I'll be honest. I kinda hate that question. Mostly because I get a number of responses when I tell them my goal.
"Good for you." (I like that one.)
"Oh wow, I don't know how you do it." (Not bad.)
"You're not going to go until she can talk are you?" (Define talk.)
"Once they can ask for it, that's just weird."
Let's talk about that last one for a minute. I hear that line a lot. And I have said that line a lot. Until last week. Someone said it to me and as I drove home that day I mulled it over in my head and came up with this.
Why is it so weird that a child would ask to breastfeed? We teach them time and time again to use their words, to ask for a sippy cup, to tell us if they want more food, to let us know if they want a snack and then we start giving them choices. Why then, if we teach them to ask for things is it so odd for them to ask for the one thing they've known since birth? Is it weird for them to ask for a glass of milk? a cup of juice? a bottle?
The only thing I could come up with is that it gets to a point where a mom could potentially feel embarrassed by a child who asks to nurse, which brings me to my next issue. Why is breastfeeding embarrassing!? Oh dear sweet Western society, what you have done to make breastfeeding so absolutely taboo? For some reason people tend to forget that before formula and bottles, those things were the only option we had. And honestly, I can't for the life of me figure out why a woman would be offended by a breastfeeding mother. It drives me nuts that society has turned breasts into insanely sexual objects.
Now, I am not a "let it all hang out" breastfeeder (unless I'm among friends and even then I try to be discreet). I know it makes people uncomfortable and I'm really not that excited about people staring as I feed my child. However, those people and I feel that way because of the way our culture has shaped breastfeeding.
Did you know that WHO (The World Health Organization) reports that the world average for breastfeeding is 4.2 years? 4.2 YEARS!?!? With that knowledge, I rest assured that it's not that "weird" to be breastfeeding past a year. Things are still going well for us and I see no reason why stopping to give her whole cow's milk would be more beneficial.
So for now, we'll keep on keepin' on and keep answering the question with "My goal is 2 years."