Sunday, 20 May 2012

The "Haters"

There is a corner of Hyde Park in London called Speaker's Corner. There, people congregate, standing on crates, holding banners, spreading the word about their chosen subject. From social reform to religion, comedy to plain lunacy, people exercise their right to free speech. Pedestrians enter through Marble Arch, walking past, stopping to listen, moving around to find the speaker they want to listen to today. As long as there is no profanity almost any topic is tolerated. Speakers finish, walk off through the crowd, more arrive and start their speeches, tourists watch, office workers listen, people laugh, cry, argue, discuss.

The blogging world is similar in my mind to Speaker's Corner. When you start a blog, that is you getting up on your soap box. People visit your blog, listen to what you have to say, move on to another. In real life if we hear someone talking about something we don't agree with we generally shrug/roll our eyes and move on, sometimes we need to say we disagree and do things differently. If we agree we may say "Hear, hear!" and share our similar experiences.
Occasionally in a blog there is some topic being discussed that is dear to our heart. Perhaps we had a tricky time of it, and here is someone talking about how easy they found it. Or we are very committed to an ideal, and here is someone making light of it. We have three choices as readers:
1. We can move off the blog, stop reading it today, or forever if we feel we have nothing in common with the writer.
2. We can enter into a discussion with the writer, telling them how we have been affected by their writing and ask their motivation for writing it if we are unclear.
3. We can leave a rude anonymous comment saying we don't agree with the writer.

We don't get paid to blog. Nobody has asked me to blog about my parenting experiences. I chose to start this blog last September to make sense of what I was going through, to reach out and meet similar people on the journey I'm on. Hundreds of people have written to me to thank me for sharing my breastfeeding, birthing and parenting experiences, as they realise they are not the only ones going through the challenges. A lot of good has come from my blog for me and my readers.

What I don't get is the person who chooses to do option 3 above, who logs in anonymously to leave a vicious, judgemental comment. Sometimes it's disguised as a helpful pointer to me, in a passive-aggressive way. Sometimes it's blunt and downright rude. Obviously something in my writing has touched the reader, hurt them in some way; they see it as a personal attack, and they attack back.

I used to have all comments appear automatically on my blog, trusting people to leave an opinion, and to be fair in their criticism. Unfortunately there were some very negative comments and I had to start moderating and approving comments before publishing them. Whenever I see there is a comment waiting to be moderated my heart thumps, and I scan it quickly to see is it positive or negative, before reading it again slower. Only one of the negative commenters ever left a name, the rest were all too chicken. I put my real name and my face to this blog; I have nothing to hide.

The way I look at is I'm on this journey, some are on it too. Most of my readers are on a similar path. Some are ahead of me, have been doing it for longer, and are better at it, and want to check in on my progress. Some are behind me, starting out and learning a bit from my experiences. I follow blogs of mothers who have older children, who are home educating, or unschooling, or mothering more children, or older children etc, who I really learn from. If I got a constructively critical comment from someone on my path I would listen, learn and maybe understand a bit more. But the "haters" aren't even on this path, it seems. They aren't sleeping with their babies, breastfeeding their toddlers or exploring non-mainstream medicines. They are following the "done thing" that their sister, friends and mothers do/did, accepting the current social practices of detachment parenting as the best practise, and that's their choice. So why are they reading my blog? Why do they need to know what I'm up to in my little world? Why do they care enough to read, and leave a comment like "Shame on you for not vaccinating your children" or "I find your blog very, very condescending" or "You need to wake up and get with the real world".

In trying to understand these people I have come to the conclusion that they must feel threatened in some way, afraid that I'm doing something different, and doing it with confidence. I've read and researched for years about every one of my parenting choices, and I'm secure about them. Secure enough to be around other parents who parent differently and not feel threatened or judged by them. If a mother makes up a bottle of formula beside me, do I start to question whether I should be breastfeeding or not? If a mother puts her child in a creche, do I feel I should too? Of course not. So, when someone reads that I cuddle my babies at night in bed, and she feels compelled to tell me this is not acceptable in her mind, who's got the issue here? I figure she's struggling with her choice not to co-sleep, maybe has dismissed it as "unsafe" without researching it properly, and is threatened by my description of lovely night-time routines in our house, because her child may be having trouble sleeping alone.

