If you’ve been online, you’ve undoubtedly seen the TIME’s breastfeeding cover. It is a controversial one and it has ALL of the opinions of the Internet coming out – for better and for worse.
The cover, to me, was simply shot for ultimate shock value and to sell magazines (why else would this boy be standing on a chair to nurse?) but I take zero issue with the extended breastfeeding happening on the magazine cover.
I am still nursing my nearly eighteen month old daughter Willow. It is a relationship that I cherish and could not picture my days without this being a part of it. She loves it too. She will walk over to me and sign/say “more” and when I ask, “More what Willow?” she looks at me and says, “More momma.” At night, she will walk over to the rocking chair in her room, pat the seat and say, “On. Momma, on” and she knows that I will sit down, scoop her up and nurse her to sleep for the thousandth time.
When she falls or gets a little bump, I nurse her to calm her down. When we were in the children’s hospital and she was in tachycardia (her heart rate was 225bpm), I told the hospital staff to let me nurse her and it brought her heart rate down to normal and potentially saved her from a scary situation. In short, it’s a situation that I am incredibly happy to be in and to be honest, I can not even imagine navigating parenthood without breastfeeding.
A cover like this one brings out some very interesting opinions. Opinions that make me really sad. It makes me sad because I like to think that our society is evolving, is open and is accepting. However, not all people are. In the issue of extended breastfeeding, it seems that a lot of people are extremely opinionated and the majority of those opinions are coming from people who have never breastfed, who have never done extended breastfeeding and who simply sit back and apply a label. Apply an opinion. Apply a judgement.
I could go on and on in anger about people’s opinions but it won’t change anything. I simply ask that if you are one of those people who think breastfeeding past the age of one is “gross” or “incestual” or “wrong” and if you believe in silly sayings like, “When your baby gets teeth, wean them off the boob” or “If they can ask for it, it’s no longer acceptable”, take stop for a moment, ask yourself why and reconsider. Consider alternate viewpoints and think about you and your children (or your family if you do not have children). Think about all of the things you do in your day, decisions you make for the well-being of your child and ask yourself, “How would I feel if I were scrutinized?”
Wake up tomorrow with the notion that you will be a more loving, accepting and open-minded individual and see what happens. It may very well surprise you.