I know that I need to write Benjamin’s one year letter, and Henry’s five year letter, but I just can’t bring myself to do it at the moment. There are too many other conflicting emotions swirling in my head for me to bring the concentration and sincerity to those letters.
Over Memorial Day weekend, we went to my in-laws for dinner and to hang out with family. Our original plan was to hang out there during the day and then for the boys to spend the night there, and for J and I to have some nice adult time together that evening.
In all of our haste to get out the door on time, we forgot to pack the cooler of breast milk for Benjamin. So, J ended up driving 45 minutes home to pack it up, and then driving 45 minutes back to his parent’s house. When we realized we forgot it, several people tried to tell us that Benjamin didn’t need it, and we shouldn’t worry about. J and I ignored those comments, and J headed home to get the milk.
During the time that he was gone I was asked by 5 different people (mother-in-law, father-in-law, paternal grandfather and grandmother in-law, maternal grandmother-in-law) how long I was going to breastfeed Benjamin. Each time, I gave the same answer: “well, I nursed Henry until he was two, so I think I’ll try to do the same thing for Ben.” Each time I’d get a “harrumph” in response.
A little while later, while J was still gone, I overheard my FIL, and GFIL talking about how it’s wrong of me to continue to breastfeed my son this long. That it’s gross, that I should get over myself and just stop. That I’m doing it more for me than for my son. They even went so far to say that I was having a “junior moment,” whatever that means. Best I can tell, I think they meant that my arrogance and shortsightedness are getting in the way of me seeing what the “right” choice is. They were talking about me and my choices across the table from me, and never once thought to include me in the discussion. I knew that if I piped in, that it would only end up in an argument. But as I sat there, feeling ostracized and judged, I seriously thought about packing both my boys up and leaving. If J and the car had been there, I might have.
I comprehend that they don’t understand my choice, but they damn well should respect it, and me. I don’t understand why they can’t see how well Henry is doing, and how healthy and strong he is. I’m not saying it’s all from breastfeeding, but I think it played a part. Why can’t they see how well Benjamin is doing, and factor the same things in? Why can’t they do a modicum of research to see that breastfeeding can make a difference in Crohn’s Disease, which runs rampant on that side of my family. Why do they continue to judge me and find my decisions lacking?