Take the people who say my breastfeeding my almost-4 year old is wrong, that I am molly-coddling my son, that he is too old to nurse, that it will stunt his development, that I am fulfilling some need in me etc. My son has never needed a favourite teddy, a soother, a blanket or some other comfort item. My breast is my son's comfort item, that's all. That's fine by me, it's my breast, it's my son, it's my choice, not yours.

I could go on and on all day. I'm really pissed at the online hate for extended breastfeeders at the moment. There are mothers all over the western world feeling unsupported and victimised by the ignorant comments after the Time magazine article and it's subsequent discussions last week. I've since seen mothers online saying they feel vulnerable "still" breastfeeding their 2 or 3 year old, and they are wondering just how many people "out there" don't approve. It is only our culture that sees breasts as sexual organs before baby-feeding organs. In other parts of the world a breastfeeding mother is patted on the back by strangers when out feeding in public, in ours she is told to cover up. In other parts of the world a child is allowed to wean when he is ready, in ours it is the mother who decides when the child is ready. Mothers are not supported here; we're expected to get back into our jeans, into our jobs, and carry on earning money, as if our lives were not completely changed by the momentous feat of birthing our babies and becoming a mother. Even birth is not revered as the life-changing event it is. A mother who has a difficult birth is told to "get over it, get on with minding the baby, and be thankful you are both alive, that's all that matters". That's not all that matters. Everywhere I go, I meet mothers and share experiences, and hear constant tales of "horrific" births, which are glossed over, pushed down, and never dealt with. These women carry the scars with them for life.

As a society we need to create space to mother. We need to demand it. We need to believe we deserve it. If we want to have a longer maternity leave we need to ask for it. If we want to be supported in breastfeeding we should take offence at the formula advertising and call it for the money-making scam it is. Where is the nurturing, the support, the acceptance? It seems everyone is so defensive, so afraid, so unsure, even mothers are attacking other mothers. How did we get to this point?
And when it comes to leaving a rude comment on my blog, please do me the favour of leaving your name, if not your face, as there is nothing more cowardly than an anonymous bitch. Oooh!

34 comments:

  1. Very well thought out, I applaud you! I'm often called judgemental because i say i love breastfeeding and would never give my baby formula...this seems to make some mothers who formula feed regard me as someone judging their choices. I say, if you feel that way, its because of your insecurity in your decision, not my confidence in mine that makes you feel that way! Seems like the whole of society are allowed to judge the "hippie extremists" but we're not even allowed to discuss the proof research has come up with of why our way is at least feasible, if not better, because that would make us judgemental. Double standards!

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    1. Double standards is right! And what did the human race do pre-1920 when formula was invented? They certainly didn't go to the trouble of milking a cow for the baby's food. Tinkers and nurses were the only ones doing it (b-fing) , and it's still got a stigma today. I'm not quite a hippy extremist, though I am going that way, and I hate that we have to be labelled as anything other than a "mother" just because we choose to breastfeed.
      Thanks for the lovely comment!

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  2. Found via DBM on Facebook. Gotta say I love this first blog post I read ;) I never set out to be an "extended" breastfeeder, just simply to breastfeed! I didn't want to be "that person" who breastfeeds their 3 year old, and yet here I am, 3.5 years later because it was more natural for me to continue than to stop! Keep on blogging!

