Mother Knows Best

Dear Mom,

I owe you an apology. A big one. It turns out the bits of advice you dispensed when Sam was a baby weren’t the out-of-fashion mutterings from The School of Lazy/Evil Motherhood like I might have implied at the time. (Yeah, sorry about that.)

What were you right about? Um, pretty much everything. Starting with . . .

Formula is Freedom Sent From the Heavens

Having nursed Sam then Rebecca for close to a year, then Elissa for “only” six months, I can now admit that you weren’t out of your mind for pronouncing this priceless truism: there is nothing wrong with formula. It was good enough for you and your sisters, you said when I complained about the soreness involved in breastfeeding, and the pumping, and the intricate system of storing milk. I realize now that I was a complete moron when I equated formula to liquid neglect. Turns out the stuff might be the best scientific advancement ever. Bryan left out the bottle overnight? Who cares!? There’s more where that came from. Plenty more! Canisters and canisters on shelves all over town. I think formula is so freaking fantastic that I wish I could still depend on it for my kids’ nutrition. Because while nursing can be time-consuming and stressful, providing balanced meals all day long is SO much worse. Bringing me to your next area of expertise . . .

Making Your Own Baby Food is a Colossal Waste of Time

Remember when Sam was about nine months old and I included you in one of my bi-weekly pureeing sessions? Remember how you couldn’t understand why I’d mess up my kitchen and make the house smell like broccoli for days when I could easily fill a grocery cart with handy jars? But they don’t sell jars of organic kale with lentils, I said, shocked that you’d want your grandson’s virgin palate destroyed by the treacherous empire of convenience foods. My child, I pronounced from my throne of self-righteousness, would not be the kind of kid who subsisted on macaroni and cheese after experiencing food in a pure, organic regimen. Ha! Well, guess what? Not only is he addicted to mac and cheese, but he’ll only eat a certain kind. You know the one—the same crap in a blue box that you let me eat as a kid. And little Elissa who was never offered homemade baby food a day in her life? She’s your only grandchild who loves vegetables. You were right: hours and hours of my life I’ll never get back.

You Seriously Need to Relax

This particular piece of advice covers the rest. After six years of your constant eye rolling, I’ve decided to give the overachieving motherhood act a rest. Because let’s face it, most of the tidbits you tell me about parenting put you squarely on my side and Bryan’s. You want us to have interests beyond the children, interest in each other, and—I finally get it—you don’t want your grandchildren raised in the upside-down funhouse-mirror version of childhood where the kids’ wants and needs are elevated to the point of insanity. Amen, Sister! We’re on the same side! Oh, and feel free to stop washing the kids’ sheets in Dreft whenever we visit.

With love and gratitude and deepest apologies,

Nina

About the writer

@NinaBadzin

Nina Badzin is a Minneapolis-based freelance writer with essays, short stories and book reviews published on numerous sites, newspapers and literary magazines. She is the co-founder of The Twin Cities Writing Studio, and she blogs at her site ninabadzin.com. Connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.

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Aidan Monster’s Mom 5 years ago

I personally think that if your kid is old enough to tell you that he wants the boob, that the child is WAAAAAY too old. It’s kinda a little disturbing…..

Maegan 5 years ago

I’m not disagreeing with you…It’s just the way it’s worded…
“What were you right about? Um, pretty much everything. ”

And then goes on to say that she should have listened to her mom when she was told that she doesn’t need to breastfeed or make babyfood. Why? If she was doing what she wanted to do…WHY shouldn’t she breastfeed & make babyfood?!? How was her mother’s advice GOOD if it undermined her own decisions?

I *get* that there are crazy/bizarre things we hear our mothers say…but then can look back & go…”Hmm, my mom wasn’t *so* crazy, I think.” But at the same time…I would be hurt if my mother told me I was wasting my time by doing something I liked doing/didn’t mind doing! I wouldn’t tell my 6 yr old not to waste her time learning to ride a bike b/c driving will be so much easier. And it seems like the post is dispensing the “helpful” information to the high-strung chicks who haven’t yet realized their mother’s wisdom rather than just pointing out how after a few years, mom’s advice didn’t seem so crazy.

