I am on Facebook a lot and also a member of a lot of different groups when it comes to raising babies and children. I was not on Facebook as much when I had my other 2 children nor was there such a freedom of information mentality out there. Many of the groups and pages I am a member of often share articles about different things when it comes to children. I often click into websites to read these articles as well and a lot of them are very interesting.
However, there is a common theme throughout. On most of the comments on Facebook or websites, there is a battle going on. The battle is Mammy against Mammy. It’s everywhere and it’s worrying. Don’t get me wrong, everyone is entitled to their opinion but not to their judgemental attitudes. People need to learn to phrase things better as well for the sake of peace between mothers. This happens with all women too over beauty and fashion and God knows what else. We are all so quick to sprout off online what comes into our heads but ask yourself this, would you say that in public? The latest article you’ve read on Facebook, you want to comment on it but stop, think and say what you are typing out loud and imagine the hundreds or thousands of faces that you are actually saying this to in the room with you. Would you be so brave then? What you say online is the EXACT same as what you should say in real life. There is no line. You should not be hiding behind your screen and think that you can say what you want because you are hurting someone.
Breastfeeding vs Formula Feeding
I breastfeed all 3 of mine at the very start and switched to formula quite quickly. Honestly, the screams of my son were too much for me and I couldn’t handle the rigorous feeding schedule at the start so I changed, so be it. I was very sore on my daughter and I actually dreaded her waking from naps for feeding that I began to start feeling down, so I switched to formula. So what? My baby was the most difficult and the pain was unbearable. Turns out almost a year later that she has lip tie.
All my decision, I moved to formula, my children are fed and I didn’t get into a battle with depression because of it. I am not here to dispute the fact that breastfeeding is the best for babies, I wholeheartedly agree with that and anyone that tries to dispute it is wrong. Breast IS best. However, some people can’t, won’t or don’t breastfeed and choose formula. What gets me is that we are bashing each other from both sides saying what we are doing is wrong. I saw an article just today about a formula that has caused serious problems for a baby. Some people in the comments said that if the mother was breastfeeding, this wouldn’t have happened. Of course it wouldn’t have happened! Others saying that the mother should be ashamed of herself for feeding that “tripe” to her daughter. Seriously? That mother was doing the best she could, just like we all are. We all love our babies so so much and if we choose to breastfeed or bottle feed, so what? Keep your judgemental comments to yourselves because you are seriously hurting people. If someone wants to breastfeed their child until they are 3, who are you to care? You are not breastfeeding a child to 3, so why pass comment? You may not personally do it or agree but it’s her baby, her breasts, her choice. Can’t we just support each other no matter how we feed our children?
Baby led vs Traditional
Okay so I knew nothing of blw until I had my last baby. Even during pregnancy I came across people talking about it but I went down the traditional route (puree) with my other 2 and I was sticking to what I knew best! I know a lot more about blw now and if I was doing it all over again, I would follow it for sure. I think it’s a fantastic way to wean a child to solid food and I have applied some of the principles of it to weaning my baby.
But, yes you guessed it, there is a war over this too! Baby led weaning starts at 6 months and not before. Traditional weaning is also 6 months, however, you can start a baby if necessary at 17 weeks. That’s not coming from my head, that’s fact. 6 months is absolutely better but then again, some of us don’t do that.
All of mine began weaning at 17 weeks or thereabouts. With my other 2 I didn’t really know it was 6 months, I was going on the advice of my mother and the details on the cereal packets and recipe books. I see a lot of backlash against mothers who choose to wean before 6 months. Now just from blw but from the other side too. I personally weaned my baby earlier due to reflux and she wasn’t feeding on her bottles. People aren’t just saying “it’s advisable to wean at 6 months” which I see as a perfectly acceptable comment. People are saying “you can’t wean at that age, baby is too young, you’re damaging their digestive system, you’re not doing the right thing, you’re a bad mother”. Ok the last comment might be extreme but it’s basically a lot of what is happening. It’s happening the other way around as well, don’t get me wrong, I’m just using a personal example.
If a mother chooses to wean before you would, can’t you just leave her alone? Why bash and comment and judge and potentially hurt that mother who could be struggling beyond what you realise? Would you say it to a stranger’s face in such a cruel way? Present the facts and let her decide for herself, please stop bringing her down, she’s doing it the only way she knows how.
I beg all the mothers out there fighting these battles online to stop. Stop bringing other mothers down. We are all raising our children the best way we know how and we all do it different ways. Breastfeeding, bottle feeding, it’s a choice. Stop forcing your choices on others and concentrate and carrying out your choices on your own children, in your own lives.
There are many other battles out there that I haven’t mentioned here but the point of this post is to support each other, be there for each other and respect each other.
Reality Mammy x