Most things are hard in life, none harder then deciding how you want to raise your children. And with that decision, you then have to stand behind your beliefs, ideals, opinions and defend yourself. It’s not easy, especially if your ideas aren’t popular in the parenting world.
The rift I’m finding between myself and most moms, is not only depressing, but anger-inducing. It makes feel like holing myself up in my house and never trusting anyone. Yep. Just like Fox Moulder.
Lets say I meet a mom at the park and she finds out I’m still nursing my toddler. Instead of what I want to see, a smile or maybe even an encouraging word, I get a face full of shock and sometimes… disgust. This also happens when I talk about breastfeeding online. I end up “offending” someone. Or “pushing” my beliefs down their throats. All because I merely mentioned instead of switching formulas, have they considered donated breastmilk? Are you offended by this statement?
I made the choice to do what many MANY healthcare professionals, scientists, nutritionists, midwives etc. recommend as THE BEST THING you could do for your child. Breastfeeding for at least 6 months. Now the WHO and American Academy of Pediatrics says for more then a year is EVEN BETTER. Am I getting support for making such a choice for my child? Nope. I’m getting drama. I’m getting accused of being “preachy”. I was even told recently to “stop talking about it” by several family members when I brought the subject up. I then felt uncomfortable nursing my baby around these people. Is that right?
I wonder if it works the same way for moms who bottle feed? Can they break those bottles out any time and not be bothered? I’ve never heard anyone say “oh you should be nursing that child!”, have you? You’d never be approached in a Paul Frank retail store to “put away the bottle, it’s disturbing the customers”, would you?
So on my parenting journey, breastfeeding has been hard, to say the least. I am constantly defending my rights and WILL let people know how I feel. Things need to change. Breastfeeding needs to become normalized.
Next let’s talk about attachment parenting. Ever hear someone GASP over finding out that you put your baby in a crib alone in another room? No? Well, tell them the baby sleeps with you and watch the shock and awe. Oh and then tell them you pick up and hold your baby, you don’t let them cry themselves to sleep and you wear them around the house in a sling. It’s pretty mind blowing the response you get. I was exhausted and needed more sleep. Simple solution? Curl up with that snuggly sweet baby and sleep in. I’ve noticed my baby would sleep LONGER being next to me.
I also know deep down the bond I’ve developed from wearing my baby close. It is something I will never loose. I’ll always have that beautiful connection. I also freed myself financially. I don’t need to buy a swing or bouncy seat, I can be just the right kind of interaction my baby needs, just by wearing her. It’s a powerful thing. This is why my choice to babywear is simple.
Cloth diapering. I’m a bit torn as to why I cloth diaper but I suppose it’s for
somewhat selfish reasons. They are pretty darned cute. And really cost effective. I mostly do it for that reason.
So mamas, how do you feel about the choices you’ve made? Tell me.