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Thread: husband getting iffy

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    Unhappy husband getting iffy

    from the start i have tried to educate my husband along with myself about the importance of breastfeeding.
    my plan has been to do it for as long as my son has the need or until age 4 or 5. which ever happens first.
    now my husband seems to want this to end sooner.
    things have been difficult lately. my son is cutting his last 4 molars and he requires an enormous amount of nursing. i get pretty moody about it sometimes and will ask my husband about every 3rd night to take him away.
    my husband (and i) are so used to him being made instantly happy from nursing that it's hard when i need a break, which i think i totally deserve!
    so last night he asks me if we should wean. WHAT!
    my son is 21 months old. he doesn't requiring nursing contstantly but when i do nurse in front of people i feel the heat.
    dirty loosk, asking me to leave or move to the bathroom, and even my mother telling me it's not appropirate.
    i NEED my husband on the same page as me supporting me.

    my husband was shocked by my emotional response to his suggestion and the whole conversation ended badly.
    i starting spouting all the reasons NOT to wean
    and he just said 'i know the good things about it tori, but is it really all worth it?"
    what!!!
    yes it is.
    giving up now when things are hard would not fall in line with how we've done things up to this point. otherwise i would have quit when the babe was 3 days old!
    thanks SO MUCH for listening to my concerns!
    any wise words or experiences would be appreciated!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: husband getting iffy

    I don't know the particulars to nursing toddlers, so please forgive my ignorance there. I intend on doing it and my husband is iffy, so this thread caught my eye.

    What comes to mind after reading is this thought: could you try talking with him when not in the middle of an already tense moment? When in the midst of crisis, logic can take a back seat and emotion can get the better of those involved. That way, things aren't already emotionally charged and you have his attention.

    I have a hubby who likes to try to take on everything all at once. I frequently and jokingly call him "Henny Penny" for his the-sky-is-falling mentality. He just wants it "all better".

    It sounds like there are at least topics for you two to discuss-his assisting you when requested and when to wean. Keep them separate.

    I know what you mean by the beginning difficulties: my dh wanted to jump to formula every other day. They mean well, they just want to "fix" the problem. They don't realize that doesn't fix it-quitting nursing when your son needs you. He apparently has something to say about it too. It sounds like you two are pretty good at listening to each other. You wouldn't have made it this far if you weren't.
    Last edited by mommamags; February 8th, 2008 at 11:03 PM.
    **Margaret**(the artist formerly known as mommamags) Mom to red- and curly-headed, blue-eyed, chunky-thighed Michael Thomas, 24 May 2007, 9 lb/22 in. As an infant, he was my little suckling pig. Now he's a total ham!!!

  3. #3
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    Jan 2007
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    Default Re: husband getting iffy

    I wish I could give you some magic argument that would turn your supposed support system around to your (correct) way of thinking. Unfortunately, my husband is not that onbaord with my still nursing our 22 month twins. At one point he called it pathologic that I intended to go beyond one year, so I definitely know where you're coming from on this.

    One thing that some other women suggested that struck a chord with me was to ask DH to identify reasons that it is best for your DS to STOP nursing. On his journey to prove you wrong for doing this he may become enlightened on why you are in fact in the right. I'd also suggest reading posts in the forum section on dealing with criticism. (BTW, the only thing my husband came back with was the possible increased need for orthodontia, and elsewhere in the literature, it actually says nursing may prevent need for orthodontia.)

  4. #4
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    Dec 2007
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    Default Re: husband getting iffy

    Ohhh mothers. I am so happy to have joined this conversation!!! My husband has been asking me to wean our 18 month old son for the past 6 months. Everytime our son Elijah cries, my husband thinks he wants to nurse---and he will come and bring me our son. Then the next 15 minutes, he's saying "you need to start weaning." For the most part I just say "okay, yeah your right." Then I just go about nursing our son whenever he feels like it. It's so funny to me as I am writing this, because everytime someone asks me one of those " your still nursing?" questions, I say with a big smile, "yes."
    In fact, I work in a high school and one of the teachers today said " he's walking and talking and asking for your ninnies---you need to stop!." Instead of being offended, I just keep smiling and say "yep."

    I plan to nurse until our son is two or whenever we ( Elijah & I) feel like it. Maybe I am just avoiding conflict, but I also tell my husband that cold turkey weaning is out of the question. I say " good weaning takes a good six to eight months." He thinks I am full of it, and maybe I am, but DH will not be able to interfere with the bond that I am developing with our son.

    So, I'll just keep smiling and say "yes" and "okay" to all the un-requested demands and suggestions.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: husband getting iffy

    good weaning takes a good six to eight months

    I would agree with this statement.
    You can allways just say I am trying.. if toddler is on solids this is true.
    IF your toddler is getting you up at night are you still taking a nap during the day? Hubby and I had an unspoken agreement that I would nurse but that he would not have to handle any of the night time parent duties.
    My Phillip weanded when I was pg with my Sarah
    And SArah weaned down to one feed to go to sleep when she was about 3.
    She nursed untill she was just over 4.. Slowly my milk sort of went away on its own almost like it had with phillip. One night she asked how do you get milk out of there anyways. And I said "WEll I don't know"
    and a few nights later she was done with out any tears or fuss.
    I quit telling people that she was nursing at about 2. most don't ask they assume that child is weaned. My mom knew and a few of my close LLL friends.
    Do you have a local leader? A local group?
    sometimes it realy helps to get around some like minded moms.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: husband getting iffy

