So... a friend of mine.... well... a friend of a friend had just become a new mom with a bouncing new baby attached at her hip. Myself at that time had a son in 3rd grade. This friend of a friend was a breastfeeding, baby wearing, co-sleeping, cloth diaperING mama, and although most would describe me as an inclusive, laid back hippie, the truth is..I judged her. Every time she took out her boob to breastfeed, I judged her. That baby couldn’t be that hungry ALL OF THE TIME!!! Surely, she was feeding her child out of some emotional deficit. To add insult to injury, The few car rides that we shared were to the likings of an 80's slasher film. Her kid screamed in the car seat the entire time. After much analyzing & private judgement, I concluded that if she didn’t continually have THAT baby in THAT wrap of hers, surely her little one would be ok with having a moment away from her mom, even if just two feet away.. in the backseat. And don’t even get me started on the co-sleeping..Sheesh. I chalked up co-sleeping for parents who just could not say NO. MY oldest was in his crib by two weeks old. Co-sleeping was for punks!!! This chick was failing, and I was clearly winning the war on motherhood. In fact, I had reasoned, celebrated, and oftentimes bragged that my schedule, freedom, and even sex life remained the same pre-kiddo. Anything that didn’t resemble this pattern, I judged…Until.
I give birth to Jedi. Prior to birthing, we prepared the nursery, put together cribs, cleaned breast pumps, and put the car seat in the car. We were ready. Jedi arrives. After coming home from the hospital, our plan was for Mr. Jedi to sleep in his bassinet for a couple of days, and then move him into his crib..in HIS room. That’s how we did it with our oldest son, Jax. Why would this experience be any different? The first night home proved my theory wrong. After much back and forth, Jedi would triumph over his sleep deprived parental units. He landed in our bed. In his mamas arms. Nursing ALL NIGHT. That was the first night. The first night turned into the second..the third..and here we are..We are STILL co-sleeping..and we like it. (Gasp) . And yes, our sex life has changed... (I will leave that for another post)
One thing that I’ve learned about breastfeeding is that breastfed babies love to breastfeed..A lot…Its kind of their “thing”. Prior to Jedi, I had no clue of this fun fact, as I didn't breastfeed Jax. In fact, I have found I spend A LOT of my time pulling out my boob to feed. NOW, I find myself being the recipient of the yummy platter of onlookers, whose eyes seem to echo the same disbelief that I had so generously dished out previously. Often times I respond with a matter of fact,”Yes, he’s eating again…Yes, he is using me as a pacifier. Yes, again..and again," Oh, I almost forgot, Jedi strongly dislikes the carseat. At the most, he will tolerate it for a max of 20 minutes.
Could this all be a case of Karmic payback? Perhaps. Am I now reaping the judgement that i had sewn prior? Maybe. Could it be that every kid is different, including my own? Most definitely.
I was guilty of judging my sweet granola eating friend. The truth is, the majority of my judgement was based on my own ignorance and lack of experience. I had never breastfed before. Prior to having Jedi, I had no clue just how much (and how often) breastfed babes ate. And may I just say, breastfeeding is one of the most selfLess things a woman can do. The pain at the beginning can be, and usually is excruciating...Like toe curling excruciating. And while one often experiences the raved about "feel good" hormones during feeding..The truth is, in between the leaking, cracking, and a babe handling your nipples as if her she is in a game of tug war, breastfeeding is hard work. Not to mention that it can be physically and emotionally draining. The thought that a woman is breastfeeding to only benefit herself is the equivalent of Mother Teresa feeding the needy due to boredom. Its purely absurd.
My transgression revealed that I totally neglected to view our individual experiences for what they were.. our own paths, unique to each of us... definitely not purposed to be projected upon others as a one size fits all blanket. Mothering looks different for everyone.
Lastly, Mothering should be a NO FLEX ZONE (Please look below for definition). We are all doing our best. We are all a part of Team Mother. The struggle is very much so real in ALL cases.
At the end of the day childbirth, pregnancy, mothering should be off limits..No shaming.. ALL love... ALL support...NO judgement...Trust me, payback is not only real, but it will bite you in the boob.
No Flex Zone--A territory where you are not allowed to boast or flaunt. Flexing is similar to someone showing off or "stuntin"