Well … I’m doing it… I’m putting this article out there … something I’m more passionate about now than ever … STOP mom shaming! Being a parent truly is a hard job .. harder than I EVER imagined! It’s not all sunshine and rainbows, drinking wine in the afternoons or having picnics in the park all day/everyday.
Parenting is about raising YOUR child(ren) and at the end of the day, you are hoping that your are raising them “right” and they are going to be kind and loving human beings… I think we can all handle that .. RIGHT?
So what’s the deal? WHY should it matter how we parent? WHY should it matter what we feed our children? WHY should it matter what they wear? WHY should it matter what school they go to? WHY should any of this matter? CAUSE … somewhere along the line women/men/parents/ friends feel the need that we need to compare one another; we need to give our opinions; we need to make others feel guilty for doing things the “wrong” way or not their way;we feel the need to put so much pressure on ourselves to be superhuman and can’t make any mistakes …. AND TO THIS I SAY SCREW IT!
As a mom of 3 beautiful girls and have gone through two pregnancies (some of you are trying to do the math, I have 1 singleton and twins to = 3 kids), I feel that I have experienced alot of mom shaming and to be honest, I also have judged other moms for the way they are with their kids. I am trying really hard to just concentrate on my own kids and family and focus on what matters to US.
My oldest daughter, who is 5, was mainly breastfed. It was so hard. Especially trying to breastfeed her in the hospital when she was jaundice. Just the stress of it all … her being in the hospital with a 3 day old and not at home; my milk taking it’s time to come in; and having a nurse who smoked trying to teach me to breastfeed ….. I truly didn’t like any of this! I didn’t like feeling like a milking cow, I didn’t like how I questioned if she was receiving enough milk and the stress that put on me. I went to 2 different lactation consultants. They made me feel even worse about myself that I was even thinking about supplementing and told me everything was going to be fine and I was just hormonal. NOTHING LIKE TELLING A NEW MOM SHE IS HORMONAL and it’s all going to be fine!!
I felt I needed to be superwoman. I felt that I needed to love this experience and bond with my baby and be like all the other breastfeeding moms out there that just LOVED it. I stopped those crazy thoughts in their track. I wasn’t enjoying breastfeeding, I wasn’t enjoying feeling like I was stuck inside and not being able to go out for more than a couple hours. I tried pumping … it didn’t work for me, and I wasn’t going to waste my time pumping 1 once in 1 hour. SOOOO … I supplemented with formula. I had to try a couple different brands cause my daughter had a hard time adjusting … just we found one that worked for us! I breastfed and supplemented with formula for 7 months, than one day miss A decided no more boob for her, and she was done with me. I didn’t even get engorged, my boobs didn’t even hurt and just like that breastfeeding was done, and she continued on her way with formula until we made the switch to milk. I felt relieved when I was done breastfeeding. I felt like a weight was lifted off my shoulders. I felt like I didn’t have to prove myself to anyone anymore. I felt like I could start enjoying motherhood even more so. I’m not saying that I hated breastfeeding each and every time I fed her. I just didn’t LOVE it. I did it cause it was convenient. I did it cause of the benefits of breastfeeding. But I honestly breastfed cause of the guilt I felt from society if I didn’t breastfeed along side with formula feeding.
NOW … with my twins. The thought of tandem breastfeeding scared me, especially with a 2 year old running around at the same time. But I got the double breastfeeding pillow before they were born and said, here we go again … I am going to try this! They came out looking a little jaundice, and right than in the hospital I said to the nurse, “give me some formula, cause I don’t want my girls ending up in the hospital like their sister under a heat lamp for 3 days.” So from the start, I formula fed and breastfed. I had a system that I thought was working until one of the nurses said to me, that I really should tandem breastfeed cause that is the best choice for my babies to survive and grow strong. SO .. I tried tandem breastfeeding. AGAIN … I cared what others thought about how I was parenting and I felt the need to be supermom again. I HATED IT! SO I STOPPED IT! I’ll never forget the moment that I completely stopped breastfeeding with them … I was 3 months post … and I was feeding 1 on my boob, the other is feeding with formula and my daughter is crying cause she couldn’t wipe her bum after she went to the bathroom …. well FRICK … the baby on the boob is now crying cause she’s starving, which started her twin sister to cry, I have a crying 2 year old… and GUESS WHAT … I started to cry … I was showing sign of PPD, and it scared me … so that day I stopped this supermom mentality I had going on and did what was best for ME … for ME …. for ME!!!
So the twins continued on their way being formula fed, thriving, happy, and content girls. I was able to spend more time with my 2 year old and I was a happy mom, wife and friend.
SOOOOO … why such a long story …. DO WHAT’S BEST FOR YOUR FAMILY AND SITUATION. Don’t mom shame anyone for the decisions they make. You don’t know what’s going on in their life. Some of us don’t have a village to help raise our kids. You don’t need to add to the stress of choosing between breast of formula. WHAT YOU CAN DO, is say GREAT JOB! GREAT JOB on feeding your child. GREAT JOB on raising your child. GREAT JOB for getting out of the house and getting groceries today with your kids. Cause those little comments do matter to us moms!
This article I posted is about mom shaming and the debate of breastfeeding vs formula feeding. I love the campaign starting in the states saying “fed is best.” I am not doubting or underestimating the benefits of breast milk or the thoughts that some have over the “fillers” in formula milk. I am just saying that whatever way YOU CHOOSE to feed your baby is YOUR BUSINESS and you should feel confident in saying that to someone!
STAY STRONG MAMAS! YOU ARE DOING A GREAT JOB!