Breastfeeding, Motherhood

Different Folks, Different Strokes

I’m a member of numerous Facebook groups for mommies. On one hand, they’re a big help with regard to everyday concerns like firstaid, reliable baby products, etc. Lately, however, I have seen a few posts and comments that sadden me. We, somehow, seem to forget that mommies who post on these pages are asking for opinions, suggestions, that could be of help to them. Attacking them and their way of raising their kid is not helpful in any way.

Say, for example, a mom comes up and asks regarding follow-on formula, someone starts a tirade on why breast is best. Yes, it is settled that breastmilk is best for babies, however, some moms cannot breastfeed their kids. Regardless of the reason, we are not in the position to push our choices on other people. Going into an all-out ‘you should breastfeed instead’ speech is not going to help their query. Think of it this way: we find it disrespectful when people look down on us for breastfeeding, wouldn’t formula-feeding moms feel the same way if we question their choice?

Different strokes for different folks. Not because one thing works out for us, it will work out for others, too. This means not only breastfeeding, but every aspect of child-rearing. There are those who opt for baby jars and rice cereals, others opt for fresh produce. Some traditionally wean their kids, others are on babyled weaning. Cloth diapers work for some babies, others are used to disposables. You see, these options are out there so we can find which work best for our kids, not for us to put other moms down.

Our varying lifestyles lead us to make different choices. Not everyone can afford, or has the patience, to be a fulltime mom. Those who opt not to stay at home have to be respected for their decision, much as those who do want to be respected for theirs. The food we feed our kids are dependent on various factors, and no one has a right to judge the decisions we make. For as long as our kids are happy and healthy, no one has the right to call us out on our parenting styles.

Let us all remember that there is no comparison in parenthood. The mother next door cannot be a bettet mom than you are because she cannot play mommy to your kid, and vice versa. Motherhood is a personal experience, it is not a contest. Each one of us is the world’s best mom in the eyes of our kids, so let us not look down on other moms down for choosing to rear their kids differently.

At the end of the day, we all joined these groups to find support and camaraderie, not to find fault in others. These are support groups, after all. So, please, keep these groups a safe haven for every mom. Remember what our moms always told us as kids: if you have nothing nice to say, better not say anything at all.