Last night I went to the house warming of one of my colleagues. It was the first time I had seen most of them since I had Samantha, and though it was nice to see them all, it has kind of filled me with dread about going back to work. As I'm still breastfeeding, and I drove to the party, I wasn't drinking. I was having a great time; I love watching people get drunker and drunker, watching them make fools of themselves, and knowing that they'll have a really bad hangover the next day. Makes me feel kind of smug, cos I'll wake up refreshed and able to enjoy my day!
Now, my colleagues are all (mostly) lovely, but when the alcohol is flowing, they tend to just say what they're thinking. So the topic turned to why, at 7 and half months, am I still breastfeeding.
"You need to get that we'an off the boob before you come back to work",
"You can't bring her to work with you"
"You're not able to enjoy yourself when you're still breastfeeding"
"Oh come on LA, 7 and half months is an awful long time"
And on and on it went... And I found I was having to defend myself.
I know I can't breastfeed her forever. I know that I will need to wean her off at some point. I know I can't bring her to work.
But it's MY choice.
This was from women. Nurses no less! Who you'd think would know better. But in saying that, it came from one woman who's two daughters both have young daughters (both bottle fed, and I know this cos my colleague seems to do most of the caring for them), and other colleagues who have no children. I guess I'm calling ignorance, because none of them have ever breastfed. And not to be sexist, but I'd kind of expect more it if it was coming from men.
I go back to work in eight weeks, and I will have to get Sam to take milk from the cup before then, but I want to continue breastfeeding. It will be a challenge because I work 12 hours shifts, but we will make it work for us. I just hate having people telling me I need to stop breastfeeding. I feel like shouting My Boobs My Business, BUTT OUT! But I'm far too polite, and made my excuses.
I really wish breastfeeding was the norm in this country. I'd love it if no one batted an eyelid when they saw a baby breastfeeding. And I really don't understand why everyone has an opinion on how I feed my baby. I would never turn round to a mother and say "are you still bottle feeding your baby?" Sigh.
At the end of the day, my baby is healthy, happy and really content. And I'll feed her my way, for however long I feel is necessary. So everyone else can just like it, or lump it.