National Momshaming Week

It’s National Breastfeeding Week which means lots of posts on Instagram about how selfless Mothers are for solely breastfeeding their children, and what hard work it is. Both true things. Hashtag breast is Best. For me, it’s felt like a campaign specifically designed to make me feel like shit for not trying harder to solely breastfeed Joe. Whenever he doesn’t light up when I walk into a room, or sob when I leave it, a little voice behind my ear goes, it’s because you didn’t breastfeed him enough. I fully acknowledge that this is irrational and completely not true, but it’s a ding that keeps dinging. With Joe, I didn’t get to feed him immediately because he went straight to the NICU, where I had zero qualms about them giving him formula. By the time we were home together, we were already off to a rough start. I just wasn’t making enough milk. I zoomed with a very nice Lactation consultation who called me Mama and told me that I needed to basically JUST breastfeed Joe 24/7, no formula, to get my supply up. So I vowed to do so, which led to a dark night: me, topless on the couch, Joe screaming in my arms for food, me also crying because he was crying. I decided I didn’t want to spend my first days in CONFLICT with this person I had waited so long to meet. And I didn’t want to be the only person who could feed him. And I wanted Morrison’s help. And Morrison WANTED to help. And he is oftentimes better at all of this than me. And so we decided that we would do both — a bottle AND some boob, but mostly bottle — which we did, for three months, before switching completely over to the very overpriced formula I order from Germany, the most expensive to atone for my lack of Trying. Did I not try hard enough? Did I not put enough of myself Aside? When he’s 19 and doesn’t want to tell me what’s bothering him, will I write him long emails about how I should’ve tried harder to breastfeed him, emails I will HOPEFULLY never send? I refuse to let it haunt me. Best to make peace now. He is HAPPY, he is SECURE, he is GROWING, he is TALL. He lights up when he sees most EVERYTHING. He thinks I’m hilarious. He’s fed, he’s loved. I love him while he’s asleep, while I’m asleep. I wake up every day and I love him. Maybe our Best is what’s actually Best.

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