(having said that, I'm about to use the word about a fafillion times in this post)
I am sick to death of hearing people bitching about breastfeeding, or lack thereof.
Everyone is so defensive and contentious about the subject.
And it's EVERY DAY.
Be real, people. Just because you choose not to breastfeed does not make you a bad person.
Conversely, choosing to breastfeed until your kid is five years old - while creepy and sort of gross in my opinion, also does not make you a bad person.
WHAT I FAIL TO COMPREHEND is WHY DOES IT MATTER?
1. It is none of your damn business whether or not a person chooses to breastfeed.
2. It is none of your damn business WHY a person chooses to breastfeed or not to breastfeed. Maybe they CAN but don't want to. Maybe they CAN'T due to medical reasons. How, exactly, does this affect YOUR life? Do you have some vested interest everyone else's children?
Each side feels persecuted and yelly and OH SO SELF-RIGHTEOUS.
Get over it. Really, don't you have enough to worry about in raising your OWN kids?
Honestly, with the amount of bullying and bad behavior and entitled actions that we see so often nowadays, you'd be much better off, say, TENDING YOUR OWN FAMILY.
I haven't come across any statistics showing that breastfed babies turn out to be better, more worthwhile people than non-breastfed ones, have you?
Part two: Why I can't stand mommyblogger forums and chat rooms.
Let me count the ways....
1. What a bunch of hypocrites. They spend all day ego-stroking each other, and it doesn't matter to them if they're hypocritically shouting "RIGHT ON SISTER!" to a post that is in direct contradiction of something they were praising the day before.
And they all feel quite justified (not to mention smug and superior, in some cases I've noticed) in doing it.
Heaven help you if you offer a dissenting opinion.
2. Half of them are written in 'text speak' and require translation. UGH. SPARE ME. Please educate yourself (maybe read a book instead of worrying about why Mrs. Jones refuses to breastfeed her baby and gives her the Evil Formula).
3. Remember the whole Advil (or whatever painkiller) foofaraw a couple years ago? The mommys were so proud of themselves for getting the company to remove an "offensive" web commercial because they felt it implied that wearing a baby sling was hurtful or uncomfortable or whatever blahblah. Then they were all OH YEAH WE DID IT! GO US! THE EVIL ADVERTISERS FELL TO OUR POWER!.
Wow, that was some great use of your 'power'. Now, where are you all when it is time to give voice to something like, oh, I don't know...FEEDING HUNGRY CHILDREN IN OUR COUNTRY?
Funny, I never see any twitter #hashtags about that, but I did see about a million for the #Advil hubbub.
4. I subscribe to two mom-forum newsletters - yeah yeah, I know - because they have some great offers for coupons and discounts. I try not to read the "featured" blog posts very often because mostly they just leave me cold or else enrage me.
Example: I was reading a post yesterday, and the lady was talking about her daughter being bullied at school.
I hate that, for her daughter. It makes me angry and sad.
HOWEVER, in the post, the mother said she tried to make sure her daughter had everything she needed to succeed, the "right" clothes to wear, looking cute, the "right" haircut, trendy glasses, etc etc, and still the Mean Girls bullied her daughter even though she tried to make her kid COOL and POPULAR.
Bullying shouldn't happen. But I'm not talking about the bullying just now.
Part of what I thought as I read was Really? THAT'S the message you want your kid to learn? THAT'S the focus? Wear the right clothes with the right labels, "what everyone was wearing", and you'll be a Cool Kid?
See, in my mind, if your kid has a little self-confidence, if your kid feels loved and respected by you as a parent, that goes a lot further than Joe's Jeans and a Juicy Couture tee shirt.
I'm far from the perfect mother - in fact, I'd probably rate myself about a 4 out of 10. I get mad, I yell, sometimes I criticize. Sometimes I say NO just because I can. I'm not afraid to make my kids mad at me, they'll get over it, especially if they want something from me.
But my daughter doesn't care (or really even know) about brand names, because I never placed any importance on that. She doesn't care about wearing makeup because I tried to teach her that her inner beauty glows bright.
I could brag about her for hours because she's just a deep-down good kid.
She's also sort of a nerd. And a geek. She games and she reads and is not athletic and she's clumsy and forgetful and does dumb things. She does not worry about being cool or popular...because really that's not going to give her success in life. Hard work, kindness, responsibility, morals, and ethics ARE.
So that's what I've tried to instill in her. I hope it worked...time will tell.
The point is, even geeks are cool. Band nerds are cool. Chess club members can be popular. You can't make your child be a Cool Kid or Popular Kid - and really, why would you want to?
Teach your kids to be kind to others, no matter if they're wearing a wal-mart label or carrying a Coach bag.
Teach your kids to focus on how to be responsible and contribute something good to the world.
Frankly I'd much rather have the kind of child who'd go sit with the lone person at the end of the lunch table than the kind who worried about whether she'd get to sit with The Crowd.
And PS I bet half those Mean Girls and other bullies were probably breastfed. The other half were probably Formula Babies. Which just goes to show.
What I'm trying to say is maybe you should spend (waaaaaaay) less time worrying about how other mothers are feeding their kids, as long as the kids are getting fed - and concentrate on growing your own children into decent human beings.
And let your kids be WHO THEY ARE, instead of who you think they should be.
Your kids are not you.
Is all I'm saying.