I just wanted to add that I don't want any mother to be scared away because her process of child-led weaning is different than the process of another.
Plain and simple, this forum is here to give and receive support for all of us.
I don't want to feel guilty, or that I don't belong here (or outright told), for having night-weaned or placed limits any more than a mama does who didn't. I used to feel defensive and shunned (and I even went into a major guilt-trip full of excuses and explanations) when other mamas would mention that they firmly believe in no limits whatsoever and that night-weaning is absolutely not in line with CLW. Should those threads have been removed because I was offended and that their definition of clw wasn't in line with mine? Of course not. I learned how to tolerate other opinions and take it for what it was. Someone else's definition, not mine. I learned how subjective the process of
child-led weaning really is. I think this issue makes all of us question ourselves, perhaps, and that's not the point of the forum. The most important thing is that we are all here for the same reason, to trust our children to decide when their breastfeeding needs have been fully and ultimately met. THAT is what brings us together.
I don't think threads asking for support for placing (and having placed) some gentle limits (and in this forum gentle
is to be expected!) in order to continue breastfeeding is any more offensive than a thread from a mama who wants support for not placing any limits, kwim? If we choose to visit a thread that contains content that doesn't fit our ideals, then we risk having our feathers ruffled and feelings hurt. We've all btdt and we learn to tolerate and respect one another's differences, or at least to stay out of those threads.
We don't all fit into one mold. I don't think anybody at Mothering
fits into the same mold! To expect it, either way (limits, no limits, certain limits, etc.), is not fair or kind to any of us and will undoubtedly leave mamas, who are in desperate need of support, out in the cold and on their own.
This forum is here to give mamas support to continue breastfeeding until their child is ready to wean on her/his own. Advice on how to gently limit so the mama can keep her sanity may be totally different on BBI than it would be here. For example, can you imagine a mother going to BBI for advice on how to place some gentle limits on her 4 year-old? She might fall into the same place I was a few years ago on Extended Nursing when I received support but also criticism at the same time, but even worse because she wouldn't be among the friends she is used to receiving support from. Or, for another example, could you imagine myself asking for support (perhaps in my decision to go on a trip, thus limiting my dd's nursing needs) in the BBI forum when I was nursing my 7 year old? Where would I belong? There, because I was placing some serious limits on my dd's nursing, or here in CLWing because I still fully intended to continue when I returned? kwim?
CLW should be a safe-haven regardless of how a mama defines her child's journey (limits, no limits, etc.). We don't all have to accept one another's way as our own in order to receive support here. And we shouldn't make a mama worried that she is going to offend because she mentioned gentle night-weaning any more than making another mama worried about offending others because she doesn't believe in night-weaning. If this is the place she receives support, and she has developed friendships here, why should she have to go elsewhere, where she doesn't know anyone, just because she doesn't fully conform to another mama's way of thinking, kwim?