“Wow! She’s still giving her daughter a dummy – isn’t she old enough to go without one now?”
And I’ve actually had people say to me, “It’s time you started taking those dummies away from her.”
It doesn’t help that the packaging of your favourite brand of dummies states: ‘For ages up to 18 months’. You are 20 months.
"I don’t care if a baby ‘should’ be weaned off the dummy by 18 months." Marina and her daughter. Image source: Supplied.
But you know what I decided soon after you were born? I don’t care what people think. Sure, sometimes I idly wonder (I’m a thinker, I can’t help it), but deep down I don’t care.
I don’t care if a baby ‘should’ be weaned off the dummy by 18 months. I don’t care if it’s another ‘habit’ I’ll have to ‘break’ or that I’m creating ‘more work’ for myself in the ‘long run’.
I don’t care what assumptions people make about your mood. I don’t care that there are kids out there who never used a dummy to begin with, or that there are 5-year-olds still being pacified by plastic.
You are not ‘a’ baby; you are MY baby. And no one is going to tell me when you’re ready to be weaned off the dummy. Actually, there is one person who will tell me when it’s time. You. You may or may not get to an age where you can speak it, but I will know.
I’ll know by the confidence you display in social situations and at bedtime. I will know by the way you tolerate and communicate pain. I will figure these things out, and act on them, because I am your mother – and that is my job.
"No one is going to tell me when you’re ready to be weaned off the dummy." Image source: supplied.
You know what else is part of my job description? Working towards making you feel happy, comfortable, supported, and soothed. This is hard. Being a mother is hard. It’s constant, CONSTANT work. Emotional work. Physical work. Mental work. Soul-destroying, poop-cleanup-and-immediate-bath-time-work.
I totally understand (and subscribe to) the mentality behind sausage rolls for lunch when cooking is just way too hard. But depriving you of something that brings you calm when you are feeling anxious/scared/pain, just to make my job ‘easier in the long run’ is not something I’m interested in.
I made the decision to bring you into this world. I have accepted that being a mother is difficult. No matter how hard this job is, it’s up to me to provide you with everything you need to feel loved and accommodated in every way.