Motherhood is a blessing that all women cherish to the core. It is an experience that brings you closer to the nature around us, that throws bountiful of its produce to nourish the humans, and also one’s own maternal nature, that is so full of care – always providing for one’s child. And such feeling of dedication and care shown by a mother is so precious that it doesn’t fail to capture the eyes and the minds of their little ones, who may even begin to emulate their mommy dear.
This piece is about one such little girl, Quinny, who just like her mother Kayley, wanted to ‘feed’ her newly born little sister Reese. Not everything was normal after Reese was born. The little baby faced some breathing issues for which the parents made quite a few emergency trips to the hospital. Quinny too, started to observe how her mother would take care of her little sister who was having a rough time.
She saw Kayley holding little Reese ever so delicately, changing her clothes, doing her nappy changes and the most intriguing of all, nursing her. All the changes that were taking place around Quinny made her curious and now that she was the big sister, her inclination to participate in the process was very organic. And the fact that she didn’t feel jealous about all the attention being shifted to little Reese was equally commendable.
But what caught Kayley’s attention was Quinny’s insistence to nurse her little sister. She had seen her mum doing that and now she wanted to do the same. It was very amusing yet such a sweet gesture when Quinny demanded her mother to help remove her t-shirt so that she could give some milk to her little baby sister. When Kayley posted the video on her Instagram account, she got lots of likes and positive comments. People poured in their own experiences where they mentioned how their own toddlers did the same. It was an affirmation that little girls do contain a streak of maternal instinct that only gets stronger as they see their mother donning the ‘mommy’ hat all over again for their younger siblings.
There was a similar post where a mum shared her daughter’s photo nursing her doll on a shopping trolley. However, it is really a matter of curiosity if maternal instincts are guided by social conventions and gender roles because there are some mothers who shared that even their sons did the same. And that garnered a lot of those cute ‘Awww’ moments on the internet.
However, the people, including some parents, who are against breastfeeding in public, did cause a stir with their opinion against such photos being posted on public domains. The link to the Facebook post above discusses how we need to sensitize people that breastfeeding is normal and shouldn’t be a matter of hiding and shame. There are news articles that highlight the crudeness and aggression of such trolls that spread hate and negativity towards an innocent gesture by a small child that only mimics the natural course of life that she sees around her.
There is nothing wrong if a small child ‘acts’ like her mommy. If bathing, changing or eating is normal and doable things in public, why not breastfeeding? Why are some people labeling it a taboo? These are some questions that the society needs to answer. As far as Quinny is concerned, she is a doting elder sister who has only love and concern for her little sister, and it is a matter of pride for Kayley, and we should just rest it at that.
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