Monday, December 16, 2013

The journey of life

While going through a couple of old posts, I had stumbled upon a post from exactly a year ago, where I told that Tehilla is nursing no longer. I can hardly believe it has really been a year - it seems like almost yesterday I still held her to my breast! Anyhow, I thought I'd share this little "graduation anniversary" with all of you - I am so happy with the breastfeeding journeys I took with both my daughters, with all its trials and challenges. Yes, it was sometimes hard, but mostly enjoyable, and we persisted and gently moved into the next phase of our lives.

In many places it is now culturally unacceptable to breastfeed toddlers, so many people miss out on obvious things about this experience; such as, nursing an older baby or a toddler isn't the same as nursing a very young baby. You can tell a 2-year-old "later", and they will understand, unlike a 2-month-old. You don't need to burp a toddler. You don't nurse as often, and you are aware that the breastmilk supplies only part of the child's nutritional needs, as the baby or toddler eats more and more solids. It is usually a gentle, gradual, child-led process which isn't at all like what many might call "weaning". It doesn't involve abruptly "snatching away" the breast in one day, nor ridiculous ideas such as sending the nursing mother away for a week-old "holiday", risking plugged ducts and severe congestion and paid that comes with weaning all at once, nor a crying, confused baby who doesn't know what is going on and is often given a bottle anyway because he isn't really developmentally ready to rely on solids alone. 

I never weaned either of my daughters, though when Tehilla was two years old I decided to test whether it would be alright to skip nursing her in the morning (such a busy time) and just feed her breakfast at once. I found out she was happy enough to go straight to breakfast. I'm so happy I never had to have any "weaning battles" like I've heard about from friends, neighbours and family. I never experienced any congestion when my children stopped nursing because it happened so gradually. 

And now we are moving on. From diapers and breastmilk we have graduated to read-alouds, letters, numbers, fun discussions, nature walks, and so many of the incredibly fun, challenging parts of parenthood. It's wonderful, it's hard, it's a blessing, it's a frustration, it's a rollercoaster, it's a gentle sway of a lullaby, it's beautiful, it's fragile, it's so, so, so good, for it is life itself. 


living from glory to glory said...

Hello Dear Anna, After reading your post I almost cried. Just thinking about my own children grown and gone and having Seven grandchildren who are all well past children stages, except my youngest grandson who is a year and half.
Stay warm and Blessings Always, Roxy

Kim said...

What a wonderful post. I am blessed enough to be still nursing my three year old. Like you I am preparing for the next stage in my little ones development. We are in the throes of potty training! Thank you for reminding me that I am not the only mother who gets at turns delighted and frustrated.

maria smith said...

So well put. I think you are imparting the most beautiful values and instilling the deepest joys in your little ones. Truly, the joy/challenge of raising children is one of life's highest callings. Imparting your values, lessons on the Earth and green cleaning and living, and the simple joys of life. Blessings to you!