When my daughter was first born, I struggled for weeks to get her to latch on so I could breastfeed her. I screamed, I cried, I threw my fists up in the air, pleading for mercy; but she would only latch on to one breast. Worried that I would look like a lop-sided, sleepless booby monster, the both of us persisted until she finally GOT. IT.
Two-and-a-half years later, I was back at square one again with the birth of my son. Luckily, he latched on like a pro, but it was my now 2-year-old toddler who was making things difficult for us. The moment I sat down to breastfeed my newborn son, that’s when my daughter decided she wanted to go potty, play a game of hide-and-go seek, or pull our dog by the tail to help mommy “mop the floor.”
Suffice it to say, she wanted my attention the most when I had my hands tied behind my back. Call it a case of attention-seeking jealousy if you will, but what she did worked — I was left frazzled trying to take care of her while doing my best to meet my baby’s needs when he was hungry.
And if there’s one person who completely understands the above scenario, I’m guessing it would be Kim Kardashian: The celebrity mom recently revealed that her 2-year-old daughter North West tried to make her stop breastfeeding her 5-month-old son Saint, simply because she was getting jealous. And apparently, it worked — but with consequences for her little brother, no less.
In the latest episode of Kocktails With Khloe, Kim explained:
“North West stopped that for me. You’ll die when I tell you what she did. First of all she’d cry so much and try to pull him off me. I was feeding him on [one] side and she was so jealous that she took her little milk box and put it in my bra with the straw sticking out and she wanted to drink while he was drinking.”
Kim added, “She said to me this weekend: ‘Mummy, I’m not mad anymore. You can feed baby brother and I won’t cry.’ And I was like: ‘Honey, the milk’s all dried up.'”
The reality television star actually admitted months ago on her blog that North was taking drastic measures to get her mama’s attention.
“For some reason, North hates when I feed the baby, and she lays on my lap so Saint can’t be right in front of me to eat, LOL!” she wrote. But she did have one solve: “I’ve started to include her: Sometimes I will pump and have her feed him the bottle. That totally worked! She loved helping me, as opposed to my attention being off of her, and now she is my little helper.”
I’m guessing those tactics must have worn off eventually, though, considering Kim’s latest admission to sister Khloe. But really, out of all the reasons to stop breastfeeding your baby, should your older child’s jealousy take precedence? In my opinion, no.
Of course, there’s no way to eradicate sibling rivalry and jealousy with one easy step, but I would tell any mom in Kim’s shoes this: Talk to your older child about just how much care and attention babies need — just like they once did. Talk, talk, and talk some more. And then set aside some special Mommy and me time, in which they can still feel that Mommy is there for them, too.
Still, I feel for Kim. I’ve been working this parenting gig for almost nine years now and I still can’t figure out how to split my time equally with my two kids. But what I do know is this: Sometimes, you just have to be the parent and not give in — even if your kids aren’t happy about it.
And when it comes to your breastfeeding plan, well, that should be your decision and yours alone. Not one that’s totally derailed due to a toddler meltdown.More On