'I want him weaned' - I need support - Mothering Forums
 
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#1 of 21 Old 04-08-2008, 03:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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H told me this last night very firmly. He said there's no way he's going to have another baby with me if I can't comprimise to accommodate his parenting wishes.

I bf ds1 until just after his 3rs birthday and had to stop cold turkey when I had to go into hospital for several days. When I got out H would not let me start nursing him again, so that was the end of that.

Ds2 is will be 3 in August and I've already night weaned him (although right now he's only partially night weaned as he's been sick) and put him in his own bed to appease H. He still wakes at night several times and I need to in a cuddle with him to get him back to sleep. I usually fall to sleep in his bed and stay there from 1 or 2am on. H thinks weaning will ensure that I stay in our bed all night. It didn't work with ds1, though.

There are days when ds will nurse early in the morning and then not again until bedtime. H can also put him to bed without me there without any problems. There are also days, however, like last week when he was sick when he really needs it and gets a lot of comfort from it.

H, of course, doesn't agree. He says ds is too old and he's too dependent on it. He says ds needs to build more independence.

What can I say to him?? I see no reason why it's a problem and feel strongly that he should be allowed to stop when he's ready.

Help! Should I comprimise this? Is this really somehting worth standing up for like I feel it is? Am I coddling ds too much? Does he need more independence? Are my beliefs and feelings about the needs of my child really false and actually a power trip like H says it is? I'm feeling very upset and confused right now. From the day my kids turned one, he has always asked me when I'm going to wean them and that he thinks they should be weaned, but last night was firm.

ugh.

Thanks in advance, even just for listening.
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#2 of 21 Old 04-08-2008, 04:15 PM
 
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I am so sorry you are going through this mama. Nobody can answer these questions for you. I can say though, that I don't like it that your husband seems to be saying what you can and can't do, ie: wouldn't let you start nursing him again. Have you shown him any literature on CLW? Does he know why you feel this is important?

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#3 of 21 Old 04-08-2008, 04:18 PM
 
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I'm sorry you're going through this and that you don't have the support you need from your husband.
I do not think weaning (especially sudden weaning) will give your LO anymore independence.
Maybe you could write your husband a letter/email explaining how heartbreaking it would be to have to wean suddenly. Perhaps it could start a real discussion about what he really has against your breastfeeding relationship with you son. I would not wean because DH demanded it.
Good luck. Maybe if he hung out with some other "breastfeeding fathers" he would feel less weird about things. I hope things work out.
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#4 of 21 Old 04-09-2008, 04:32 AM
 
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Story about DH's dad.

My (now late) FIL was born in the Depression, a very old-school man. My MIL was born in Korea, and was very traditional, except that she married a caucasian American. When her first was born he was still in the Navy and she was still in Korea, with her mom. She worked out of absolute necessity, and her mother watched her son (she was pg when she met my FIL, he wasn't attached to the baby at all except that he loved baby's mother). I don't know anything about if she nursed (or if her mom nursed!).

But when they moved to the states and had the baby that is now my husband, she was going to be traditional about it (Korean traditional) and have a family bed. FIL was disgusted. Not in HIS bed! He left before 2 weeks was up (he was supposed to be home for months), took the next Merchant Marine ship out, saying that when he got back, he expected the baby to be out of their bed.

Fast forward 30+ years, and FIL was looking at our home with near longing in his eyes. Seeing how rested we were, seeing how we didn't spent 100s of dollars on a crib like his daughter had (or rather, HE bought a crib for her girls, and then she sold the cribs he bought them). Seeing how happy our son was, and how happy my husband was.

He told us he wished he had done things differently.


I wonder, if "H" were to look 30 years down the road, could he see himself watching his children's spouses nursing THEIR children, his grandchildren, and could he possibly see himself being sad he was so dictatorial with you about all of this?


I myself was nursed until I was 4, and while I loved my mother madly, I wasn't overly dependent on her. My brother self-weaned at two (which caused me to be forcibly weaned) and loved her dearly as well, but has had a very independent, fulfilling, happy life so far! My half-sibs from my dad, the boys went until 2 each, and their girl went beyond 4 (lucky girl!) and apart from the fact that they are totally dysfunctional just b/c that's who they are, they are also very close BUT also independent!


