My ds defined our breastfeeding relationship, not me. I never expected to nurse this long, but now that I'm here, I'm glad.
I've also learned that the World Health Organization (WHO) code recommends at least two years of breastfeeding and then as long after that as mutually desired.
There have been times when I was just fed up with nursing and wanted to curtail my ds' habit, but when, for example, I "tried" to nightwean, it was just too traumatic for both of us and I gave up. I felt it was more important for me to recognize my son's needs and take care of them.
Now I feel he is at an age when I can try to decipher the difference between his "needs" and his "wants" with regards to nursing. I think this started well after he turned two. Well, at least after 18 months, but I think it was after two. Anyway, now I will encourage ds to wait when I have to shower or pee or eat or whenever it is inconvenient, unless
it is evident that he really needs it.
Nowadays he can go 8 hours without nursing if we are out-and-about, but if we are home and being comfy/lazy he might nurse a lot more. But on active days he may only nurse on waking, going down for a nap, waking from a nap, and going to bed, and then maybe a couple times at night. Much different from the habits of a 20 month old, who might nurse just like an infant.
I like that I have the option of nursing - it makes mothering much easier for me. I can use it to get a nap going quickly, to temper a tantrum, to heal a boo boo, to ward off illness.... the list goes on. I think I'd be lost without it even now!!!