Because I love my FIL dearly, I did not have the same "grrrrr" reaction when he asked me, "When are you going to wean her?" He was speaking of my nine month old baby girl, of course. His question took me by surprise because we were not on the subject of breastfeeding. We were talking about how Lily and her dad might develop a closer relationship. I suppose I can see how the question might relate. Breastfeeding does have the reputation of creating an intense bond between mother and child. I would add that everyday caregiving activities such as bathing, changing diapers, rocking to sleep, playing, cuddling, talking, reading, spending time, etc also create an intense bond between caregiver and child. Breastfeeding is the only activity that strictly falls to the mother-the father can do anything else involved in keeping the baby happy, healthy and safe.
My husband is at a disadvantage in that he spends 40+ hours a week less alone time with our daughter than I do. Because babies are most comfortable with those with which they are most familiar, it is only natural that babies who spend most of their time with their mothers would feel most comfortable with their mothers. Is breastfeeding really to blame for the fact that our baby seems to be more comfortable with me? Or is it the fact that she spends most of her time with me? If I were to quit breastfeeding today, would she suddenly feel more comfortable with her dad? My guess would be no.
After my husband came home to join the conversation, he asked his dad if he and his brother were "like that" when they were babies. My FIL responded by saying that many times, after he got home from work, he would pick one of them up. They would proceed to scream in his face, and he would put them down and walk away. "It didn't bother me," he said. "Well, it bothers me," came the reply.
My husband is a sweet, darling man and loves his little girl dearly. It does bother him that their relationship is not how he hoped it would be. However, it sounds pretty typical. I am just thankful that he does not blame breastfeeding-at least not out loud. All I can say is it will improve with time.