This is Exley. He is 20 months old. He breastfeeds a lot. Like 7,582 times during the day and 10,498 times during the night. We share a bed so he wakes up, latches on and goes back to sleep. He nurses to sleep, to wake up, for comfort, before he eats, after he eats, when he’s resting and all other times too. He is loud. His voice booms in your chest and pierces your ears. He likes to follow his big brother around. Exley thinks he can do everything his big brother can do and falling on his head never holds him back. People often wonder if I get criticized for breastfeeding both Exley and his big brother, Jack (4.5 years old). I do online, but not in my real life. I wouldn’t keep critics in my life anyway. My close friends and family support my decision. Extended family and acquaintances seem to keep comments to themselves if they have any. I plan to breastfeed both of them as long as they want. It’s not always fun, but it works for us. It’s far more than food; it’s comfort, security, attachment, bonding and nurturance. I believe that allowing them to wean in their own time will lead to independence, high self-esteem, health and a sense of connection to their family and the world. I don’t think nursing Jack takes anything away from Exley. I think Exley gains a unique relationship with his brother along with all the other “perks” of breastfeeding.
This is Jack. He’s 4.5 years old. He nurses to sleep and for comfort, a couple times a day, but if it were up to him it would be 75 times a day! He likes to be worn in a toddler carrier if we are in a new or loud place. He likes trucks, Rescue Bots and telling stories. He has ideas for books and plays. He loves to run. He’s sensitive, talkative and funny. Breastfeeding has given him nothing but milk, love, nurturance, security, comfort, safety and attachment which will lead to independence, courage, health, self esteem and emotional security.
By Abby Theuring, MSW
***TRIGGER WARNING*** This post discusses all forms of violence against women. Proceed with caution.
The longer I work at breastfeeding advocacy and activism the harder it becomes to separate issues surrounding breastfeeding and breastfeeding in public from larger feminist issues. Intrigued by the connection I started reading feminist essays and picked up Rebecca Solnit’s book Men Explain Things to Me. I worked up an appetite to [Read more…]
Jack (4.5 years) and I started a game where we fell into the foam pit backwards. Exley (18 months) started to join in. One of the times Exley came over and flopped onto my chest. He pulled at my shirt, Jack saw this and yelled, “boobie time!” They both latched on for about a minute and then I said, “ok, that’s good!” And then we started to play again. [Read more…]
After a recent hot shower I was overcome with a familiar feeling that could only mean one thing, it was December in Chicago. I had a tight, dry and itchy feeling to my skin that totally erased any comfort I had gained from a few minutes to myself in a steamy shower. I associate this feeling with the disappearance of any moisture in the air, shoveling the car out, chapped lips, gobs of lotion, static cling and getting shocked when touching my kids. The heat (and air conditioning for that matter) coming on exacerbates all of these things. It’s right at this time that I take out our Crane humidifier and ask it nicely to please work overtime for the next 6 months.
The Double Standard Bar, Part 1: My Body Is Not a Crime
I stand here on a beach in Chicago with my shirt off. I am breaking the law. Chicago has a ban on the exposure of female nipples. My male counterparts can expose their nipples at will.
You don’t want to walk to around topless, you say? I don’t either.
THAT IS NOT THE POINT. [Read more…]
By Abby Theuring, MSW
The “mommy wars” are imaginary. They do not exist.
People judge. It’s normal and it’s natural. It’s not a human flaw. It’s not that people haven’t heard the whole story. It’s just what happens with humans. We judge each other. We are social creatures and this is in our nature. We do not have to stop. We do not have a major character flaw. [Read more…]