June 23, 2010 at 6:42 am 9 comments

I’ve been struggling with nursing lately, mostly with the frequency. So I decided to look into it a little further with Echo in a non-judgemental, non-nursing moment.

I sure love her.

I don’t know if I’m going to make any changes but I do know that after this conversation I no longer feel mad about “still” nursing, or nursing “so much”. I can see her side of things and my heart swells with unnameable emotions.

Entry filed under: Nursing. Tags: , .

little bit of heaven banjo on his knee

9 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Noel  |  June 23, 2010 at 7:36 am

    Hi Natalie,
    Thank you for sharing this moment.
    After reading and viewing I’ve a few thoughts/observations.

    I appreciate your candid and heart-filled effort to address this subject and imagine that many parents could relate and benefit from being able to interact so clearly and cleanly.

    I heard three obvious issues: a) taste, b) closeness and individualized attention, and c) love and the showing of it by Echo to you.

    I also heard unstated subtexts. I can imagine that Echo may be (at some level) continuing because she receives your love in that specific way and so she is, in some way doing something for you, that shows her love for you. That you are now recognizing that a change is forthcoming, she may be confused as to how she is to shift, so that she still has a way to please you in a special way.
    I also imagine that there is some separation going on for you as she grows beyond the nursing era. I feel those same emotions as my son looks both with trepidation and longing toward the horizon and his future beyond the relative safety of his home here with me.

    I imagine that a shift to hugging and quiet moments with Echo will eventually replace nursing. My son is 24 and on Father’s Day we stood quietly hugging, simply and completely holding one another for a full minute. I am blessed for it and my heart must remain open to his leaving as well.

    (Under the heading of “I know this is totally unimportant and …”) I don’t know the camera set up you typically use and can only suggest that if the camera were set on a tripod to the side, neither of you would be distracted by its presence, and viewers would see the whole interaction; also without it being aimed at (in this case) Echo directly.

    Thank you again for sharing your lives.

  • 2. romy  |  June 23, 2010 at 10:08 am

    oh sweet sweet echo. She tugs at my heart.

  • 3. Jennifer  |  June 23, 2010 at 10:08 am

    i don’t know what to say, except thank you for sharing this with us. what a beautiful, articulate being you have to spend your days with. sigh. i started crying because her words are so achingly true. thank you for modeling what a conversation about continuing nursing could look like with an older child.
    i am going through the first stages of “what does our very real, very frequent nursing relationship mean” with my 23 month old, while trying to get pregnant again. i’m reading “adventures in tandem nursing” and “mothering your nursing toddler” to get some support. so few people in my circles are dealing with what it means to nurse a toddler, so posts like this are really helpful in getting both the mama’s and the child’s perspective.
    love to you as you move into the next phase of the relationship.

    • 4. nataliechristensen  |  June 23, 2010 at 10:12 am

      jennifer, thanks to you for sharing as well. boy, this journey is a heart-thudding one isn’t it? love to you as well.

  • 5. jessie stevens hess  |  June 23, 2010 at 4:41 pm


    Your daughter Echo reminds me of my Olive at that same age; hair
    mussed, sweet smile, naked, thoughtful words…. Olive nursed until almost three years old and I have some thoughts regarding your present parenting puzzle. Olive is wildly insightful and tuned into my
    mood, feelings and state of mind whether I am verbalizing them or not.She has this amazing Mama radar. I think many children do, particularly ones who are being reared in a home which emphasize empathy based communications.

    Because oif this I have found that when she will be going through a change ( end of nursing, potty training, new school… ) that I have to take the emotional lead, showing her everything is going to be just fine. If she senses my anxieties or indecision then she
    will dig deep and stay put. Much of this I model rather than dialog
    about with her…. she can process and talk all day long but
    sometimes it is the subtle doings in the day that bring us gracefully
    to change. In that way I take the pressure off her and take the lead.For my bright babe, that is the most empathetic parenting move I can make.

    Good luck! I miss nursing still but all things pass and open new doors!


    • 6. nataliechristensen  |  June 23, 2010 at 8:52 pm

      Hi Jessie,
      I think you’re right. I think I can lead Echo through this time period, lovingly, reassuringly. I have been wishy/washy myself and that doesn’t help matters. Thanks for the input. xo

  • 7. kimberley  |  June 23, 2010 at 6:52 pm

    one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen.

    thank you

    I am laying here nursing my 9 month old captivated by the wonder of a day I might talk to my daughter about our nursing.



    • 8. nataliechristensen  |  June 23, 2010 at 8:51 pm

      Thanks Kimberley

  • 9. Janet McGahan  |  June 25, 2010 at 12:30 pm

    I have watched it 3 times and each time it is a gem.
    I don’t think I could wean that girl.
    You are some mama, Natalie.
    Echo has a magic, fiery (quality not evident on the video), sweet angel in her.


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