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    1. Go DBM! I though I'd probably breastfeed my son til he was 2, I figured he'd wean himself around then. Here I am nearly 4 years later... totally natural and it's still your baby, just one day older, your comfort zone extends, doesn't it? And who's it affecting? There's less drain on the health services because my children aren't using them. Thanks for reading. x

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  3. Anyone who would like to say horrible things about full term breastfeeders come see me. My younger nurseling has just turned 3 and my older one will be 6 shortly. We can discuss it, no need to bother anyone feeding just one 2 or 3 year old!
    As for the space for mothering, unfortunately we live in a western society that conveniently doesn't value caring. Convenient because you don't have to pay (much) for what you don't value and you don't have look after the people doing most of the caring.

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    1. Good on you, I've a feeling my first son will be a full term breastfeeder too, and really take my hat (or nursing bra!) off to you. I hope you have support in your personal life, because you are a supermom in my eyes. Please feel free to email me if you fancy sharing your story here on the blog.
      Yes, it's all about the money, money, money in our society and we mamas are invisible, though we are saving thousands by breastfeeding, it's ignored.
      You've certainly made my day and many others too I imagine, thanks for taking the time to comment. x

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  4. Keep up the positive Niamh!

    And the haters can just simply fcek off!

    Theresa.x

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    1. Yay! Thanks Theresa! I'm setting up an off-shore colony for the haters, with the promise of never having to see another child being breastfed again. Think it'll work?! x

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    2. LOL.... we can play subliminal pro-bf messages all day! LOL

      When will ppl get it,BF is NORMAL!

      Theresa.x

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  5. It's a long time since I nursed our boys - they are now in their twenties. But I still remember it with such fondness and am so sad that it seems harder to breastfeed than it was in those days. What I wanted to say is - thank you for such a wonderful post and good luck to all you young mums!

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    1. Thank you so much for sharing your story. I'm sure your boys thrived and grew up to be great strong men. I think nowadays as we're all having children in our 30s we are so scared of losing the career we worked so hard to build up, and not be valued any more as "productive" members of society. There are no mothering role-models, only high-earning businesswomen to look up to in our society. We don't need to and can't possibly "have it all", and we're so stressed about it. We need to rethink it all, and be allowed to nurture our young when they need us most. x

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  6. You have nailed it once again!People are scared by 'different' and they either fight or flight... About bf - I still cannot get the fact that other people have problem with it! why would anyone have problem with a child's food???

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    1. Thanks, yes, the black sheep of the herd gets ostracised. All the reactions to bf are on a subconscious level, and justified by ridiculous statements, ie "disgusting", "over-protective" etc, when at the basis of it the "haters" are just scared to see it done. It is just food, and delicious food at that, the freshest food on earth, and the most amazing healing substance on earth too. Liquid gold. Thanks for your comment x

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  7. What a great blog entry, beautifully written, honest and inspiring. I am nursing my nearly 6 month old daughter at the moment and have no idea how long I'll do it for, as long as she likes, however long that may be and I feel nervous that I shall be 'expected' to stop soon as my mother and her mother only did it until we were 6 months old, they've both expressed their opinions that it should be "coming to an end now". It infuriates and upsets me. Reading your blog is inspiring and you are absolutely right, we should demand space and time to mother. I am going to demand it, it starts with each of us, only we can make the change.

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    1. Thanks Kelly, it was mulling in my mind for the last week or so, and I felt I had to let rip! I hate that people think they have the right to comment on your choice of feeding your baby. With all we know now about the properties of breastmilk, all the allergies and eczema children get when weaned off the breast, you would think mothers and grandmothers would be pushing it. But they don't read the research unfortunately.
      Good on you, we have to do what is right for our children, because we will live with the consequences of our decisions, not them. You follow your heart and your child will thrive xxx

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  8. Hi Niamh

    I couldn't read your post and not comment! I just wanted to say well done for your honesty and openness on the blog. It's one of the many reasons I enjoy reading it so much and I suspect that's the bit that gets attacked by the haters! I really admire how you invite the reader into your world warts and all. I blog anonymously myself because I'm not brave enough to look my colleagues and clients in the eye wondering if they're criticising my birth choices or my baby's sleep patterns! I totally agree with you that the momentousness and life defining change that is motherhood is completely minimised in this country. I'm truly shocked by how my own perceptions have changed between being child free and becoming a mother and I very much put this down to the culture I was raised in. We need change and this can only happen by people learning that there are other ways to do things and to celebrate motherhood. You're doing this through your blog, I hope the negative commentators don't put you off. I, for one, would very much miss it!

