Mommy wars

mommy wars

 

 

I read an article awhile back that was talking about “mommy wars” and about how in this new age of social media, cell phones, and instant communications, we have  become very opinionated and judgmental towards other mothers. (Or fathers) We have something to say about everything: the way they discipline their children, the way they get their children from A to B (Strollers vs baby wearing or even the WAY we baby wear), what pictures we take of our children and if we post them on social media, what we have our children wear (cloth vs disposable), vaccines vs non vaccines and the most controversial of all; whether we breast feed or formula feed our babies.

I personally am a big advocate of Breastfeeding and breastfed E till she was 18 months old. I wanted to let her self wean but that was put to a halt when my doctor told me that I had to immediately wean her because of a prescription I was about to be put on. So over night; I weaned my little one. It wasn’t ideal at all; but I had to do it. The next one will be allowed to breastfeed till they self wean. That being said, I also am not going to attack my friends whom formula fed.  Not everyone can breast feed. I have many friends whom tried and decided it wasn’t for them, friends who dried up after some months of breast feeding, and others that couldn’t because of some medical reason, all of them are wonderful mothers who did what they could for their children.

I’m tired of mothers attacking mothers. What happened to supporting each other? What happened to when a mother asks for help, we actually help and not attack? Now a days its almost suicide to ask a question about your parenting style. Ask people about how to stop a temper tantrum and have someone attack you for spanking. Ask if you should breast feed or formula feed and you have a all out battle on your newsfeed where its mother against mother. Or just ask a simple question about what will help a upset stomach and have mothers turn on each other and tell the other ones that what they were “told to do is wrong”.

I’m OK with moms giving advice to moms, or even telling them what they believe to be right, its when they suddenly start attacking the other moms for their parenting and mothering decisions, that’s where it has gone to far.

I’ve watched whole threads of mother after mother, attacking a fellow mom because she dared give her child a bottle of formula. What about that is educational, inspiring, helpful, or even needed? Wouldn’t a answer that actual helps the mom in the moment be better?

Breast feeding is hard. I’m not going to say its not. The first month is rough; your exhausted, your baby may not be latching well, you might be having supply issues, you hurt and your breasts/nipples are sore, they might even be chapping and bleeding, so when you reach out to a fellow mom (or group of moms) for help and they attack you for; handing your baby a bottle of formula when you had JUST pumped and you had no milk to give your baby and they were screaming their heads off and refusing to latch, then will the mom come back again? Probably not.

Have we ever thought to say that yes, we had the same issues and we also had the thought of “this would be way easier if I could just hand her a bottle” and that we also might have given in to our impulse and had given them formula (gasp!) just so that you have that extra 1 or 2 hours to recoup and get your milk back? Or even that laying in the bath with your baby when your extra stressed could possibly help to calm; not only you, but your baby and they will finally latch? I think that second part would be way more comforting, encouraging, and informative than a formula vs breast milk war.

Am I wrong here? I know that when I have been attacked for something I did as a mother, I never went back to that specific person or group again for help. There may have  been some helpful suggestions; but because we are human, we only see the negative comments. Couldn’t you say the exact same thing but in a nicer way, and less judgmental? I guess not.

Come on parents, shouldn’t be we helping, not hurting each other???

Is your war over breastfeeding vs formula feeding that important that its OK to tear down a fellow mother in her time of need? Is it really that important that a mother not even supplement formula to their child that you can tell a mother that she is poisoning her child for even giving them one cup? Is it really that important that you tell a mother that she is a horrible mom because she chose to formula feed her baby?? What about any of that is going to get any of them to come to our “side”?? What about that will make her actually look into the research herself and decided to attempt to breastfeed her next child?

Maybe we need to stop looking for fights and start looking for ways to help each other.  Just an idea. 😉

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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Lizz
    Apr 18, 2013 @ 02:53:23

    I think you’re right in saying not to judge one another in our parenting styles. I think why we get so “worked” up about (and why I feel so passionately about there being only 3 reasons not to breast feed) is because adults are the advocates of little ones. If a mother feeds her baby soy formula, which is absolutely the worst option, who is fighting for that baby? we do.

    Everywhere we look we see people pushing formula, or pushing schedules of formula fed babies. We see babies “sleeping through the night” at 3 weeks old, and mothers being away from their babies for extended periods of time. The fact is, there is virtually no support (though its becoming the “new old thing” to bf). Women feel like failures when their babies aren’t “acting” like what’s said to be normal.

    We need people who are willing to offend and make those who formula feed uncomfortable. Otherwise, there won’t be change. BUT, always in love and without judgment.

    Reply

    • traceyberry
      Apr 18, 2013 @ 23:02:45

      See I would agree with you if people that do go out of their way to tell mothers about breast feeding didn’t basically condemn the mother that did formula feed. And we are just going to have to accept that some mothers just WONT breast feed, no matter what you say to them. I don’t think its worth losing friends over. And I have many friends whom I would lose if I did that. I personally would rather remain their friend, and through time show them through my actions and the health of my children that Bfing is best.

      Reply

  2. Jenny
    Jun 10, 2013 @ 03:26:45

    Tracey, this was a lovely post. Will is 2.5 now and I can already see that what felt like a crisis “what if breast feeding doesn’t work!?” would have turned out just fine either way. Certainly, breast is best IF the mom is comfortable with it, but formula is fine. Most of the parenting choices I made are more AP because it feels right to me. But I can see, especially when I look at older kids and their families, that there really is no ‘correct’ way to do anything. All different kinds of parents raise fantastic kids. Thank you for the beautiful post!

    Reply

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