I’ve been traveling the blog-world this last week, as well as writing articles for the coming days and weeks for this month’s National Breastfeeding Awareness theme, and I have been disheartened to see a pattern of behavior in the mommy world. You see, there are women on both sides of the breastfeeding fence. There are those who are completely against it, and those who are totally for it. There’s also a bell curve, with varying degrees of “for or against” in the middle. This is, at least, how the blog world presents it.
But, what is often overlooked, and what is often forgotten, is that just because one person makes a choice to breastfeed does not mean that another person should unquestionably make the same choice. Or just because one person had zero issues when starting to breastfeed does not mean that ALL women have zero issues. What is often forgotten is that every woman, every family, every situation is different…but ALL of us deserve respect, regardless of the choices made.
This is a frustrating aspect of our overly connected inter-web…it is lacking communication skills. The removal of intonation, facial expressions, body language, etc. leaves room for a LOT of ambiguity, and the result of this effect on online communication is horrendous. This is where we need to remember that we are talking to PEOPLE…not letters on a screen. As God’s good creations, we are all worthy and deserving of respect, whether earned or not, simply because God created us in His image…Period.
My Stance on Breastfeeding: Why I Believe All Moms Deserve Respect
With this in mind, here is my stance on Breastfeeding: I am supportive of babies being fed. Though I personally believe in the values of breastfeeding, I am also a staunch supporter of the right for all women to make informed decisions, regardless of which way their decisions go. If a woman chooses to give formula because they believe from all their research that it is the better choice for their family for whatever reason than they should be supported in that choice. It would be worse for her to continue to breastfeed believing that she is being coerced or forced into such a situation.
It is just as terrible, though, for a mom who desperately wants to breastfeed to feel forced into using formula because of whatever situation she is in. Neither one is right, and both are an affront to our human rights. I am not talking about legitimate biological issues here that constrain a mom from being able to breastfeed. But, if that’s the case, that mom TOO should receive love and support and encouragement to get through her situation. We all have a story!
I see this “Mommy War” as the exact same argument that stimulated my Food Idolatry post. The fact is that life is far from perfect, and though there may be BEST foods that are recommended by all the leading nutritionists, it does not mean that we all live in the BEST or most ideal situation to accommodate them. Sometimes we need to choose to joyfully accept the limitations of our situations and see our choices as the BEST ones we could have made for our own families.
Instead of judging and criticizing the choices that other moms make to support the best situation that they knowingly can for their family, let’s choose to support one another and encourage individual choices. Let’s choose, instead, to give advice when advice is sought out, and not to overstep social norms by spewing words of “truth” that are couched in hate. This is not speaking the truth in love.
It is not surprising to me that this world of motherhood is under attack, and in this case self-destructive, because the Enemy totally wants to destroy what we do and what we offer to the world! But, we send him back to his place of darkness when we choose to show love instead of hate, and choose to support instead of criticize. We all do not have to make the same choices, or follow the same paths, to be able to be respectful and appreciative of the choices that others make.
Motherhood is no easy task. Having babies is not always lovely, rosy, and fun. But, we do ourselves no good by turning against one another because we make different choices and live different lives. It is critical that we return to a communication style of mutual respect that includes disagreement, debate, and questions, but also kindness, appreciation, and discernment. Practice using the phrase “agree to disagree” a little more, and eliminating profanity, curses, and demeaning criticisms completely.
There’s plenty of space here on the webosphere for us all.