This isn't dinner conversation.
I just really need to get this out on paper (on the screen?).
What is it with the mommy bashing? Mothers must take the prize for the most judgmental group of people on the planet. What do we judge one another about?
Epidural or no epidural.
Breastfeeding or formula.
Stay-at-home or work outside the home.
Daycare or nanny.
Private school or public.
The list is virtually never ending.
And I, likely not the only one, am frankly tired of it.
I felt like the judgment started while I was pregnant. Do you abstain from all caffeine? How much tuna or swordfish do you eat per week? Have you given up soft, unpasteurized cheeses???
Then it was whether or not I was one for surprises or not. I am not one for surprises and I had nursery decor to plan, people.
The labor and delivery portion was (and continues to be) also an opportunity for competition. I will never win one of these competitions because both of my children were born within four hours of arrival at the hospital with very little drama.
Breastfeeding...now there's my favorite.
I had a breast reduction after graduate school and as a result was unable to breastfeed.
I was devastated.
I spent the first four weeks of Madeleine's life alternating between attempting to breastfeed her and pumping. And crying through pretty much both.
After week one, we were told we had to start supplementing with formula because she had lost too much weight and wasn't "thriving" due to lack of nutrition.
Four weeks in to all of this, the sweet lactation consultant (with tears in her eyes, I might add) told me that we sometimes have to recognize that it isn't going to work and mourn what we had anticipated/expected. She shared the story of her special needs child and the process she went through mourning her ideals of a "normal" childhood.
When I think back to that time, I get a little sad but I mostly get angry.
At some point, the literature promoting the benefits of breastfeeding turned into nipple propaganda. I was devastated because I just knew Madeleine would be overweight and sick all the time. Worst of all? She'd never have a chance of getting into an Ivy League school - ack!
The reality is that Madeleine is an incredibly bright, healthy, good natured little girl. She had never experienced an ear infection until she was around 14 months old and didn't have another until she was almost 3 years old.
I'm all for breastfeeding but sometimes...it Just. Doesn't. Work.
There are an awful lot of ways we mother our children and this one aspect isn't going to make or break your child's future. We all have our hot button issues. I didn't breastfeed but buy largely organic and/or local produce, make our meals from scratch, and don't allow juice. One of my friends breastfed her kids for the first year but lets them eat pop tarts and drink sodas.
Which kid(s) are better off?
Here's my personal view on motherhood: Have grace with yourself and show grace to others.
What hot button issues get under your skin?