Something people don’t tell you when you become a mother is that no matter what you do, someone is going to disagree with you.
When I was pregnant and debating breastfeeding, advocates told me there was nothing to debate. It’s the only way. Then when I successfully breastfeed two of my children, others accused me of being “braggy” about it. Sometimes it feels like you really can’t win.
I’ll never forget the anxiety I felt before having Lil’ J. I was so worried how breastfeeding would go. All I had known about it was from what I had read on blogs and talked about with friends on social media. I had no idea what I was doing.
My mom didn’t breastfeed–She tried, but was worried she’d smother me with her large breasts. So I was formula-fed. Since I was working full-time outside of the home and away from my baby more than 40 hours a week, I assumed I’d need formula at some point. I had no idea how I’d pump that much, and I reached out on social media for advice.
I was so surprised by the stark contrast between mothers who breastfed and mothers who didn’t. When I sent out a tweet explaining my thoughts on the matter, that I was formula fed, and I turned out ok, one response I got from a woman shocked me. “Well, you were one of the lucky ones,” she said.
Just before having my daughter I had received a free can of formula in the mail. I think it came because I signed up for an email list at Motherhood Maternity. I was glad to have one on hand just in case. Some moms said it’s a good idea to have on hand, just in case, and others told me the temptation of it being in my house would be too much, and cause me to fail at breastfeeding.
After my daughter was born, things seemed to get easier. My specific breastfeeding questions were answered by helpful mother’s who had been there. I was greeted with support all around, and days I felt like giving up, people helped me to hold on to hope.
Seventeen months later that can of formula was still unopened. I managed to exclusively breastfeed my daughter until she was old enough to also eat solids, then continued to nurse her until she was nearly one and a half. I vowed to show other moms and moms-to-be the same consideration I had, or wish I had when I was expecting, and not judge a mom for her choice to nurse, or not to nurse. To babywear, co-sleep, work, stay at home, or whatever other category we choose to divide ourselves by. When it comes down to it we all love our babies, we all want them to be happy and healthy, and we’re all trying our best. We’re all moms (and dads), and we’re all in this together.
A quick online search of “moms judge other moms” yields more than 136 million results, with topics ranging from working moms vs. stay at home moms, discipline, feeding and more.
Similac recently released a video that somehow wraps up everything I feel into a funny scene at a playground. “The Sisterhood of Motherhood is a mindset that we’re asking parents to adopt—to focus on supporting parents, not judging,” Similac stated.
Regardless of how you decide to feed your baby, I think we can agree we’re all trying to do the best we can.
What do you think? Can we all just get along?
*This post was written as a part of a the #SisterhoodUnited campaign by Similac. All opinions are my own.