    I agree that having the conversation when we are stretched thin emotionally is not good....but I disagree about the part where your DH has anything to say about it. The nursing relationship is a relationship between mother and child. You and your child alone decide how long the dance lasts.
    I think it would be better when talking to your DH that you focus on what you need from Him. Everything between now and the end IS weaning. But it is also "still nursing"....so any time it comes up you are well within bounds to say "We are working on it." And it's true. The molars are rough. My son is 25 months old and I am conscious of a desire on my part to nurse less. To be getting down to 3x a day...to distract and offer other things. My son is aware I am feeling this way. He is trying to be respectful and act like a big boy....but he is letting me know that emotionally it hard to be told NO over and over again without feeling rejected...it's a line we must walk. But me and my son walk it alone. My DH is clear that at this point his job is to support ME in however I am feeling. If I negotiate to nurse with my child nurse after dinner to get him to eat more, I will. But if he eats fine without being bribed, than I expect my DH to fully distract him until bedtime. I am at the point where I can't stand to nurse him a half an hour before we go down and then nurse for more than 20 minutes at bedtime....for the 1st time in my son's life he is being forced to fall asleep on his own somewhat...I am very thankful that he is finally at the point where I can reason with him. I can say "We did this side and this side. Outchy. Mama needs to sleep." And when he fusses I can say "One more but when I count to 10 we stop." He understands and he understands counting to 10. And he knows he has to roll over at that point. It's hard. I would prefer he was still able to fall asleep at the breast.....but I can't STAND more than 20 minutes at bedtime. It's a delicate balance. Meeting the emotional needs of our children at this point and our own....nursing him 1st thing in the morning is still my absolute favorite thing to do But being okay that everystep of weaning means a little less. And the answer to the questions is always always YES. It IS worth it. It HAS been worth it. Our kids and this bond is definitely worth it!! HTH!

    Way too lazy for formula

  7. #7
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    Default Re: husband getting iffy

    Quote Originally Posted by DJ's Mom View Post
    I agree that having the conversation when we are stretched thin emotionally is not good....but I disagree about the part where your DH has anything to say about it. The nursing relationship is a relationship between mother and child. You and your child alone decide how long the dance lasts.
    I meant that both hubby and wife want to be listened to, not that he gets automatically gets his way because he says something...just to clarify

    I wondered though, since I'm new to the area of bf beyond one year, how much say does the dad have. After all, it's his child too... I don't mean for this to be a

    **Margaret**(the artist formerly known as mommamags) Mom to red- and curly-headed, blue-eyed, chunky-thighed Michael Thomas, 24 May 2007, 9 lb/22 in. As an infant, he was my little suckling pig. Now he's a total ham!!!

  8. #8
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    Default Re: husband getting iffy

    I think that husbands have a definite right to express how they feel about weaning and other breastfeeding issues, but I think the final say-so comes down to the mother. After all it is her health that is at issue as well as the child. In the same way that I don't think a husband should force his wife to take birth control if I she doesn't want it or force her to get pregnant if she doesn't want to be, I don't think he should force her to wean. I do think he deserves to be heard, though, since I see parenting as a partnership.

    I recently had a conversation with my husband about this issue. I had picked up on some frustration from him concerning sleep problems and the fact that he feels a little left out sometimes. I interpreted some of his comments and frustration to mean that he wanted me to wean and I was mad at him. once we started talking about it, though, he assured me that he wants me to breastfeed as long as I want, and although he does get frustrated and left out sometimes it doesn't mean he's not supportive of what I'm doing. I can live with that.
    “We are not put on earth for ourselves, but are placed here for each other. If you are there always for others, then in time of need, someone will be there for you.”
    --Anonymous

  9. #9
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    Feb 2008
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    Default Re: husband getting iffy

    thank you so much for your replies.
    so true that we are weaning, ever since he has starting eating other things besides my milk we have been.
    that makes a lot of sense to me.

    i plan to talk with my husband about this when i'm not upset and when our son is sleeping, so we have no interruptions.

    i know that my husband will support me in this,
    i just need to make it clear to him that this is so important to me.

    to all you mamas that have iffy husbands,
    you hold your ground and keep educating them!

  10. #10
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    Default Re: husband getting iffy

    There was a study done by the World Health Organization, which is attached to the united nations, on the influences on mothers during breastfeeding. On a group of mother's in Pennsylvania the duration the mother nursed for was in part heavily influenced by the partner's response and support.

    Initially I was surprised that the pressure of a partner could cause early weaning, but I just needed to look at if from another angle. It depends on your individual relationship, if you are financially dependent, whether you have a traditional family household, or maybe just place your relationship with your partner as primary. All these things contribute to your breast feeding relationship.

    When I hear such "weaning" comments from my husband I usually try and read into it a little. Have I been ignoring him lately? Has our relationship been strained, is this really over his desire to have a mate and partner? Is he feeling left our by his inability to sooth and comfort the baby? Does it seem like the breastfeeding is interferring with his time with the child? These are all things I might go over.

    Some of my most effective fixes may make you laugh. More frequent "adult" time, more physical contact; back rub ect. Cook some favorite foods. Nurse on the bed with dh and baby, so baby can flirt with daddy with the eyes. When baby starts to cry when dh is holding him, I stress that he is teething and ask baby if he is ouchy. I try and explain indirectly some of the causes for mama-prefferance. I send them packing off to the park during the weekend during a no-tears time of day. All good for reinforcing the daddy connection, which is where I think much of the weaning pressure comes from.

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