I recently read a blog post on Cafemom that was quite intelligently written. The author posted a list of the ingredients side by side comparing breastmilk to formula. I enjoyed reading the article and simply thought, “Wow, I’m so glad I nursed my kids,” much like you’d be proud of sending your child to a certain school when the testing and rating system showed that school to be ranked one of the best in town. It’s wonderful to know that a momma has the ability to give her little baby so much in the way of nutrition. . .and it’s wonderful to know that science has brought us to the point that babies whose moms can’t or won’t feed them breastmilk have formula as an option to survive and thrive.
I scrolled down to the comment section to add a short kudos to the author, only to find myself somewhat flabbergasted by what I read there. Breastfeeding moms bashing moms who formula fed their babies, calling them selfish and implying that they didn’t care. Formula feeding moms bashing nursing moms, calling them arrogant and judgmental. The discussion taking place there just makes me sad. Why are women so vicious? And it’s not just about breastfeeding. I see this type of comment conversation on lots of issues involving our kids. . .circ/anti-circ, vax/anti-vax, co-sleeping/independent sleeping, public school/private school/homeschool. . .and the list goes on. I am disappointed in us as mothers.
The bottom line is, moms who love their kids and make choices according to what they feel is best for their families should not be judged by other moms just because they are not the same choices they would make. Many times, we make choices that are less than the **best** for our kids for a thousand different reasons. Ever fed your kid fast food or fruit snacks? Given in to a tantrum just to gain silence? I have. Just sayin’. None of those choices are considered to be the “best” by the experts. Yet we’ve all made one at some time in our parenting careers. At least one. And the reasons don’t really matter.
The point is, they’re OUR reasons. OUR choices. We each pay different consequences for all of our choices. Do you have to pay the price for the choice of the mom you’re judging? NOPE. You have your own set of consequences. . .and don’t kid yourself, there ARE pros and cons to EVERY decision. Every single one. There are no perfect parents, only a bunch of broken people doing the best we can. If we put as much energy into offering friendship and support to other moms as we do into tearing down the ones that don’t do everything exactly like us, we mothers could be a powerful force for good.