Nursing doesn't make a child too dependent. Nursing gives them what they need for as long as they need it, so they dont' have to seek out other ways to fulfill those needs.

I, personally, would leave my husband if he said something like that to me and meant it. For my hubby to put his emotional needs over my child's physical, emotional, and any other need you can think of needs would be beyond unacceptable. He and I discussed all of this on our 1st and 2nd dates (they were very long dates sitting at coffee shops talking about everything), and while some things haven't worked out the way I thought they would, nothing like that has ever been said, and if something bad happened, there have been multiple apologies. DS's needs, that we can't even come close to explaining or quantifying, we simply believe that he has needs for milk, has always come before our too-thought-out adult wants.


I am very sorry you are dealing with this, and beyond my own personal views of what I would do, obviously we can't really help you. I know that my MIL did get her baby out of bed, and her daughter was never in their bed. Their daughter has all sorts of issues, some of which are "daddy issues" to the extreme, but I don't know if that's b/c she was always in a crib and got no nursing time like the boys did, but it's the truth, she's got problems. My hubby has some issues too, mainly father abandonment stuff, but that mainly comes from his dad only being there 3 months on, 3 months off, etc, all of FIL's life (he died one year after he truly and fully retired from shipping life), not necessarily the anti-baby attitude his father had towards him (it didn't help that FIL wasn't supposed to be able to father kids at all, since he didn't seem to see all the old Navy videos about nasty diseases and he had many of them, ew, so to have one and then a second kid was a HUGE surprise for him).

When MIL found out that we were having a family bed, it took quite a bit of talking, and having to use the phrase "we know this is how it is done in your country, and we wanted to honor that" until she could get out of the mindset her husband set onto her. So if you do decide to go along with H rather than your child, try to not set your heart so that you yourself might have issues with any future grandchildren who nurse until they go away to college (ha ha ha).


I wish your husband could meet my husband. My guy would work hard on getting your guy to see the absolute beauty in letting a child nurse until THEY are done with it.

Good luck and best wishes to you.
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#5 of 21 Old 04-09-2008, 01:35 PM
 
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I mean this gently- but why do you want to have more children with someone who bullies you in this way?

good luck.

-Angela
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#6 of 21 Old 04-09-2008, 02:12 PM
 
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First off a big to you.
I am so sorry your husband is being this way. I cant imagine my husband doing that. I would have a very serious conversation with you husband. If my husband ever talked to me that way, I would have set him straight and if he decided to order me around I would be gone. Parenting is a joined effort, and if he has concerns over extended nursing I would get material to show that extended nursing is wonderful. But, to me it sounds like he is not going to hear you out. So, I would figure out what you think you may need to do.. if your husband is being a bully over this, how is the rest of your relationship?
Your sons well being has to come first in a situation like this. I would do what you think is best for your son and tell your husband thats what you are doing, NO DISCUSSION.
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#7 of 21 Old 04-09-2008, 02:12 PM
 
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sorry. double post.
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#8 of 21 Old 04-09-2008, 02:24 PM
 
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I really really hope I can express myself nicely.
I would never never tolerate my DP not "letting" me do something that I wanted to do. Oh no, that would go over like a lead balloon.

Honestly, it doesn't matter if its a power trip (though I sincerely doubt it is. It's more likely to be because, uh, breastmilk is for kids. And you child likes it. And it makes life easier for you, and...etc etc). It's not something that HE has any right to MAKE you do or not do. At all.

Dp wanted me to wean ds after he was 2.5. I told him I didn't want to, and that the only way I was weaning was if dp dealt with *all* the unhappiness that it caused ds (that actually would have been ok with me, because dp would have done everything in his power to keep ds happy, and nursing all the time was stressing me out). He declined.
He wants ds to move to his own room too. I made basically the same deal- he can go to his own room, and dp will deal with ALL nightwaking. I'm the one who does it now, so I'm the one who chooses where ds is. Yeah, ds is still in our room.
I do have to add, that dp cares a lot about ds's opinions and feelings, and if we had decided to wean or stop cosleeping, and it was really hard on ds, dp would go back to the way things were.

