Tag Archives: mommy judgement

Adoption?

You would have to be living under a rock or here to miss the Mother’s Day Time Magazine cover asking, “Are You Mom Enough?” The backlash of that article is presenting itself as a number of well thought out articles by intelligent, educated, anti-Mommy Wars writers. I’ll save my commentary on the Mommy Wars for another time, but I want to share an article that was posted by a Facebook friend of mine that really made me think about motherhood in an entirely new way.

The Only Mommy War Worth Waging

In the article, author Kristen Howerton calls out the absolute nonsense of the Mommy Wars and focuses on child welfare, foster care and adoption.

She writes:

“I don’t much care if you breastfed your kid until they started kindergarten or if you fed them formula from day one. I don’t really care if you turned your infant car seat forward-facing prior to age 2, or if you homeschool, or if you send your kids to daycare while you go to work. Do you cosleep? Did you circumcise your son? I DON’T CARE. Do you “babywear”? Push your kid around in a stroller? Use a leash for your kid at Disneyland? Whatever. Good for you.

When it comes to issues of motherhood, there is one issue I care about: some kids don’t have one. All of these petty wars about the choices of capable, loving mothers is just a lot of white noise to me, Quite honestly, I’m often astonished at the non-essential parenting issues I see moms getting upset about. Particularly when there are so many kids in this world not being parented at all.”

So wow. That hit me like a rock in the gut. Because wow and whoa and ouch and ohmygodtherearekidsinhorriblesituations.

My husband and I had only discussed adoption once or twice before getting pregnant, but only in the context of having that option if we were not able to conceive. This article planted a seed in me where I started thinking in a completely different context. More like “I am so absurdly blessed and we are exactly the type of people who could provide for an adopted child.” More like “I had no idea there are so many children who need homes in our country.” And finally, “Holy Crap our foster system is THAT screwed up!”

I still don’t know if adoption is something we will choose in the future. There is so much more I need to learn and so many things my husband and I must discuss. All I can say is that after reading that article my thoughts on adoption have changed dramatically.

I would love to hear from anyone who has adopted or is adopted.

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Breastfeeding Guilt

Remember that post where I was all – Breastfeeding Rocks! Eff yeah I’m going to breastfeed until a year! Look at me! I”M A BREASTFEEDER!

Yeah…about that.

In the last month or so breastfeeding has become more and more difficult. Not because of a physical issue, but because of a I’m a Working Mom with HUGE projects on my plate kind of issue.

When I came back to work I pumped 3 times a day. I scheduled it on my calendar and it was an unspoken rule in the office that no one would book meetings with me during those times. It worked for about 4 months.

Then things started to get busier, my workload slowly returned to pre-maternity leave status, I got a new boss, and I started to notice that I was cutting at least one pumping out a day. No big deal as I had an entire freezer drawer full of excess breast milk. Then things got even busier and pumping only once a day became more like the rule than the exception.

If you know anything about breastfeeding, then you know that it’s a supply/demand kind of operation. It shouldn’t have surprised me when I noticed that I simply wasn’t producing as much as I used to. We decided to introduce a bottle of formula at night.

Yes, my child has had formula.

Yes, your child (who you breastfed until he was 5) will probably win the Nobel Peace Prize.

I’ve accepted that.

First, supply dips. Second, I have a week of issues with my pump. One day it won’t turn on. The next day a bottle I am pumping into leaks 2 ounces of breastmilk all over my pants leaving me practically in tears. Third, pumping is taking longer and leaving me with less milk. Fourth, I am still pumping in a bathroom stall.

Boo-Hiss!

Henry is almost 9 months old and I’m facing the reality that I might not make it to the one year mark. We’ve now added a a few bottles of formula everyday and within my freezer supply is almost non-existent.

The hardest part of this whole thing is the enormous amount of guilt I feel. I hadn’t expected this, and I’m blaming it on all that breastfeeding bonding that has taken place. My heart breaks a little when I think about quitting. I can’t stand the thought of not having that cuddle time anymore. I know that, inevitably, we would come to this point. I don’t think I’m ready for full on weaning yet, but I’m having a tough time coming to terms with the thought of NOT breastfeeding anymore.

I’ve given it a lot of thought and I think the root of all this mommy guilt is coming down to the idea that NOT breastfeeding to a year means I’m a failure. And, let’s face it – I don’t do well with failure.

Even though I am still breastfeeding a couple of times a day, I still feel like a failure. The logical part of me knows this is not the case, but the emotional/control freak/Type A part of me feels like unless I am 100% breastfeeding him then I am not #winning.

And winning is everything. As all of you know.

I joke, I joke.

Kind of.

I’m realizing that this new feeling of breastfeeding guilt is probably the way a lot of moms out there who couldn’t or chose not to breastfeed feel. My neighbor had her second baby girl in June and tried so hard to breastfeed, but for whatever reason her body would not make enough milk for her baby. And she tried. Boy, did she try. She saw a lactation consultant, rented a medical grade pump, drank a stout beer, pumped day and night to increase supply. In the end, nothing worked and back to formula she went.

“I feel like such a failure,” she said on my front porch. “Everything you read says breast is best. Where’s the support for the rest of us?”

She’s right. There’s no support for the non-breastfeeding mom. No support groups for formula fed babies. No books about formula feeding.

The weirdest thing is that no one really talks about this guilt. I had to summon up the courage to bring it up with another friend of mine (shout out Jill!) just to see if she felt the same way. And she did! And I wasn’t alone! And I’m not a bad mom! And I’ve done the best I could!

Everywhere you turn it seems that people will spout their judgement on what is best for you and your baby. That judgement has to be the worst way of cultivating a culture of supportive moms. If we don’t support each other, then who will?

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