I swore when I became a mom, I would never pass judgment on another mother for a decision she made. After all, so many of us are trying to make the best decisions we can with the limited knowledge we have until we figure out experience is the best teacher--well, until the next child. (The next child is never the same as the ones before, apparently.)
I wasn't trying to be ugly or rude; in fact, my comment was rooted in my own insecurities about parenting. I feel like this is the most critical test I've ever taken and every.single.answer is weighted. Unfortunately, with four options, the "best" option is weighted 100 while subsequent answers are worth 25, 20 and 15.
(Tell me other moms feel this way, too.)
The cause of my insecurity? I stopped nursing.
I wasn't supposed to feel guilty about it because I promised myself I wouldn't feel guilty about things that just didn't work. And nursing? Wasn't super successful.
The lactation specialist warned me that was a possibility--PCO can affect production--so when I went from making 5 ounces to 3 ounces at the very best feeding of the day (the first one of the morning), I shouldn't have been shocked. And I shouldn't have been surprised that every feeding after the first one of the morning resulted in less and less.
Favorite and I were constantly supplementing. Ryan went from eating 4-5 ounces at two months to consistently taking 6 ounces now that he's three months. He could nurse for (literally) 3 minutes before I had to offer a bottle so he could get enough to eat.
Right before he turned three months, Favorite and I decided to wean. In our situation, it made sense. There were other options, but we felt, given our circumstances, this was the best option for our family.
I haven't felt good about that decision since.
Logically, I know Ryan won't suffer from this decision. He is growing just fine. (Holy crap. That's an understatement. My boy is a hoss.) He is right on track developmentally (even if he hasn't rolled over, but that's our fault. We never lay him down. To be fair, though, he's pretty close to sitting up on his own.)
He's also adapted to the change. He transitioned between nursing and bottle feeding like a pro; he never once developed nipple confusion or any of those other heinous things nursing mothers are warned about. He was good with the very first formula we tried so that's been a pretty easy process, too. I'm not even sure he knows there's been a switch.
(We use Similac Advance. If the Similac people want to send me freebies for promoting their product, I'll gladly take them.)
So forgive me if I don't think formula is horrible or even a subpar alternative. For us, it was a necessity, and I'm thankful to have that option.
If you're willing to keep that in mind, I promise I won't judge your parenting decisions, either. Instead, I'll smile and nod my head sympathetically in your direction.
If all decisions are this rough emotionally, we could all use some encouragement. Right?
How do you handle parenting judgments? Do you judge other parents for their decisions?