If you’ve been following my Instagram Stories you’ll know I’ve deliberated back and forth about writing this post. But with some self belief and some lovely encouragement from friends, I’ve decided to do it. Because at the end of the day this is MY blog. My blog, my rules, my opinion.
One thing I do want to point out before we get started is that I am not a judgemental person! I don’t judge any other Mother for the choices they make (unless they’re downright moronic and smoking in the car with their kids or anything along those lines). The whole point of Beauty Baby and Me is that I want to support other Mums and let them know we all go through shit! We all struggle, we all have difficulties and we should all be in it together.
So the point of this blog post stems from the recent trend of Tree of Life breastfeeding pictures. These pictures are something I support. Dare I say it, I CELEBRATE THEM! I celebrate that I have been fortunate enough to breastfeed. I’m not some narrow minded idiot who thinks everyone should breastfeed; each of us is different, in different circumstances, with different opinions. And I’m sorry but I don’t think that it’s something that we can’t discuss. Whether you breastfeed or bottle feed, why is it being frowned upon to talk about it. Surely discussing the options, our experiences, will help one another, encourage one another when going through difficulties. It’s supporting each other. Every discussion on this subject isn’t a debate. Most of my friends have bottle fed and I’d never ever judge them. I love them, they’re amazing Mothers however they feed. And they’d never make me feel like a twat for being a proud breastfeeding Mum.
I don’t like the way some people are belittling the Tree of Life pictures. I don’t like how it’s being mocked. I think it’s a beautiful thing to celebrate something that should be normal in society now but is still so often frowned upon. Sometimes you can’t win with breastfeeding; if you don’t give it a go at the beginning you get judged, if you do it in public, you get judged, if you are still doing it when your child is 1 like I am, you get judged. I say, shove your judgement up your arse. Why should I (or any of us) be judged for not only breastfeeding, but celebrating it. Why should I be made to feel like an idiot for posting a picture that I think has a fantastic, positive and tasteful message behind it. I shouldn’t be. There are many choices we have as parents. One example would be the baby led weaning vs puree food weaning. I have always done purees (although now he’s on more solid meals). I didn’t like the idea of baby led weaning; I felt that the vast majority of the food would end up on the floor, and I was petrified Josh would choke. HOWEVER, if there had been a similar craze of pictures supporting Baby Led Weaning it would have never even occurred to me to mock the people posting pictures celebrating their choices. Just because it’s not the way I chose to feed doesn’t mean it’s wrong. So surely the same should go for the breastfeeding pictures?
Can’t we just support each other. Don’t make each other feel like idiots. I bet many a Mum has braved creating one of those pictures of her breastfeeding, which if they are self conscious about these things, is a big enough deal, and I bet half of them have shied out and taken their pictures down for fear of being mocked by those who dictate this celebration (yes, I said it again) as “talking the same old shit”. And if I’m right, that goes against everything that Tree of Life stands for, and proves that we are not supporting each other when we should be. And if anything’s shit, it’s that.
I don’t see the feeding debate as competition. I don’t feel any better or worse than my friends who have bottle fed. I think we’re all great; our kids are fed, healthy, happy. I personally don’t like the mantra “fed is best” but the logic behind it is correct. So long as your baby is healthy and happy that is the main thing. But if we don’t talk about these things, debate or not, how will we ever have that reassuring moment us Mums sometimes desperately need where we think “thank fuck it’s not just me”!
So if you ask me, talk about it. Be proud of yourself, however you are feeding. Be positive, encouraging and open minded. I’m not someone who would ever tell someone how to feed their kid, but I am someone who would say “if you need someone to talk to, to vent about how friggin hard being a first time Mum is, however you’re doing it, I’m here. You’re not alone“. Yes, how you feed is your business, but I think it SHOUL D be talked about and celebrated for however you do it. That in itself is support.
I really really really hope that this post comes across the right way. I am not a preachy breastfeeding brigade type! I am just Team Mum and I don’t want anyone to feel like an idiot, which frankly is how I felt after reading some peoples opinions of Tree of Life. I don’t begrudge others an opinion, I enjoy hearing others opinions. But I begrudge being mocked for celebrating something that is a personal achievement for me following blood, sweat and many tears to get through.
Lots of Love to ALL you Mummas – including those whose opinions prompted me to writing this post. Without you I wouldn’t have written this and I’m glad I have because I think it’s important. I’d love to know your thoughts on this post.
PS. Another HUGE thank you to my gorgeous friend Ursula from Mumbelievable.com for the confidence cards she created. They really helped encourage me to write what I wanted to write.