nursing Echo

October 6, 2009 at 6:11 am 2 comments

echo on flower couch

Oh I look at her little face in this picture and I feel sad.

Today while cleaning the garage Echo asked if we could nurse. Echo is 28 months old and she nurses, sometimes a lot.

I said: “I don’t really want to right now.”

She said: “Why not?”

I said: “Because we just nursed a little while ago and I am enjoying doing what I’m doing and I don’t want to stop.”

And Nathan said: “Wow. We’ve really come a long way from ‘nurse on demand'”.

And I didn’t say anything. I wasn’t even bothered by the comment. It’s true we have come a long way, but I had a whole list of ready explanations:

  • She just nursed.
  • She doesn’t even drink that much when she does.
  • We can still be close to one another even if we don’t nurse (I was holding her at the time).

Which is ALL true and very reasonable. But it wasn’t until tonight that I thought; so what?

There I was, sitting down to write a post about empathy and feelings, when today I chose the less than empathic road with Echo. And it wasn’t just the moment in the garage, it’s often. I have been begrudging her interest in nursing frequently. She asks and I delay or grumble.

I’m not saying that a 2+ year old has the same nursing needs as an infant, or that I should be nursing on demand, no matter the circumstances. I am not bothered by my actual choices regarding nursing, I am bothered by how I treat her when she asks. I am noticing a little disregard, on my part, about her feelings. And I feel really sad about that.


Entry filed under: Nursing. Tags: , , , .

what color is… life learning empathy

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Ivy  |  October 6, 2009 at 7:36 am

    Since she clearly wants some alone time with you, is there another activity, a special time together you can try to implement instead.?

  • 2. Penny  |  October 8, 2009 at 5:15 pm

    Thanks for sharing, Natalie!

    It doesn’t actually sound like you were “grumbling” this time when you said “Because we just nursed a little while ago and I am enjoying doing what I’m doing and I don’t want to stop.”

    It sounds like you were just straight up and honest about how you were feeling.

    And I agree with Ivy… as long as you communicate to Echo that not nursing does not equate to not loving her as much then it seems like you are doing the right thing, I think.


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