I'm sorry if this post is a little long, but I just have a lot to say and nobody else really to talk to about this...
I have a 6.5 month old son. He's still nursing and I co-sleep also. It was always my goal to make it to 6 mos with nursing, but I never expected that by then I would have NO desire to stop anytime soon. I joined this forum recently and I've been reading about everyone else's success and extended breast feeding, and it seems like my perspective is changing. I used to be one of the people who thought it was odd when people nursed toddlers. Now that I know that 4 is the global average weaning age, I realized that yet again, the general society around me has no idea what it's talking about. I dont know how long I plan to nurse, but I feel that I will know when the time is right, and it's too soon for me to decide that right now.
I seem to be just about the only person I know (aside from online, of course) that feels that it's ok to nurse and co-sleep as long as you want to. My cousin, who is more like a sister to me has 3 boys, ages 4, 2, and 10 months; I consider them to be my nephews. My cousin and I bond over motherhood, but her boys are all formula fed (with bottles propped on blankets, left unattended, by the way) and circumcised, and she's never co-slept with any of them. So she tends to look down on me for certain things. Mainly co-sleeping; she keeps telling me that I'm gonna have to make DS sleep in his own crib overnight soon or he'll be a problem child with bedtime forever. She's forced her kids to sleep through the night at a few months of age by leaving them in their crib when they wake up throughout the night, not even checking to see if they need a new diaper. So now that she always gets a great night's sleep, she thinks she's the master of bedtime and if I dont do it the same way, I'm doing it wrong.
My boyfriend is also starting to push me to stop co-sleeping. He wants our bed back to ourselves and doesnt seem to understand how important it is for me and DS to nurse at night and to have our cuddle time. He's old enough now that I dont get much cuddle time during the day, he just wants to go go go. So I need my nighttime cuddles and so does he. He'll only be a baby for a short while. Everyone seems to want to rush their babies to each milestone, when I just want to slow down. I love that DS now likes to try solids and he's so close to crawling it's ridiculous. But cant I at least have my little baby boy need me as much at night as he did when he was first born? It's not like he wakes up several times a night and disrupts anyone's sleep. How do I explain to my boyfriend that I'm not going to stop co-sleeping just because he wants me to? I'm not ready, and he doesnt understand why.
My boyfriend is also very supportive of my choice to nurse, however, he still finds nursing beyond infancy to be odd. Since I've joined this forum and have talked to him about it, his response was "oh, you're turning into one of those." Which makes me angry because "those" are mothers who are informed about what's best for their children and do what they know is right. If I nurse past a year, do I suddenly become some freak? My cousin has the same views that my boyfriend has, along with the majority of people that I know (almost all of my friends are parents. Only one successfully nursed, and she's now an aspiring doula so I have her support at least).
I know that I shouldnt let other's opinions sway me, and I wont. My son matters more than others that may feel awkward. But how to I effectively argue my case and stamyself when everyone I know is on the other side? Any time I try to explain things to people, like how normal and beneficial it actually is to nurse toddlers, people tend to regard me as though I'm just "one of those," as my boyfriend put it.