I recently read this article put out in honor of National Breastfeeding Month last month, and it brought tears to my eyes. My favorite part was seeing the little signs individual moms made and shared saying how they supported one another in their choices of breast, bottle, pumping, supplementing, etc. As a mom who has been on both sides of the breastfeeding battles — pumping and formula supplementing as well as exclusively breastfeeding — I never feel like it’s my place to ever judge or criticize anyone’s choice on how they decide to feed their child. I’ve done both and felt guilt, worry and stress on both ends, so I truly empathize and believe so long as baby is eating and healthy, it doesn’t really matter what or how they’re fed.
But as I read the article, I wished that the message went beyond just breastfeeding vs formula and rather hoped it could be “I Support You As a Mom” rather than solely a feeding thing.
Motherhood is such a rewarding, fulfilling experience, but it’s also one that’s fraught with challenges. No one gives you a handbook along with this new precious life you are given, and it’s trial by fire in many ways. I certainly remember feeling like that the first day we brought Drake home, and Mr Chocolate and I looked at each other wondering what we were supposed to do with this baby now that we were home. And parenthood is filled with endless choices… breastfeed vs. formula or both; vaccinating vs. delaying vs. not vaccinating; circumcising vs. not circumcising; cry it out vs. hold baby until you both pass out, etc. There is no right or wrong answer for every child, and every parent, is different.
The choices we make as moms are the ones we feel are the best for us, our children, our families. Because it’s not the choice someone else chose, it doesn’t make it wrong or bad, just different. What works for one person isn’t always what’s best for someone else. That’s true of most things in life, why should parenting be different?
As mothers and women we should help support and encourage each other instead of judging and criticizing each other’s choices. Being a parent is a long, at times lonely road, and we all struggle sometimes. When we support one another, it helps bring us all together and build us up. Motherhood should be a sisterhood for truly no one understands us more than other mothers who have walked those same paths.
So I wish the message we could share with one another is I support you, your choices, and your decisions for only you know what’s best for your child.