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"She's just doing it for security you know"

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
This is what my sister-in-law (my husband's brother's wife) said to me a couple days ago when I was dropping off my dd for a visit and dd wanted nummies before I left. (dd is nearly 25 mo) I was really caught off guard by the remark and the tone of her voice sounded almost angry, as if I, or my dd, were doing something wrong. I wish I had remained composed and simply said something like, that's ok this works for us and moved on. But I didn't, I felt flushed and stuttered and said, no she isn't. To which SIL replied, yes she is, she is doing it for security, that's ALL it is. Me: well, yes and no... at that point I've got my dd on my lap and just turned to her and asked if she still wanted nummies and proceeded to nurse, at dd's request, and SIL leaves the room. Her two children are there still, her 6 yo son sitting next to us, which was lovely, but I still felt so unsettled and hurt and alone. SIL didn't know that dd hadn't completely finished her post-nap nummies before we arrived and I'd told dd she could have nummies at their house before I left her with them. Not that it likely would have made any difference if my SIL had known that.

My SIL and BIL take a more authoritarian and controlling approach to their kids. I think that's why she believes my dd is just manipulating me. I don't believe she's current on breastfeeding research or information, especially not on breastfeeding a toddler. She breastfed each of her kids for about 9 mos, which is great IMO, but she did so on a schedule and made some pointed remarks when dd was newborn to 3 months about how babies only nurse every 3 hours (I was responding to a question from someone else about how often dd nursed at the time, which for us was every 1-2 hours and generally 45-60 minutes at a time). I really don't want to engage her in this, but don't want to be defending myself and dd's breastfeeding relationship either.

Thankfully I haven't really had any negative breastfeeding experiences yet but I'm not great at handling unexpected criticism like that and it bugs me that this is bothering me so much. I wish I could just let it roll off, but it's hard because it's family and we interact from time to time and I frankly can't believe she threw that out there like that. I guess because I haven't said anything to her about their interactions with their kids and I wouldn't- that's their business IMO. I can only guess that maybe it comes from a place of guilt for her? Or maybe from her belief that children are manipulative?

At any rate, I'd been feeling more nervous lately about continuing to breastfeed anyway, even though I want dd to lead the way in weaning. But it just feels so lonely out here now we've past the 2 year mark and it's a little scary in a way. Plus I've gone all this way and not connected with others in my local community who are liked-minded. I should have already and if anything, this has motivated me to do so now. I never even went to an LLL meeting or anything. I suppose that's the positive side of her remarks. It motivated me to seek out more information and I ended up reading this article about breastfeeding older children that completely reaffirmed for me why I'm still nursing my dd. And I'm determined now to connect with other parents locally and start building our support community.

It's just hard right at this moment because I feel alone. None of our friends from before having kids have made the choices we have, and I feel us drifting apart. I suspect most of them think I'm nuts, but my dd matters most. Thankfully, my dh is very supportive. His response when I told him, was, So what if it's *just* for security? Doesn't that count as a need?

I also wish I was a more confident parent so I could stand up for my daughter better, although I don't think it would have done any good to engage my SIL in this and I don't want to do that, but I feel my dd deserves better than a flimsy response like the one I gave. I don't think I want to bring it up with SIL either, but on the other hand I would kind of like her to know there was a clear boundary there that she crossed and that it is not acceptable to me.

I treasure my nursing relationship with dd, challenges and all. I believe it's a primary reason we are so close and I feel I know her so well. I hate that I feel nervous in front of someone like my SIL and I don't feel I'm the same with my dd in front of her as I am at home. I don't want to not nurse dd when she needs to just because we around someone who might not approve, but it felt very uncomfortable. Dd didn't nurse for very long (and I knew she wouldn't, sometimes it like she just needs a little sip and then she's good).

How would you handle this situation? I need hugs...

ETA: Sorry this is soooo long
post #2 of 25
s mama! i think you did just fine in how you handled the situation. you were caught off guard by her comment. what more could you do?

koddos for you for still giving DD her nummies and not backing down on that front! again! its hard when people dont understand.
post #3 of 25
So what if she was? Does SIL have a problem with you providing security to your child?

Weird!

Stay strong mama! Ignore these types of people!
post #4 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyMommy2 View Post
So what if she was? Does SIL have a problem with you providing security to your child?

Weird!