I love my kids…One day when they are parents…I will probably want to give them all kinds of advice. After reading this article, I am going to strive to make sure my “advice” is more supportive. Frankly, assuming my future grandchildren are being fed, clothed, & loved…I will be happy with whatever choices my children make. …Or at the very least, I would support the choices.

Kiri 5 years ago

I really didn’t take the article that way at all. It’s a little puzzling to me that you did. I think Nina was just making the point that we can drive ourselves crazy as mothers if we think we have to wear ourselves out trying to do everything perfectly. She wasn’t bashing anyone, or any type of mothering. She was just making the point that her mom was right, mothers can — if they want to — let go of the perfect stuff and just be real.

My favorite book about motherhood is Three Martini Playdate by Christie Mellors. Highly recommended to everyone here who liked Nina’s original post.

Kiri 5 years ago

Me too! I bawled all the way home from the NICU on the day the nurses and lactation consultant pointed out that even after everything I had done I still was getting hardly any milk for my teeny tiny son.

Then my second was a preemie, and again I couldn’t breastfeed. I really hated the way the breastfeeding nazis made it seem like ALL women SHOULD breastfeed, and weren’t able to consider that some women just couldn’t.

My two formula-fed preemies are healthy, adorable, and in the gifted program. (That’s not meant to be a brag, just to point out that kids can be smart even without breastmilk.)

Yara 5 years ago

I loved what you wrote. I have two kids (30months and 8months) the first was both formula and breastfed and the second has just been breastfed until a little bit ago and I personally found just breastfeeding easier cause I didn’t have to lug around any thing other than my boobs (and I’ve been lugging those around for years). Honestly, after reading some of the comments I wonder, why does it have to be one or the other. I’m trying to get my 8 month old off the boob now so she has both breastmilk and formula. I like to make my own baby food, when I have time, and if I don’t I give her jars. And I did the same with the first kid. What’s with all the stress?!?!

Cassie 5 years ago

If you don’t put everyone else’s needs above your own all the time then she’ll be fine. What I meant is that we teach by example and if the example we set is that we are martyrs and don’t take care of ourselves, that is what they will feel they need to do. It was an epiphany when I realized that not only was it necessary to take care of myself, it was setting a good example.

I am not anti-stay-at-home-mom. I think it’s great if you can do it. Sometimes people don’t have a choice and some people have a choice but choose to work. Whatever works best for your family.

Nina Badzin 5 years ago

Thank you SO much!!!!

Nina Badzin 5 years ago

That is the best summary of my post that I’ve seen! No “all or nothing” in my house anymore. I happened to use milk/food as the examples, but it goes for almost all aspect of our lives these days. Exercise for example: I only manage to workout 3 days a week and usually no longer than 30 minutes each time. Should I not bother since it’s better to do it 5 days or every day? Of course not! The list goes on and on . . .

Kameron 5 years ago

Wow, some people really take things too seriously!

I am full time working mom who breastfed my first for almost a year and am 8 months in on number two. With my first I was so stressed out about supplying enough that, when he started sleeping through the night, I would wake up to pump. Now if that’s not crazy, I don’t know what is! I thought if I didn’t provide all of his milk I was a failure and it made me a nervous wreck. At 10 months, I finally gave myself permission to supplement and I became a better mother because of it. I was rested, not on edge and anxious and I know that was better for my son than the alternative. I’m already supplementing with number 2 and I don’t feel bad about it at all. Some breast milk is better than none.

I also fed him all jarred food. I thought making my own food seemed overwhelming at the time and, in my first time mom heightened stress mode, it probably was. This time around I am making all of my daughter’s food. It’s not as hard as I thought it was going to be, but I don’t regret feeding him jarred food and I have some on hand for her if we go out. It is a whole lot easier than toting around frozen cubes of food, trying to get it warmed up, etc.

I think the problem is that people are missing your point. You are not saying throw the boob and all effort being a mom to the curb. I am realizing the second time around that it is OK to give yourself a little leeway. You don’t have to kill yourself to prove that you love your kids. What works for one person is not always what’s going to work for everyone else. If your kids are happy and healthy, you are doing your job. If mommy is not happy and mentally healthy, the whole family suffers. If there were only 1 right way to be a mom then it would be a law, and it’s not!!

