Dear Mouthy Housewives,
My sister-in-law nursed most of her kids until they were almost 4 years old. She had to wean her youngest child due to cancer since the treatment wouldn’t allow it. She recently had a miscarriage, which caused her milk to come in and she is now nursing the previously weaned child who is almost four. She claims it is helping with some ongoing health issues the child has had for the last year (thanks to not immunizing). I am totally weirded out by this. I don’t feel comfortable around it.
I know that breastfeeding is natural and what not, but I really don’t think this situation is! No one else but me and my husband seem to have a problem with this. We are expecting twins next month and are getting lectures from her on how it’s wrong that we aren’t planning to breastfeed the whole time. I want to tell her if she’s trying to convince me, that is DEFINITELY not the way to do it. I have tried to keep my mouth shut about what she’s doing, but the more she criticizes my decision, the more I want to tell her that what she’s doing is sick and wrong!! I mean really, who just starts nursing a 4-year-old child! If she really wants the benefits, couldn’t she at least pump and put it in a glass or something???
Am I wrong to be so grossed out by this? Is there anything I can say to her to get her to respect my decision and to nicely tell her that I don’t feel comfortable with what she’s doing?
Dear Grossed Out,
I must first advise everyone to don police riot armor and prepare for bottle feeders to chuck baby bottles at the lactivists, who are retaliating by squirting breast milk into the eyes. These things can turn ugly if you aren’t very careful.
In the spirit of full disclosure, I must say that I am a former breastfeeder, so I tend to side with other breastfeeding women. On the other hand, I was exclusively bottle-fed as a child and turned out to be highly intelligent, not to mention a first-class beauty, so I don’t think bottle-feeding is wrong either.
I’m not going to tell you if you are right or wrong to feel grossed out by your sister-in-law’s extended breastfeeding. What I will tell you is that it’s a waste of your time to keep feeling so, obviously your sister-in-law will continue on as she sees fit. Stop ruminating on it or your babies could be born with forked tails.
I think both you and your sister-in-law need to realize you haven’t lived each other’s lives. She’s been through cancer, had to wean her child in order to help SAVE HER LIFE, lost another child to miscarriage and because of it, suddenly had a second chance to nurse the child she was forced to wean. Can we really say what we would do in that situation? No, not if we’re truly honest with ourselves. I mean, if I had to face my own mortality, I would probably try to breastfeed baby Jesus.
You’re having twins and I don’t know what it’s like to try to exclusively breastfeed two babies. Who am I to judge what you should or shouldn’t do? But my sister-wife Kelcey does know. She began supplementing with formula and her twins are still absolutely gorgeous, happy, and I hear they are already solving polynomial equations.
If you can, find a way to talk with your sister-in-law about respecting each other’s choices, even if you don’t agree with them. If you want her to stop harping on your feeding choices, then you really should stop harping on hers. If this isn’t possible, then grin and bear it when she nurses, or just throw a blanket over your head so you can’t see it. When she tries to lecture you, say something dismissive, such as “Oh, who knows how long we’ll breastfeed, it’s hard to know ahead of time” (this is completely true) or “You can trust us to make the best decision for our twins” and hopefully she’ll take the hint.