Beyond Normalising Breastfeeding: Normalising Childhood

Photography: Brandi Johnson

By Nina Palmo

Have you ever hesitated to travel by air with a baby? The idea of it strikes fear into the heart of many parents. “What if the baby cries?!” You’re stuck on an airplane with hundreds of other people. What will they think?

Have you ever hesitated to take a toddler to a restaurant? Making dinner every. single. night. is exhausting for families with young kids. But going out to eat can also be a scary proposition. Toddlers want to run and explore, not sit in a chair. And what if they make a mess?

Have you ever been afraid to take a preschooler shopping? What if your child wants to buy everything in sight? What if a huge meltdown ensues? What will the other shoppers think?

Have you ever felt uncomfortable breastfeeding your baby in public? What about your toddler? What about your preschool-aged child? After a while, won’t people think they’re a little too old? What if someone confronts you?

Thanks to many mums spearheading the effort to normalize breastfeeding, more and more of us are feeling comfortable nursing our babies when they need it. Some of us even feel comfortable nursing our toddlers and beyond when they ask. We feel empowered to do the basic task of feeding our babies while we go about our day, living our lives.

We should feel empowered to go about our daily lives without living in fear of our children being, well, children. We should feel empowered not only to feed our children, but to let them participate in the world.

What we need next is a movement to normalize childhood. Babies cry. Toddlers run around and get into everything. Preschoolers have epic meltdowns. Maybe not every day. But some days. We should feel empowered to go about our daily lives without living in fear of our children being, well, children. We should feel empowered not only to feed our children, but to let them participate in the world.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *