The Natural Parent magazine’s Facebook page recently shared an article that discusses the censorship of a breastfeeding photo. The photo shows Ana Alvarez-Errecalde breastfeeding her preschool-aged son, dressed as Spiderman, for the front cover of Hip Mama. What followed was a discussion about the appropriate age for a child to stop breastfeeding. Several of those who commented said something along the lines of “If a child is breastfeeding past the age of [insert age here, mostly 2], it’s more about the mum than the kid.”
This actually made me laugh, because that’s what it looks like to those of us who breastfeed toddlers when we see babies weaned before a year.
Which got me thinking…
It seems that when we want to really prove our point, when we want to really make ourselves seem like better mothers than those we’re talking about, the most effective argument is to imply that their decision is selfish. I guess our inner bully comes out when defending the decisions we’ve made for our child – if the person who has made the opposite decision is selfish, then by default, I am not selfish, have the moral high ground and have made the right decision.
Oops. Am I really that insecure?
Mums typically aren’t selfish. Selfishness is usually smacked out of you when you have an entirely helpless human being relying on you for survival. Woman who breastfeed their preschoolers do so because that’s the right decision for their family. Woman who stop breastfeeding their babies do so because that’s the right decision for their family. It doesn’t have to work for other families, it only has to work for theirs. I can’t think of any mum who has made a decision about breastfeeding while thinking more about herself than her child.