There is much discussion about the difficulties of breastfeeding; latches, cracks, weight gain, food allergies, oversupply, under-supply... I often get compliments on how great it is that I've lasted a full six months. I received similar praise when Little Smith was a baby, but those same well meaning mom's were less impressed when I continued to nurse him past the one year mark. The most common perception was that it must be exhausting, and so much work to be saddled with this obligation.
There are obviously many options for nourishing a healthy baby, circumstances all vary and I have complete respect for every family to make their own choices. What seems to be unknown to those who skipped or struggled with nursing though, is that breastfeeding isn't always tough, in fact it can be a gift to the lazy. Sure the bonding and connection is a plus, but the truth is that part of the draw is that it's just so flipping easy.
Whenever I get a pat on the back for my 'sacrifice', I want to reply that I'm honestly not deserving... I have just been lucky that nursing has gone so smoothly (more so this time around) and I'm also very fortunate to be able to spend my days with my baby and feed her on demand without much pumping (the pump is my personal torture device). I never have to think about buying or packing formula, cleaning bottles or pumps, how much was consumed or even when. If she looks hungry, I feed her. It's fast, always available, and I can be on the go with my baby in a front carrier and no one is even the wiser. It couldn't be easier, and it feels like the last aspect of my parenting that deserves any particular applause.
So when our baby girl passed her six month mark, it wasn't just those tugs at my heart that she's growing so quickly causing me to sigh about introducing some solid foods... but also the end of the most insanely convenient diet a busy mama could dream up.
Alas there comes a time when, into every baby's mouth, a little food must fall. On the plus side, watching this girl coat herself in mashed sweet potato, cheered on by her big bother, just might be the cutest thing ever...
It's tough to complain about a mess when it looks this good. Congratulations little girl, you were hesitant at first, but I think you are going to be a natural. You wear it well.
*And here was Little Smith's first meal; same chair, same menu. He was almost a month younger though. Now that was a kid that loved his food, not so much as a wince from him!