I read an interesting blog post recently. I'm currently following one mother's journey in LA with 4 kids (the last two being one-year old twins). She's a beautiful, and hilariously candid, writer, and I learn a lot from her.
Anyway, she wrote a post recently about her insecurities of publically feeding her babies with formula. I admit, as a nursing mom, I think about my own insecurities (breastfeeding in public or even just around friends, pumping at work, etc) and don't often consider what formula-feeding moms go through. Namely, she talked a lot about the social stigmas revolving around formula. It's so true that we're bombarded with the idea that 'breast is best,' practically deeming non-nursing moms as failures. It's so tragic to think that formula moms could potentially feel that they're not doing the absolute best thing for their children. When, really, we should NEVER judge another because we never know their reasoning. This particular blogger has had two breast-reduction surgeries which resulted in her inability to nurse. So, she chose to correct a 'problem' with her anatomy that was causing backaches, insecurity, and wardrobe challenges...and in the end was dealth with a nursing impossibility. Tried as she might, it just wasn't going to happen for her, yet she couldn't help but feel mom guilt. She writes about hiding in the shadows while mixing bottles in public, so as not to be judged by others. Her post really opened my eyes to the insanely vast amount of differences each mom & baby has. As a new mom myself, I VALUE my fellow moms. I learn everything through them. I find comfort in them. Shame on me for ever judging another. Our stories are all so different. Ultimately, as long as we're trying our best, what more can we do? We follow our hearts, we trust our instincts, we raise our children to be individuals because we are individuals ourselves. Babies raised on formula are healthy and happy, just like those raised on breastmilk. As moms, we should be forming a community, not casting others aside. I vow to always have empathy and compassion for the other ladies who are simply trying their best....Ultimately, it's no secret that being a mother is the most self-less thing anyone could ever do.
This all ties in heavily, for me, to the recent debate over the Times cover story of a mother breastfeeding her older son (I forget his age...4?) Anyway, the worst part about it was the title; 'Are You MOM Enough?' Such a title suggests that only mothers whom nurse their 4 year olds are 'mom enough.' Only mothers who nurse to begin with are 'mom enough.' I call bullshit. I can already tell you I will likely wean Mila off of nursing by her first birthday party...and shame on anyone who would suggest I'm not doing enough for my daughter if I do indeed cut her off.
There's more where this came from but I'm starting a tangent so I'll stop myself here, for now.
(If you want to know the name of her blog let me know)
(Above photo of Mila, just because)