About that Time Magazine Cover

I don’t subscribe to Time  so I have to qualify this by saying that no, I have not read the accompanying articles yet.

I’ve seen comments all over Facebook and the Ravelry forums I frequent and I’ve read a lot of really good points that people are making.   I don’t feel completely qualified to offer a full opinion on this since I haven’t read the articles, but here are a couple random thoughts I have.

Like my friend Meaghan, I have to agree that we really should be focusing on showing how normal it is for toddlers ages 1-2 to continue to nurse.  It is like once they hit one you are supposed to be done, yet given the opportunity to self-wean, most aren’t going to be done until 1 minimum and many will continue to nurse throughout 1 and even 2 years old.  Her point was also that all these different health organizations do recommend nursing to age 2, so why can’t we work on normalizing that?  Instead we show an older child and want everyone to flip out that they are still nursing.  Since I nursed longer than I initially intended (it was 26 months exactly for E) I won’t say anything negative about mothers who nurse older children.  Weaning when a child isn’t ready yet isn’t so easy.  I don’t think there is anything wrong with it, but I also don’t think very many people set out to nurse their baby until they are 4 or 5.

Which brings me to my other point.  Why are we showing older children nursing and making it sound like it is ALL the mother’s choice to be nursing this long.  Sure, nursing is a two-way street so if mom needs to be done with it she certainly has a say!  But it isn’t like moms are saying, “oh I want to be extreme, I’m going to nurse my child until he is 5 no matter what!”  As difficult as weaning a child who isn’t ready might be I don’t know how on earth you force a child to keep nursing when he or she is done.

 

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