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#1 of 3 Old 01-20-2003, 03:29 PM - Thread Starter
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We are AP all the way. DS will be 2 in April. LOVES nursing. Sometimes, I wonder if I'm doing him a disservice by continuing to nurse because I am his all in all. What about the times when I just can't stop and nurse? Yesterday was one of those. Older child needed food. Sick DH needed help. My little one was left to cry, just following me around for at least 20 minutes, not understanding why I couldn't tend to him. Granted, he survived and eventually went and found something to do. But it got me to thinking. I haven't thought very long about it, and right now don't plan to do anything different. Perhaps it is just the nature of things. Any thoughts?
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#2 of 3 Old 01-20-2003, 05:02 PM
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Well, if you want to look at nursing simply in medical terms, the longer you nurse the better. Various sources say the human immune system is not mature until about age 5 or 6.
The World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF, and
the American Academy of Family Physicians say for optimal child health, children should nurse AT LEAST two years.

But you are asking a deeper question. You are asking is it unfair to teach a child you will always be there for them, when real life gets in the way, when the cold cruel world is not fair, etc. etc.

Anyone with more than one child knows you can never give ALL the children 100% of what they need. This is a painful and humbling fact. I still believe (as I've posted at MDC before) that is is our Western, live-in-separate-houses, nuclear family life that is to blame. For the millenia of human history that AP has been practiced, humans lived in groups. When one mom was cooking or busy or exhausted, their friend/aunt/cousin/mother-in-law would step in and help. The INTENSE, EXHAUSTING, PHYSICAL work of childrearing and cooking (as well as caring for ill adults) was SHARED.

Not that I want to move in with my crying-it-out, early weaning relatives...I am set in my ways and I am not ready to give up my space and my privacy...I'm just saying our current way is difficult and not the way humans were designed, really.

It's hard when we are torn in so many directions as mothers, but nursing is such a valuable tool for comforting toddlers (not to mention the health aspects.) And a two year old would still need you just as much if you weren't nursing! But they are also adaptable and the firm foundation of love you have built by AP-ing will help both of you survive any hard times like this. I have found that children are remarkable forgiving little people. Again it is humbling.

Take the time to heal from your marriage before you move on with someone else. Make a list of all the qualities you would like in a new partner and then work on growing that way yourself. ~mandib50
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#3 of 3 Old 01-28-2003, 12:28 AM - Thread Starter
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Sorry it has taken me so long to get back to this thread. Good thoughts. Thanks, Momtwice. I do think the issue is much deeper, as I think about it a lot--the issue of how isolated the nuclear family is. Also, I think it is the lot of most middle class families in our culture here in the US, and maybe other countries as well. We make enough $$ for me to stay at home, but not enough to afford paid help. My extended family lives all around me, but alas, they are all working too. Gone are the days of our predecessors when the women shared all the work of home and family. I like the progress we have made in women's rights because I like the freedom to go out and work as I want to, but I also wish there were more of a balance in the day to day. Perhaps it is a good motivation to make some changes. I wonder what kind of society our granddaughters will have in this respect.....
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