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    1. Thanks "mind the baby", I;ll check out your blog tonight when I've done the "dairy cow" and got the babies to sleep! I really want to show the "warts and all" side of mothering, as I get frustrated by the perfect lives portrayed by some online blogs. Though I don't show EVERY wart, I enjoy sharing my challenges, and feel it's a bit like group therapy, once you've named a problem, it seems to go away.
      I too had a huge mentality shift when I became a mother, I'd previously thought I'd have my child asleep by 8pm, no tv, no sweets etc. You live and learn and do your best, but there is such a stereotype of the "perfect" baby. Not to mention the questions "Is he good for you?" "Does he sleep for you?" etc.
      On my bad days, I'm hurt by the odd comment, and think "That's it, why should I be sharing all this just to get bashed", but on the good days, like today, it's a real compliment to have your choices validated by intelligent people. It's 90% good though, so that's what keeps me at it! Thanks for the lovely comment x

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  9. Hear hear! I tend to feel I don't fit into a specific parenting style, I'm breastfeeding number 4 (vbac) and staying at home this time, but my first was only bf for 6 months and I went back to full time work, I do baby led weaning but my first two were spoon fed purees out of jars from 4 months, I nurse on demand even at night, but he's in his own cot in my room, I'm pretty mainstream- kids are vaxxed, schooled, watch tv...... but I commend women for having babies and making the decisions that work for them and their families! I don't understand women bashing other women. I tend to agree that they must not be as secure in their decisions! I have read a few of ur blogs now and while I might not do things the same, I enjoy reading how other families work and like to get ideas to try with my lot. I'm sorry for the negatives u receive, I hope the positives far outweigh them! X

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    1. Thanks Maureen! I only realised I was an "attachment parent" after I was already doing it all, and hate labels too. I just state it at the top of my blog to let people know my philosophy, but I'd prefer to say I'm parenting as nature intended or something. Good on you with the VBAC, they are getting so rare, so you must have had to fight your corner to achieve that. Though we've loads in common, no two mothers do everything alike, and it's great to hear from someone who appreciates that differences are just differences, not threats or lectures! Thanks for your lovely comment, and for following my blog, and go you with 4 kids and still time to mess around on the internet! xxx

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  10. Hi Niamh
    I have been reading your blog for months now, but never left a comment before. I am a sahm to a 18 month and 5 month. My parenting style would probably be described as the complete opposite to yours. I had hospital births, both completely different but positive experiences. I formula feed and both babies are in their own rooms from 12 weeks. Before I started reading your blog I would have a negative view of extended breast feeding and home births, but your posts have changed my opinion. I think I am less judgemental of other mother's choices now. I love your blog and I definitely relate to some of your experiences of motherhood. I hope you will continue to blog and make me smile with your funny well written posts.

    Olwen

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    1. Hi Olwen,
      Thanks for the lovely compliments and for being so honest about your opinion changing, I'm delighted to have had something to do with it. We are all mothers doing our best, and the differences we have in how we raise our children will fade in the coming years as our children grow. what's important is how we support each other in it all. Being a mom is difficult however you do it, and being a stay-at-home-mom has a whole load of issues of it's own, and I hope you are feeling supported in your important role.
      Thanks a million for reading, it's great to hear from someone who's doing things a bit differently, I'm glad my blog appeals to a wider audience than I'd thought x

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  11. Concise and well thought out. One must wonder why people spend their time looking for something or somebody to disagree with.