Stay strong mama! Ignore these types of people!
Children need security, besides that security is NOT the only thing they do it for, it's so much more.
post #5 of 25
You handled the situation beautifully by continuing to bf! That took guts but was the only reasonable response. My baby is only 9 months old so I haven't really been confronted about extended bf-ing. But I think when it happens, I'll say, "we're happy with the choices we've made," and leave the other person to respond as they wish. You don't have to defend your choices to any one! I understand the urge to educate. I think sometimes the best way to do that is to be a good example.
post #6 of 25

You are not alone

Hi,
I can completely understand what you are going through. I am nursing my 27 month old son. I had nursed my first for 1 year and had to stop because I got very sick. That was heartbreaking really, because she loved nursing. But she is 14 now and healthy and well adjusted. My 2nd one I nursed until 2 years. He only nursed down for naps and nighttime and otherwise loved his bottle. So I cut him off at 2 and he cried for 2 nights at bedtime and then moved on. If I could do it again i would not have cut him off, but I really felt pressure to so and was younger and less confident then. But now with my 3rd here I am at 27 months and I really don't see an end in sight. This little guys loves his "boos", all day long. In nurse him first thing in the morning, down for his nap, before bed, and anytime in between. On days we are home he comes to me like every hour and want to nurse. When we are out running around or his older sibllings are home he is distracted and then not as interested. But today it is just the 2 of us here and I he is now nursing as I type this. Sometimes I do get very frustrated because I am busy working on something or trying to get the big guys off to school and he is very demanding. And he is such and avid nurser that i really see no end in sight. Other times, I know that before long he will big and independent and off in school all day. Anyway, i was searching around for some support also this morning and came across a great blog called Hobo Mama. Just do search for it and you will find it. She has tons of links and lots of support and encouragement. I just checked out some links that had great information about the wonderful health benefits. My little guy is not vaccinated and I found info explaining the wonderful immune boosting benefits that nursing provides. I get the comments sometimes from family members, and when friends hear that I still nurse I know that most just don't get it and I think I am nuts. Now when people comment I just nicely explain a few of the health benefits. And when I get discouraged and feel alone in my belief I spend a little time in some pro nursing blogs and sites. Hope this helps!
post #7 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyMommy2 View Post
So what if she was? Does SIL have a problem with you providing security to your child?

Weird!

Stay strong mama! Ignore these types of people!
My thoughts exactly. Would she take a way your DDs teddy bear for the same reason?
post #8 of 25
Thread Starter 
Thank you It is hard ignoring her since we see them at least once or twice a month. And thank you for mentioning about me going ahead and nursing her anyway- you know at the time I didn't even think about it. I never feel like it's a choice, if dd needs to nurse, she needs to nurse, period. YKWIM? But it's so nice when someone else points out something positive I did

I'm still sorta chewing on it tho, because I know that next time we see them it will be sorta uncomfortable. I just wish she hadn't said anything- my relationship with her and BIL was finally smoothing out, even becoming a little more positive. But I also know I have to keep up healthy boundaries with those two because they're both prone to over-controlling behavior with pretty much everyone around.

It's sorta scary to me going forward with nursing at this point. I mean, I love it and I love my nursing relationship with dd- it's one of the best things we have and it helps calm me so much. I'm also trying to shift the paradigm for myself (ala author Naomi Aldort and others like her) and become the parent I think dd deserves, which is really hard for me considering my own somewhat abusive childhood. Nursing has really helped me with that by calming things when I come close to losing it and yelling, you know? But at the same time, like bluemick68, dd nurses to sleep for nap and bedtime still and for small marathon in the morning, not to mention a couple or more times during the day, depending on what's going on, and it does seem like there's no end in sight. I wonder if I can really do child-led weaning or not? In my heart I feel that is what will work best for my dd in our particular circumstance. But it's just kinda scary sometimes, you know? Like going where no one I know has gone before.

Well, except my other SIL back east- she nursed her oldest for 3 years- love it! I think I will call her in the next couple days...
post #9 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lydiah View Post
My thoughts exactly. Would she take a way your DDs teddy bear for the same reason?
People do that kind of thing.

As for "security only" that would imply that the need is purely emotional. However, there's a biological precedent for nursing between 2 and 7. Weaning outside that is a quirk or a social construct. http://www.kathydettwyler.org/detwean.html
post #10 of 25
Whatever you do, don't engage on this. "Works for us. More bean dip?" is the way to go.
post #11 of 25
"Well SIL, I guess we just see things differently. How's your week been going? I swear your kids get bigger each time we see you."

Deflect and avoid. You're not going to change her mind. Hopefully she'll eventually get tired and just decide you're weird/crazy/a hippy/whatever and leave you alone.

