Mayim Bialik, actor, author and attachment-parenting advocate announced that her four-year-old son Fred has stopped nursing according to Mayim’s blog on the Jewish parenting website Kveller. As a mom who breastfed all of her kids, I really don’t see what the big deal is. I agreed with so many aspects of attachment parenting but the main reason I breastfed, well, other than the fact I felt it was best for my babies’ health, was because I was damn lazy. I wasn’t about to wake up at two a.m. and prepare a bottle and stumble around my kitchen in the middle of the night and I always thought formula smelled bad. Like, really bad. To this day if I am around a formula-fed baby I always try to hand them off when it comes time to change their diapers. But I don’t care how any mom feeds her baby, as long as she feeds her baby. Nursing was just what was right for me and my children. From Mayim’s post:
Well, nay-sayers, prepare to be proven wrong. All of you snarky mamas who glared at me nursing my 3 1/2-year-old on the NYC subway, prepare to be amazed. And to all of my family and friends who wanted to chastise me about nursing a walking, talking, thinking, laughing little man named Fred, thanks for holding your tongues.
Because we did it. Fred isn’t going to nurse on his way down the wedding aisle or at his high school graduation. I didn’t need to break him of a “habit” and teach him “who’s in charge.” I didn’t need to set boundaries you thought I should have set when I didn’t want to set them.
Because we did it: Fred weaned.
I love this so hard. Good for her for waiting until her son was ready and not caving to all of the mom-judgers out there who felt they knew better than she did. I really believe the only people who can determine when it’s time to stop nursing are a mom and her child, because one of them is done with nursing. Not friends, not family, not even the child’s pediatrician, unless, of course, the doctor says the child is “failing to thrive” and is alarmingly underweight. I never even give stuff like this a second thought. It’s not my business, and as long as a mom is not abusing her child than why do we feel like it’s okay to judge her on how she is feeding her child? It’s not. We shouldn’t care.
I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss being able to latch him on and make it all better. We have other ways to soothe Fred now. When he’s very very upset or very very hurt, we lay on the couch where he nursed countless mornings, afternoons, and evenings, and we rock and I sing to him his favorite lullabies. And he holds me tight, and I hold him tight, and I know that there was never ever ever anything wrong with nursing Fred. Even when he was in 4T jeans. With a mouth full of teeth. Even when people laughed and sneered and accused me of horrible things no mother should ever be accused of when tending to the normal and beautiful needs of her mammal child. It was never wrong and it was always right.
Go out into the scary wonderful crazy broken world, sweet tender Fred. Take your fear and conquer it, and come back to me when it’s too much for you. I may not have milk to give you, but I have a heart forever etched with your name, your face, your eyes, your impossibly stunning tapered lashes that hold the tears only you can cry.
Thank you, Fred, for being my nursling.
That is amazingly beautiful. Congratulations Mayim and Fred, and thank you for making me all teary-eyed at such a lovely statement about your nursing experience. And to all you judgey moms out there, don’t you think you can find something else to snark about? As long as all of the kids are loved and healthy and happy, it really shouldn’t matter how we choose to feed them.