    Our girls both completed the weaning process at 4 1/2, and this included 1 1/2 years of tandem nursing. They are 19 and 16 now, and seem to have landed on the favorable side of so many of the things we say breastfeeding does for kids. They're both pretty well-adjusted and self-confident. They both do well in school, are both slender for their (very different) body types, have pretty straight teeth, and have never had a cavity. Our DD2 refused solids till 13 months, but didn't eat reliably till she was 2 1/2. Turns out she has food allergies, and we decided she must have been protecting herself. We withstood a lot of criticism for not "getting more solids into her," but it turns out we did the right thing for our child by respecting her clear cues. She couldn't sit up until she was 8 months old, she never crawled, but rather scooted around on her bottom, and she didn't walk until she was 22 1/2 months old. Despite regular comments that she needed physical therapy, we knew she had a lust for life that no one could take away. Now, at 16, she dances ballet on her toes, takes modern dance and ballroom dance lessons, and she can ride a unicycle! She was a baby we could never put down. Teething was a nightmare with her. They came in bunches. We thought we were losing our minds. In general, she was an intense-needs kid. It's so hard to know what to do sometimes. Continuing to breastfeed allows a few minutes of sanity for both mother and child when life-in-general is pretty overwhelming. And, now, it's just us 3 girls, as my husband was killed in a bizarre bicycle-automobile collision 3 years ago. What I wouldn't give to go back to when the girls were little and we still had so many happy years ahead of us. We knew how to solve their problems, and I had the best husband/Daddy in the world by my side. Life is to short to spend our valuable time trawling for places to spew meanness.

    As a breastfeeding consultant and experienced mom, I check in here and there on what's being published about breastfeeding, and I try to shed some light from the perspective of experience. You are a brave woman. One thing I've learned as a widow is that drama finds us; we don't need to go looking for it. Good luck to you!

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    1. Dear Mrs. H,
      Thank you so much for your insights into the far-reaching benefits of breastfeeding. Above all I'm sorry for your loss. Life is so short, and that's really brought home when we hear of families losing a much-needed and beloved parent. I'm sure your husband was your rock when other people thought they knew better than you what your child needed, and how right you both were. The pettiness of some individuals is really shocking, when there are so many bigger causes to get incensed by, why worry how long a child is happily breastfed for. My immediate area is rife with under-privilege and drug-using parents, and yet the local PHN has an issue with my breastfeeding? It's an easy target so people don't have to deal with bigger issues.
      You were right to follow your daughter's cues, and look at all she has achieved. I'm delighted to hear you are out there sharing your knowledge and experience, there are many many mothers that I look to for guidance - it's the best way to learn.
      Thank you for sharing, your story has really struck a chord, and we can learn so much from mothers like you,
      Niamh x

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  12. Hi there,

    I too would like to add how much I enjoy your blog. It's particularly refreshing to hear from a proud happy mom who does not hide her parenting choices.

    I still breastfeed my 21 month old despite plenty of negative comments, some of which have been downright rude.

    One thing I liked about the Time magazine article is that negative comments about it were challenged on the net forcefully but politely and most of all with confidence by many women who breastfeed their toddlers and young children. In the end I saw more positive comments than negative.

    What I really wish now is that I could summon some bravery in myself to breastfeed my toddler in public. Last week I brought him to the hospital and he had to have bloods taken. The staff were fantastic but of course he was upset after. I knew "bo bo" was what he needed for comfort but I didn't have the guts to feed him in the waiting area so I brought him to the changing area/loo. I wish I'd grown a pair. :-(

    Anyhow, keep on Keeping on! Love the blog, Sonya

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    1. Thanks Sonya, and hope your little man is ok after the ordeal last week. It's really stressful when they're sick.
      Yes, I think it's all about confidence, and the mama's conviction that what she is doing is right and natural and coming from a place of love, which of course breastfeeding is. I have a phrase I'm repeating in my head anytime i'm breastfeeding in public in case I get another negative reaction from a stranger. I won't type it here as it involves the "f" word, but it's a last resort if I ever feel really threatened. I mean, you're sitting there with your boob out and a hungry baby on your lap. You are so vulnerable and need protection. How dare anyone make you feel uncomfortable. I hope I never have to use it, but it's on the tip of my tongue so I'm never caught off guard again. Although I've found strangers are usually really supportive, it's people I know personally who are the ones making the comments...

