This parenting gig is no joke, y'all. We're just breezing along, enjoying every day with our beautiful daughter, doing the best we can, hoping we're doing enough and doing the right things in the right time. I imagine all parents do that - just do the best they can, with the information available to them. Why, then, are been there/done that parents so quick to criticise those of us who are new to this game? Why are people so willing to tell me I'm doing it wrong?
It started at work a few weeks back - in my afternoon production meeting, my coworkers asked if Geneva is eating cereal yet, and when I told them no, they promptly told me that I'm starving my child, that I should've been giving her solids for months now. That my girl won't know how to eat food because I'm denying her. They brow-beat me, made me question decisions I'd made after lots of research - so I went out and bought her some cereal.
The cereal is still seal in the unopened box in my pantry, though. I've decided, again, not to give it to her. Not yet. Maybe not ever.
Mom has been sort of on my case since day one about the breastfeeding - "it'll free up a lot of your time if you just give her some formula"; "your aunt breastfed her babies and says she didn't have to feed them constantly"; and (my personal favorite) "you're DENYING me! i want time with her when she's this age, but you always say you don't have enough milk - let me just give her a little formula." I don't know what her deal is - it's almost as if she feels I'm questioning her parenting decisions by making choices that are different from hers, as if I'm somehow implying, by breastfeeding my child, that she did wrong by hers by giving us formula.
Anyhow, so I was talking to Mom last night, and she asked me if we'd started Geneva on the cereal yet. I told her we hadn't, and that I've decided we probably won't. I'm going to breastfeed for her first six months. After that, when I feel she's ready, we'll start her out on real food - specifically, avocados. You'd have thought I'd told my mom we were going to feed that baby poison.
I'll be honest - I'm over it. I'm tired of feeling like I have to be apologetic about the way I'm feeding my baby. ESPECIALLY when I feel like the choices I'm making are best for her. ESPECIALLY when all the research says I'm making the choices that are best for Geneva. I'm not giving my baby formula if breastmilk is an option. I will not feed her empty calories to fill her belly so she sleeps more. My job as a mother is not to make the decisions that are easier for me - i have to do what is best for my baby. And doing what I'm doing is not all that difficult - this is our new normal, so telling me how much better my life will be if i give her formula and cereal is not a selling point. Breastmilk is free, readily available, and not messy; and it's the best thing for her. That last part? Ends the discussion.