My sweet 4-year-old DS2 nurses every night at bedtime and every morning (assuming I'm home at those times). He loves it and shows no sign of giving up either nursing session.
My DH is convinced that several things would magically happen if I stopped nursing our son entirely: (1) DS would get more sleep and be less tired and cranky during the day; (2) I would have more time and energy for my job; and (3) I would have more time and energy for DH. I don't view nursing as the culprit in any of this. DS stopped taking afternoon naps a few months ago, and he just isn't getting enough sleep at night to make up for it. I think we need to work on getting him to bed earlier at night, because he wakes up like clockwork at the same time every morning even if he is tired. But still, DH blames the fact that DS nurses to sleep and says he would go to sleep faster and earlier if he weren't nursing (the logic of this escapes me).
Anyway, I was thinking about the fact that I asked my DS1 to stop nursing in the mornings when he was about this same age (at the time, I was nursing DS2 all the time and just couldn't handle DS1's morning sessions any more). That was relatively painless, so I thought I would try the same thing with DS2. Yesterday, I asked DS2 whether he would rather keep nursing at bedtime or in the morning, and predictably, he said "both." I explained that I am having a hard time nursing him in the morning because it takes so long and I need to try to get to work earlier. He looked very sad and didn't really say anything.
Later in the day, DS was holding his stuffed kitty and told me, "Kitty only gets to have milk from nursing at bedtime. He wants it in the morning too, but I tell him he can't have it because I'm too busy." I asked how Kitty feels about that, and DS said, "sad." My heart just about broke. I mean seriously, he is the sweetest, least demanding, most understanding little kid I can even imagine, and I feel like I'm being forced to take away something he loves for no good reason.
This morning, I left for work early before DS2 was awake, without nursing him, and I felt so bad. He has missed nursing sessions before because I wasn't there, but this time, it felt like I was intentionally running away so I could avoid nursing him. I feel terrible. I have felt terrible all day, to the point that it is actually affecting my productivity at work (the opposite of the intended effect).
I think I have decided to just keep on nursing DS both at bedtime and in the morning, but perhaps work on setting some limits on the morning session so it doesn't take 30-45 minutes. I do feel somewhat chained to the bed, and DH gets irritated that I'm not up and about accomplishing things even though I'm awake. (DH seems to function fine on a lot less sleep than I need, so his perception that I just lie around in bed is a point of contention between us.)
If anyone has any other thoughts or constructive suggestions, I would appreciate it. I don't need pointers on how to educate DH about the benefits of breastfeeding etc. - I've been down that road and gotten him to the point of accepting nursing well beyond "the norm." I guess I'm just looking for a little understanding when I'm feeling down, and no one I know IRL is likely to understand at all why I am sad about this. Thanks for listening.