I’ve been sitting on this post for a few days now, unsure of whether I wanted to write it. Personally, I didn’t want to draw any more attention to the original post, but I just couldn’t stop thinking about it. Alex Alexander wrote an opinion piece over on YourTango titled ‘If You Don’t Breastfeed I’m Judging The HELL Out Of You’. You can go read it yourself, but you might rather just poke at your eyes with rusty spoons because you’ll feel the same after either way.
Let me just say that I’m the proud mother of four children, and I didn’t breastfeed any of them. Not because I couldn’t, not because I didn’t have enough milk, but because I didn’t want to. I. Didn’t Want. To. I’m perfectly happy with my decision, and for the most part every other woman I know couldn’t care less about my choice of preferred feeding method for my children. Because these women are also mothers and have better things to worry about than how I chose to feed my children. Except for Alex Alexander, who is judging THE HELL out of me for not doing it. Personally, I don’t care what Alex Alexander thinks about me or my decisions because I’m 43 and quite comfortable with my decisions, and I have a teenage daughter – which means I’ve been judged way worse for way less. But I really dislike this attitude that someone thinks they get to judge another person because of their personal choices, especially when there’s a new mom somewhere out there who’s young and is doing this whole parenting thing for the first time. That mom is still being subjected to these ridiculous ‘mommy wars’ that only seem to exist because a select few people keep telling other moms how they’re judging them for their choices.
I’ve been writing for different mom-centred blogs for over six years now and I’ve seen the ‘breast vs bottle’ debate written about and debated to death. Seriously, enough. And the funny thing is that the majority of the comments are always, always in favour of the mom making the best choice for her. People are tired of it. Breast feeders and bottle feeders always agree on one thing – do what’s best for you. Yes, there are those on both sides of the debate who feel very strongly one way or another, but for the most part woman are simply fed up with the judgement that comes with every single decision they make as a mother, by other mothers.
Alex writes, “But if you never even tried — if your baby’s mouth never met nipple, for reasons of personal choice that have nothing to do with health — I’m judging you. That’s right. You should’ve at least given breastfeeding a chance. And if you didn’t, you made a big parenting mistake and we all have the right to judge you for it.”
Actually Alex, you don’t have the right to judge me for it. Clearly, you misunderstand what rights actually are. You actually have no rights when it comes to my parenting decisions and choices. You’re definitely entitled to your opinion, as am I and every other mother in the world, but you have no right to tell me that I’m making a big parenting mistake and you definitely have no right to shame other mothers for not making the same choices you did.
One blogger feels that she can judge all of us who chose not to breastfeed. “You made a choice to carry a baby for nine months. You made a choice to birth a human infant. With choice come responsibility. Your responsibilities don’t end when you squirt out that watermelon-sized, wailing baby. You have an obligation to provide that baby with at least some breast milk.”