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  13. Hi Niamh, it must be very hard to read those horrible comments. I don't know why anyone does it, and it's not just about parenting it's all over the Internet....people seem to get offended by the most innocuous things. There will always be some troll trying to stir it. Ignore, ignore, ignore! I've actually stopped reading the comments on most sites/blogs I read. As you said, you are comfortable and secure in your own choices and that's all that matters. You seem to have a really lovely, happy life. And well done on putting yourself out there it's not easy and I think it's really important to show people the alternative to the traditional parenting styles. Have a great week, enjoy the sun!

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    1. Thanks Judy, we enjoyed the sun so much today I'm sitting here with a red neck! I've started ignoring the comments now, and just reading the articles people link to, some of them are enough to make my blood boil anyway. I'm taking everything personally, I suppose if you attack another breastfeeding mother you attack me too, and that's how it goes. Thanks for the support, I like to think I'm helping some people by putting our way of life out there, I heard from one mama this week who'd been under pressure to wean, and almost started giving formula, but one of my posts gave her the confidence to carry on breastfeeding exclusively for another while. That's fantastic, and a real reward for me to hear. Enjoy the sun too! x

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  14. Unfortunately people like to judge. And if they're hiding behind the anonymity of a keyboard and screen, they like to criticise based on their judgments. Still though, I think it's important to keep blogging, even when you meet opposition. Before I started became a mother, and before I started blogging, my only exposure to breastfeeding past babyhood was watching that Extreme Breastfeeding show on Channel 4. And let's face it, Channel 4 is not where you want to go for balanced information! Blogs like yours and AndmyBaby.ie and so many more have really opened my eyes and shown me how much my understanding of what normal is is a product of the society I have grown up in.

    So I say, delete the hateful comments - if they feel that strongly they can start their own blog. This is your corner of the internet, and you deserve for it to be a friendly supportive place for you.

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    1. Hi Lisa, I saw that Extreme breastfeeding show years ago too, and watched it a year ago in a totally different light! It's amazing how you have to actually be immersed in it to understand it! All about the hormones I guess. I love the "if they feel that strongly they can start their own blog" bit! I may just have to add that into my disclaimer! Keep blogging, I'm loving yours too! x

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  15. Niamh you have said it all in your post - all the thoughts, feelings (that are so hard to verbalise sometimes) of so many mothers. Great post!

    Why, if people do not relate to your parenting style, are they reading this blog!? I don't go on the motor cycle blog that my brother likes (which I am sooo not in to!) and tell the blogger that "he needs to get with the real world" just because it's not my thing. That would be ridiculous. As for the anonymous destructive posts - it's your blog Niamh, hit that delete button send them where they belong.

    I for one envy all the mollycoddling that your 3 year old gets! For most of the past year i have many, many times wished that I was still breastfeeding my now 3 year old as she has gone through a terrible tantrum stage. Both my husband and I feel that breastfeeding could have allowed this phase to pass easier. Unfortunately she weaned at 27 months as I was pregnant and my supply went due to hyperemesis. Even now when she sleeps, she makes sucking motions with her mouth which makes me sad that breastfeeding is finished for her. At night if i fall asleep with her, her little hand rests on 'her' boobie, like a favourite teddy! Extended breastfeeding was just made for highly strung, high maintenance little people like my daughter. My son weaned at roughly the same age, decided he didn't want booby anymore, just said it one day out of the blue and also said "I want my own room and to cut my hair" (I had never cut it!) and he had about 3 minor tantrums in total!! I was of course sad at the end but so proud of my independent, articulate wee man!

    Extended breastfeeding is not 'just for the mother' as I was told recently it is nutrition, medicine, love, comfort, a reset button, a mood enhancer (upper and downers!) a sleep aid...I could go on!

