Okay, I never thought I would say this, because I love breastfeeding, I truly do, but ... Joe is driving me nuts lately!
First of all, he's 21 months, and throws a tantrum approximately every 45 seconds. So if he wants to nurse, and I need to (1) use the bathroom; (2) make myself some tea; (3) do anything else, and I tell him, "wait just a minute," he HITS me, hard. I put him down and say "NO! Don't hit me!" And then he throws himself on the ground, wails, and knocks his head against the hardwood floor for extra dramatic effect. This happens all the time, all.day.long. Gah! I alternate between trying to reason with him, ignore him, comfort him, etc., but nothing really works besides walking away and letting him cool off.
Second, I can't NIP anymore. I'm okay with nursing at other people's houses, but it's getting weirder to do it in restaurants, etc. Joe is enormous, and it's getting embarrassing. Not so much the toddler nursing, but his terrible NIP manners. He's speech delayed and pretty much nonverbal. So he lets me know he wants to nurse by shoving his hands down my shirt and squawking. I have tried to establish better nursing manners, but then he takes me by surprise in public, where I feel uncomfortable verbally reprimanding him in a way that will draw attention to the fact that my toddler is FEELING ME UP, and again, gah! I feel like I'm setting a bad example to other nursing moms at this point - I am not a good advertisement for nursing a toddler, because it's an obvious struggle. I don't know, I'm just over it! I'm all about the gentle discipline, but I find disciplining my baby in public to be impossible due to my desire to keep him quiet, etc. (I should probably get over that, but who wants to be saying "No, we don't grab mama's boobs!" in the middle of a restaurant?)
(I think, because Joe is so nonverbal, that explaining to him that we don't nurse in public might not work as well as it would for another more verbal toddler. But also, because he's not verbal, maybe I haven't tried enough. He understands a lot more than he says.)
Third issue, Joe just wants to camp out and nurse on my lap forever and ever!! He's shy, so it's his first reaction to an overwhelming social situation, see issues with NIP, above. And if I try to say no, he throws a major tantrum, see first problem, above. He's as clingy or more clingy than ever. I'm starting to feel very impatient about it, and I don't want to feel blech about nursing, I love nursing!
Finally, my cycles started back up at about 16 months, and since then, I have been struggling with some really negative feelings around nursing during PMS. My nipples get sore, I get ornery, he's clinging and hitting and tantruming, and I feel like, OMG, I need to wean this kid YESTERDAY.
BUT, I love nursing Joe when I first get home from work. I love nursing him before bed. I even love nursing him at night. It's the daytime nursathons and the NIP that is driving me nuts.
Talk to me about setting limits, ladies. I have truly loved nursing my baby boy for almost two years. But things are changing, and this new dynamic (where he demands and I feel put upon) is not working for me. I am hoping to get nursing back to a thing that I cherish and enjoy 80% of the time (all the time is unrealistic, I get that). My baby is a serious boob-a-holic and I love that connection we have, and I don't want to deny him something he loves and gives him comfort, but also, I'm not a doormat.