At least that's what happened with a few people in my life.

Oh one of my favorite phrases is "Well if it's a mistake, it's mine to make. But I feel comfortable with my decision."
post #12 of 25
Thread Starter 
thank you some more. Thanks Sapphire for the link- that's a great page and I'm familiar with Dr. Dettwyler's work, but haven't seen that page- I'm bookmarking it.

It really helps hearing what the rest of you say to deflect these kinds of remarks. I'm not completely shy, and can be very social, but when it comes to personal surprise attacks I'm still trying to not let it rock my boat. It still seems to throw me for a loop tho, and like I said, it really helps hearing your words.

Thank you, I really need this support right now.
post #13 of 25
The other day I was at a Scrapbooking party and the topic of weaning came up. One girl litterally scoffed that I was still breastfeeding. (She is now deleted from facebook )

Anyways. I wish I'd read these before I went. All I said was "Yep, the WHO is recommending 2 years plus, now"

http://ifbreastfeedingoffendsyou.blo...n-you-are.html

Favorites :
Are you still nursing?
It's her turn, you'll have to wait in line!

When are you weaning?
What, and get my PMS back? are you crazy?

That's gross!
Watching people stuff their faces in restaurants is gross. Should that not be allowed?

Isn't he a little old?
"Aren't you a little old to be randomly coming up to strangers and asking impolite questions?"

"He doesn't NEED to nurse at this age!
"He doesn't need his teddy bear either and but we still give it to him."
post #14 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by bcblondie View Post
...

Isn't he a little old?
"Aren't you a little old to be randomly coming up to strangers and asking impolite questions?"

...."
Priceless!!!!!
post #15 of 25


I dare strangers to question my breastfeeding now! haha.
post #16 of 25
Do you have a chapter of Le Leche League near you? Just being surrounded by like-minded moms and their toddlers will help you feel strong and supported. Hugs to you, you are giving your daughter a great gift.

LLL locator:

http://www.llli.org/
post #17 of 25
You handled that perfectly.

It's normal to be feeling scared about it now. You can seek out a local LLL group now. It's not just for problems breastfeeding little ones. I think it really helps to have like minded mamas around IRL! You are sure to find mamas who totally get it.

For future interactions with the snarky SIL you could practice looking at her quizzically and replying "And?" or something just looking at her asi if she has 3 heads.

Not sure if there is an end in sight for your DD. I have a persistent nursing 3.5 year old. But her nursing at this age is way different from what it was at that age. It works fine for us. Try not to get ahead of yourself on it.
post #18 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adsullata View Post
"She's just doing it for security you know"...

How would you handle this situation?
"And I'm happy I can provide her the security she craves!..." Big grin. "...So, more bean dip?"

post #19 of 25
I found this post by google searching for the "If breastfeeding offends you..." page (that is my blog, sometimes I google it to see who is linking to it) but surprisingly I can totally identify with the original poster. While I no longer talk to my annoying family that likes to harass me over my parenting choices, I know just what you mean about feeling alone. I've connected with oodles of like-minded moms online but I know NONE in my area! You can try meeting other moms on sites like cafemom and momslikeme but I've found the members on those sites to be very mainstream and not really into natural approaches like the ones most mothering.com members appreciate.

I got lucky and found a forum for "crunchy" moms in my area and am going to be meeting some of them soon. Sorry I'm not much help, but just remember that you are doing what is best for your baby. Ignore people who put you down, its not their business!

Quote:
Originally Posted by bcblondie View Post
The other day I was at a Scrapbooking party and the topic of weaning came up. One girl litterally scoffed that I was still breastfeeding. (She is now deleted from facebook )

Anyways. I wish I'd read these before I went. All I said was "Yep, the WHO is recommending 2 years plus, now"

http://ifbreastfeedingoffendsyou.blo...n-you-are.html

Favorites :
Are you still nursing?
It's her turn, you'll have to wait in line!

When are you weaning?
What, and get my PMS back? are you crazy?

That's gross!
Watching people stuff their faces in restaurants is gross. Should that not be allowed?

Isn't he a little old?
"Aren't you a little old to be randomly coming up to strangers and asking impolite questions?"

"He doesn't NEED to nurse at this age!
"He doesn't need his teddy bear either and but we still give it to him."
post #20 of 25
A pacifier is nothing but a fake nipple that toddlers suck on for comfort. What would your SIL have said if your daughter had a pacifier in her mouth when you dropped her off?
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