Point being, IMO one should only compromise when they see that their dp has a valid point. Don't wean because he's making you. Gah. Even writing that makes me feel icky inside.

I don't nurse my 3.5yo to sleep anymore (we nurse once a day, in the morning). If he wakes up at night, he sometimes wants me to move to his bed (right beside ours) to cuddle with him. So obviously, stopping nursing wasn't a magic cure to ds needing comfort at night.
I'm quite sure that even if your ds doesn't need to nurse at night, he's going to need some sort of comforting from you.

Ftr, I want to say that I would totally support you weaning if it were something that YOU wanted to do. This has nothing to do with weaning, imo. It has everything to do with you being ordered to do something by your dp. Not ok.

Becky, partner to Teague, SAHM to Keagan (7yo), Jonah (2yo)
 

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#9 of 21 Old 04-09-2008, 04:07 PM
 
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Originally Posted by alegna View Post


I mean this gently- but why do you want to have more children with someone who bullies you in this way?

good luck.

-Angela
I actually agree with this. Your husband should learn to be supportive of your decisions. There is a reason that you're the mommy and he's not. He's uncomfortable with it but if your child hasn't weaned himself and you don't want to wean him then I think you should stand up for yourself. Be strong mama, you can do it!

Ph.D. Mama to Anaiah born 10/06/07 and Mathias born 11/14/09 and Wife to my cocoa puff DH.
My Cup Runs Over Daily!

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#10 of 21 Old 04-09-2008, 05:11 PM
 
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Originally Posted by alegna View Post


I mean this gently- but why do you want to have more children with someone who bullies you in this way?

good luck.

-Angela
I agree, too... for me, at least, it seems CLW isn't something to barter for; no one has the right to bully you and your child on this issue.
I don't know what I would do in your situation. I was very clear to Dh from the day i found out I was pregnant that i was bfing. When he "wanted" me to wean her at a year (it only lasted until the teeth broke through, thankfully), I told him sorry, not his breasts, not his immune system, not up for discussion. I am going to do what is best for my child, that is my job. Once again, I am so glad he quickly came around and has been my biggest supporter throughout.
lilgreen, I am so so sorry you aren't being respected.

---feeling like an emu on acid---
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#11 of 21 Old 04-09-2008, 05:17 PM
 
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I'm so sorry you have such a horribly non supportive husband who thinks it is okay to control his wife. I wish you the best you sound like a wonderful mom who wants to meet her children's needs.
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#12 of 21 Old 04-09-2008, 05:36 PM
 
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What are his reasons for wanting your son weaned? Coming into this situation from the outside, that is the first question that came to my mind. You've given reasons, but it seems like there is more there that he isn't actually saying. Could you sit down with him and make a list of the pros and cons of weaning, and then compare your lists and talk about whether the pros are realistic? It sounds like your husband wants things changed, but will weaning change that? Or is it just a symptom of other issues or problems your husband sees, and nursing is the easy target?

Whether or not you want to compromise--and it's not really a compromise if only one side gives a little, although he probably think he's given enough in "letting" you go for this long--and whether that is worth it to you sounds a lot more like a complex issue of the interpersonal relationship between you and your husband than a breastfeeding issue. Nursing is a relationship between you and your child, weaning is a process, not something about which you can make parenting proclamations. If you can have a calm discussion about it and you explain the nature of the relationship and why you feel the need that you and your son should be the ones to make the ultimate decision about weaning, can your husband live with that? And if not, why not?

I think you have a lot of disagreement about parenting decisions to look forward to--not you specifically, really I mean most of us do even if we think we are in agreement before we get married. It sounds like you have some fundamental differences in your viewpoints. Your husband making the judgment that you are on a power trip and misinterpreting your child's needs sound very much like something he himself is guilty of doing. Why does he feel that your child's desire to nurse is wrong and not a true need? Is extended breastfeeding and child respectful weaning something he is willing to learn more about? Or is it that he feels the need to assert himself on this topic for other reasons?