    Being a mother and actively acknowledging it is a sign of weakness in this country. I know of a friend who was so very subtly pushed out of her role after her first child...she started work at 8am and finished at 4pm each day with no breaks so that she could beat the traffic to get home. However she found that most of the important decision making meetings were always scheduled for 4.15pm or 4.30pm. After a while she was left out in the cold...so she walked away from the role that she had trained so hard for.

    Thank you for your honest blog Niamh, your children are so blessed to have such a fantastic start to life.

    Colette x

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  16. Hi there,
    I have been reading your blog for the last month or so now, took about a week to catch up on all the posts. I have to say I envy you. I am a mother to 2 beautiful children with another one on the way. Unfortunately with my first I was advised to stop breastfeeding at around 6 or so weeks as he was just so hungry and was losing weight. Those weeks were very difficult as I had the worst cracked and bleeding nipples but I wanted to carry on... but TBH I was very niave and just did what I was told. On my second I had to only express as I had to record what she was drinking. This became difficult as I was not given the right advice about breast pumps etc so also stopped at around 7 or 8 weeks.
    This time, however, I am more knowledgeable and will be attempting it again, the difference is that I will not let anybody tell me to stop or let anybody influence me in my decision to feed my child.
    Thank you for your blog, I enjoy reading it and have gained knowledge on it that has enabled me to be confident in my choice to breastfeed my child arriving in hopefully 8 or 9 weeks time!
    regards,
    Lee

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    1. Hi Lee, Congrats on the impending arrival. All the health professionals I saw with Charlie (PHN, GP, midwives and ob in antenatal) were totally off in their knowledge about breastfeeding. The only ones who actually could tell me how it worked were my independent midwife and La Leche League. There is no need to ever measure how much a baby is getting, nature designed the breast perfectly, and as long as the baby is being fed on demand, gaining weight and having 5 wet nappies in 24 hr period that's all you need to worry about. Good on you in your resolution to zone out the negative influences, and I hope you have some practical support to help you out. There is great support online if you need any help give me a shout and I'll direct you to the groups.
      Enjoy the last couple of months of pregnancy, it's such an exciting time! And thanks for all the lovely compliments! x

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  17. First of all I'd like to say that I love your blog. I find your posts interesting, insightful and I am so impressed by your confidence I can't believe that you could let anything dent your pride in what you do. You also write well which makes a huge difference to the reader.

    I could never call myself and attachment parent. Essentially because I work, I have to work and so does my husband.. mortgage... blah, blah. I am envious of people who get the opportunity to stay home with their babies and kids. I did co-sleep with my daughter for the first few months of her life, I breastfed, went back to work at six months and never gave her formula, expressed breastfed on my days off until she "self-weaned" at eighteen months. Oh the rejection!! I say "self-weaned" with the "" as I know I would still be happily breastfeeding with no2 due any moment if I hadn't had to go back to work. This makes me sad. Up and 7.15 means early bed times and creche means a routine has formed that she likes to stick to- fine by me if that's what she wants.

    I have to say, despite all the talk I got about holding her too much, feeding her too much and not leaving her to cry, she is the only child being dropped off that runs off delighted to see her friends and minders and has done from the outset. She knows mama is there and will come back and will hug her and talk to her and be there as she needs. She gets hugs when she wants, is never left to cry unless she wants to be (her latest thing), I talk to her like a human and not an animal and let her make a mess (at the end of the day, it's just stuff, paint, dirt whatever). This is what appeals to me about your story. Sorry, tangent... but I suppose what I'm saying is I don't expect to read your blog and agree with everything in it. It is just nice to get other parents' perspectives, take the bits out of it that you can relate to or adjust to your own circumstances and move on to your own way of doing things.

    Anyway, it never occurred to me to be judgemental about what you do- your choice is your choice and if people don't like it, don't read it. Or at least give a link to their own blog so you can go and write shitty things about their choices..

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