“So you’re still breastfeeding him?”
“And he’s nearly four?”
“And did I hear you say he sleeps in your bed too?”
“You might have done.”
“Oh my. You know, you have to let him go at some point. It’s just not healthy to keep him smothered like that. It’s not good for him! And I dread to imagine the state of your marriage!”
Did the above conversation feel familiar to you? Perhaps you’ve heard the same worries from a multitude of people over and over again?
They are concerned. They worry you are creating a narcissistic psychopath who is going to end up on the news all because he breastfed and co-slept until he was five. I get it, I really do. This fear is pushed on us from every which way. Independence is championed and our children will never gain that independence if we don’t push them towards it, right?
Well, no actually, this fear based belief is utterly wrong.
The epidemic of mothers suffering from insufficient milk is strangely one which is concentrated only in the Western world among comparatively well nourished women with access to good quality foods and supplements.
Why then is it such a frequently reported reason for women to stop breastfeeding?
There has been plenty of research which has shown that even when a mothers diet is hugely lacking in nutritional foods, even during periods of famine, mothers are still typically able to make and produce all the milk their baby needs. It appears then, that the issue with insufficient milk which troubles Western women so, is about more than their bodies failing to do their job, as so many believe and blame themselves for.
Instead it is a problem with our culture, the way we treat birth and the way we perceive breastfeeding should look.
There are many things in this life I trust my child will learn on his own through exploration and other discovery. However, for other things I take on the role of a guide. One such skill is the ability to be still in our ever rushing world. The gift of being able to stop, breathe and take in what is happening in the present moment.
Children are already little gurus when it comes to living in the moment, so really it is a simple task for me to undertake. All I have to do is nurture what is already there and prevent it from becoming lost, as tends to happen as children grow up.
And the best way for me to do this is by teaching him the art of meditation. I must admit, this is something I am still learning myself, but I am finding that in practising together we are becoming more centred and in tune with one another.
Last weekend I was walking through town when I saw a man sitting in the doorway of a shop, covered in dirt and wearing a massive coat, despite the beautiful sunny day. As I always do, I gravitated towards him to read the cardboard sign placed on the pavement in front of him. It read, “Homeless, please spare some change.”
I had been debating whether or not to go for lunch at a cafe with my son, something we rarely do, but without a second thought I emptied out the contents of my purse into my hand and approached the man to hand him the money. He smiled, said “God bless you,” and we went on our way.
When it comes to having a new baby, you can guarantee that people are going to want to come and meet your little son or daughter the moment they are born. This can be a blessing or it can be hugely stressful, so in this article I’m going to share my best tips on how to deal with post baby visitors.
Boundaries - Some mothers crave the busyness and love visitors, some are exhausted and just want to snuggle. Listen to your instincts and be strong in telling people when it’s time to go (or not to come at all). It is OK to have a babymoon and refuse visitors for a week or two if that is what you would prefer.