I realize my entire post is just questions, but I'd be asking myself and my husband these things. I can respect that my husband might have strong views in complete opposition to mine to the point of not wanting to have children with me because I don't agree with him, but the feeling would be mutual. I, personally, couldn't live with my husband trying to make decisions about my nursing relationship with my child. I know some women could, and might feel like he has an equal say, but I don't think anyone has a say in what goes on with my body. But even in that situation where you decided to wean your child to assuage your husband's negative feelings about extended nursing, your husband has to understand the possible negative outcomes, and his role in helping comfort and deal with your child's grief about nursing ending.
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#13 of 21 Old 04-09-2008, 07:39 PM
 
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Originally Posted by lilgreen View Post
H, of course, doesn't agree. He says ds is too old and he's too dependent on it. He says ds needs to build more independence.

What can I say to him?? I see no reason why it's a problem and feel strongly that he should be allowed to stop when he's ready.
"DH, if you don't want our son to nurse, then you don't have to nurse him."

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Originally Posted by lilgreen View Post
Are my beliefs and feelings about the needs of my child really false and actually a power trip like H says it is?
Ummm......no. Your dh thinking that he can just unilateraly decide what you do with you breasts, however, does seem like a bit of a power trip.
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#14 of 21 Old 04-09-2008, 08:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh, ladies! Thank you so much! This was just the support I needed. Lots of questions to help me/us clarify the issue and lots of assurance that it's ok to stand firm. Yes, he's a bully. You might have noticed that I refer to him as H, not dh. Your responses have made it clear to me that this is not about clw, but something much more troubling in our relationship. sigh. yet another reason to keep on nursing, I suspect ds will be needing more emotional comfort as h and I work through things.

Thank you so much for taking the time to help me.
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#15 of 21 Old 04-09-2008, 08:57 PM
 
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Sorry you are going through this. My suggestion would be to try to connect with your dh and find out why he wants you to wean. Maybe he is feeling in need of more attention? Maybe he is worried about your son's development? I'd go on the assumption that it is coming from a place of caring and really listen to what his concerns are. Gosh, I remember before I had dd1 and I thought NO WAY would I nurse after 1.5 years (she's 4 and nursing still). It sounds like you guys need to connect and communicate over this. Have you both considered marriage counseling?

I'm not trying to belittle the issue...I know how big a deal nursing is. Just suggesting that you try to approach it positively if possible and try to connect with your dh. I know some would suggest divorce for this sort of thing but I'd say that divorce would likely make these sorts of issues even more difficult to deal with.

Best of luck with this!
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#16 of 21 Old 04-09-2008, 09:29 PM
 
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the rule in our house goes: my boobs, my choice.

DH didn't make me start nursing (he supported and encouraged me because i had made it clear i wanted to nurse), and he won't make me stop either.

the breastfeeding relationship is between a mother and her child(ren).

dissertating wife of Boo, mama of one "mookie" lovin' 2 year old girl! intactlact:: CTA until 7/10 FF 1501dc
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#17 of 21 Old 04-09-2008, 10:16 PM
 
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I did notice the lack of a d before the h...

Take care.

Wishing you strength and peace as you work through this...

-Angela
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#18 of 21 Old 04-09-2008, 11:14 PM
 
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Originally Posted by lilgreen View Post
Oh, ladies! Thank you so much! This was just the support I needed. Lots of questions to help me/us clarify the issue and lots of assurance that it's ok to stand firm. Yes, he's a bully. You might have noticed that I refer to him as H, not dh. Your responses have made it clear to me that this is not about clw, but something much more troubling in our relationship. sigh. yet another reason to keep on nursing, I suspect ds will be needing more emotional comfort as h and I work through things.

Thank you so much for taking the time to help me.
Good for you for deciding to stand firm.
I sense more is going on then just this situation.
I hope your husband can come to his senses and treat you the way you should be, with respect and love.
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#19 of 21 Old 04-10-2008, 04:59 PM
 
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These situations can be so trying. But we are here to support your right to breastfeed your child for as long as you both need to.
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#20 of 21 Old 04-13-2008, 10:18 PM
 
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I'm glad you decided to keep on nursing your DS in spite of the control your H is trying to place on you.

Ruth, single mommy to 3 quasi-adults
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#21 of 21 Old 04-13-2008, 10:59 PM
 
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the only power trip is what your H is on. There's absolutely NO way I would compromise when the issue is entirely with the H not the DS.

It is absolutely WORTH standing up for. What gives him the right to control you and your child's nursing relationship?
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