces, get to know them a little bit and follow what your heart (not your crazy post-pardum emotions) is telling you. I know I didn't settle into my role as mama until Johnny was at least a few months old, but I would've been even more of wreck if I were trying to follow one strict philosophy that didn't allow a whole lot of flexibility.
Man, I think I've said enough. So, I hope this doesn't leave any of you with an "oh, she's one of those" feeling, I would hate to alienate anyone who has until now enjoyed visiting my blog. If you love your babies and are doing what you know is best and works for you and them, then we've got a whole lot in common!