Have you noticed all of the great debates that surround parenting? Motherhood in particular. For some reason dads don’t seem to get sucked in to the debating and the guilt quite as easily as us moms.
It starts before babies are even born. Which birthing method are you choosing (as if there is always a choice), where are you birthing and then, how are you going to feed your babies???
I found this article about breastfeeding vs bottle feeding very interesting. They shared stories from real women on both sides of “the debate” as well as expert medical opinions.
The main thing that bothers me about these huge mommy wars and debates is… most of them don’t matter all that much.
Yes, there are benefits to breastfeeding. Lots of them! But there are some awesome benefits to formula feeding as well. (This coming from a mom who breastfed one kid for 12 months and the other for 9). I’m no stranger to breastfeeding. I hated it. But I did it and don’t regret it all. It was the right choice for our family (until it wasn’t), but I don’t believe it’s right for every family.
The thing is, I think we can be a bit quick to jump on the “this is the only way to parent” bandwagon.
There are a lot of incredible ways to be a mom.
And truthfully, there are many ways to be a bad mom as well.
We need to stop calling “bad” that which is merely “different”.
I can’t tell you how badly I cringe when some one screams “abuse” over something that is merely a parenting style they disagree with. Abuse is a very serious, and very real thing. Sadly, it is not called out as such nearly enough because we are too busy defending or attacking those little things that don’t really matter as much. Saying things are “borderline child abuse” either as a joke, or to try to show how strongly you feel on the topic.
I hate seeing good moms flamed online for lovingly putting her child to bed differently than another mother.
While kids are beaten bloody every day, as the adults and people around them see the signs but are too shy to speak up, ask hard questions or make phone calls.
There are some things that should never be spoken of as abuse–
Like the way a mom chooses to feed her baby (within the parameters of formula vs. breastmilk, obviously).
Formula is really awesome.
So is breastfeeding.
I’ve done both and both had their precious times and their annoyances. BOTH helped my children to grow strong and healthy. In fact, when my breastmilk wasn’t enough, formula stepped up and helped my daughter in a way that I (and my milk) could not.
The important thing here, is that a baby is being fed with love.
If you see some one feeding their newborn water instead of formula or breastmilk, PLEASE speak up and say something. Maybe buy her some formula! But otherwise, just stop her, smile and tell her she’s doing a great job.
Babies are no joke. Feeding some one 12+ times a day is rough, no matter how you choose to do it.
You are doing great. She’s doing great. I’m doing great. Why? Because we love our kids, and are making hard decisions to help them grow.
As mommies, let’s start fighting FOR each other, not with each other. Fighting against the discouragement that would eat us away. Fighting against whatever tells us we’re failing, when really we just had a hard day, and yes, fighting against real child abuse that is happening all around us. These are the mommy wars that matter.
Enough with the other debates, yeah? We have more important things to do! Love each other and love our kids!
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.
Kirsten Oliphant says
Agreed!! I know when people can’t breastfeed, it really sucks to have people judge you. When I got pregnant with my fourth, my milk dried up and despite all the people telling me to drink this or eat that to help, I stopped nursing my 8 month old and we switched to formula. AND SHE TURNED OUT OKAY. I was still shocked by the amount of pressure I had from people to keep pushing through (and to even nurse two at a time maybe) rather than just to deal with the struggle of being pregnant while also having a kid under the age of one—and two others! It gave me a taste of what people who use formula feel from the pro-breastfeeding camp. Let’s all chill.