Just read an article Here about how few babies are exclusively breastfed for a significant amount of time. It makes me sad for all those babies and mommas that don't get to enjoy extended bf'ing time. I know some women try bf'ing and find it doesn't go smoothly, some have to go back to work and don't feel they can pump while there, some find formula fits into their current lifestyle better than whipping the girls out, and some just don't want to. It's still a shame. I wouldn't trade the 16 months of nursing with either of my daughters for anything. Not more free time, not more sleep, not more claim on my own body. Nothing. It's the best way to feel bonded to your child, I think. Those moments of peace and relative quiet help you lose focus on the frustration that comes with parenthood and find forgiveness for your own shortcomings as you realize you can provide not only nutrition but a sense of security and love.
Of course, like any parent can tell you, those moments of peace and reflection can get lost mighty fast. The crying and whining now filling my ears has completely derailed me. It's hard to write about how much you love your children when they're pouting because you won't turn on the tv or let them sit on their sister.