I’m still breastfeeding my two year old, and even though I am very confident about my decision and know all of the many benefits of it, I am still a bit uneasy when he asks to nurse in public. So most of the time I ask him to wait until we get home, or in the get in the car, or somewhere less public.
I’m not sure why I’m self conscious of this though, because every time (and I mean every time) I nurse him in public someone comes up to me to tell me what a great thing I’m doing.
Last week on the airplane, even though my son had his own seat and no longer needs to nurse during take-off and landing for his little ears, he nursed about 3 times during a 1.5 hour flight. This was his 30th flight, and I’m sure it’s just his way of feeling comfortable on the plane. But each time he asked, I repositioned myself so no one else would see, and tried to muffle his voice when he asked for the “other one.”
There was a woman sitting across the aisle from us, and I was convinced she was thinking- “I can’t believe she’s nursing that walking, talking toddler!” In fact, since he’s completely potty-trained, we walked to the lavatories on the airplane 3 times during the flight because he was so enamored with the silver toilets and different sights and sounds. (“What’s that mommy, blue tinkle?”) So I was sure this women was thinking- wow, he’s even potty-trained, but still nursing!”
When our flight was over, the woman sitting across from us said, “I just want to say that I love to see a mom nursing her toddler. I nursed my daughter until she was 2 and a half, and she nursed my two grandbabies until they were 2. I think it’s so good for them- they are always so healthy! Congratulations! It’s very obvious you love your son.” Then, the woman sitting in front of her turned around and chimed in with similar sentiments. I thanked them for saying something, and confessed that I was self-conscious so I really appreciated their kind words.
I realized (again) in that moment how important it is to spend more time focusing on being the type of woman and mother I want to be, and less energy on what others may or may not be thinking.