Robin G 5 years ago

You are a wonderful mom. You know your kids. You know yourself. You do what is best for you and your family. If I see you beat your kid then maybe I’ll say something. Otherwise, rock on. You’re doing great.

Motherhood is tough enough without everyone pointing out everything they don’t agree with. Trust your gut. No matter what you do, you will screw up. We all do. Your kids will survive and be much more emotionally healthy if you take care of yourself, too.

More power to you. Nothing but support coming from me.

Kir 5 years ago

My first visit andwow, you are just amazing. This post is so spot on that I am ready to cry with the sisterhood I feel with it. :) Seriously.

I can’t wait to read lots more of you. :)

Sarah 5 years ago

HO-LY.FUCK! How on Earth did I miss this? Oh, I know, because I was playing perfect fucking mom to my perfect fucking three kids. Riiiight. That’s it. Yeah, I’m NOT into ignoring my kids to hop online. Nope, not at all. No way. :)

Talk about hitting it outta the park with the controversy here, ladies. I don’t know about you but all those perfect mothers out there make me scared to leave the house sometimes. Other times I just fuckIT and purposely elicit rude behavior from my kids so I can yell REALLY loud in public at them and all those other moms? They can stand there with their mouths open and watch my boy parade take over.

Oh and there’s something that happens when you go from 2 to 3 children. Talk about change in perspective, baby. I think everyone should have at least 3 children and be welcomed into the We’re Not Perfect Moms and We Don’t Give a Fuck How You Parent Because We Don’t Have Time to Be Bothered With It CLUB.

Amanda 5 years ago

happy and very healthy****

Amanda 5 years ago

you hit the nail on the head jill. I simply couldn’t breastfeed my son and I actually felt ashamed and felt like I was less of a mother for giving my newborn formula. I wish there was just one person who would support me and tell me just once that it was okay. Me and my baby were looked at with pity and I hated it. But now he is a happy and very happy 2 year old so it didn’t matter at all did it? For as much support there is out there for breastfeeding there should be for formula feeding!!!

Loren 5 years ago

Amber, that’s awesome that you were able to continue on!

I tried everything I could think of, but nothing worked. The only reason I pumped that long was that I had (stupidly) signed up to partake in a Fenugreek study. Like we didn’t have enough crap to deal with! But for the greater good, I thought What the hay?

I get irritated with the people who act like they KNOW (like they’re an omniscient boob god) how everyone should BF, that something bad will happen to babies who are FF, and that if it doesn’t work for someone, it means they did it wrong or were lazy. I have no guilt… I just wish the loudmouth knowy-Nellies would shut their yaps! 😉

Amanda 5 years ago

I totally agree with this entire post and I am sorry all these PERFECT mothers who apparently have their phd’s in mothering are berating you for taking wonderful care of your kids. It’s 2010 people . One would think that their wouldn’t be so many prejudice woman out there against moms formula feeding and -gasp- going to the store and using -gasp- their own money they earned on buying baby food. These people are absolutely ridiculous. COME ON, SERIOUSLY? you guys think you’re better mothers for breast feeding your kids and making their food at home? Well guess what you’re not. There is nothing wrong with giving a kid a bottle of formula and popping open a can of green beans . As long as the kids are healthy and happy whatever way they get their nourishment THATS ALL THAT MATTERS!!! GET OVER YOURSELVES. :)

Amber 5 years ago

I really hope the opposite is true. That by spending the time that I have right now…the time that I chose to stay home and give my all to my child…she’ll see that she is worth EVERYTHING in the world. I don’t feel like I’ve given up who I am, and I certainly don’t put everyone’s needs and wants above my own.

Amber 5 years ago

I had a preemie too, and could only pump MAYBE an ounce a day with the hospital grade pump, all the herbs and meds. Had we ended up dealing with the NICU for 3 months like you…I would have stopped for sure. Luckily I only had to endure that for 5 weeks. Still a long ass time when you’re fighting with yourself because your boobs will not work!

Our story ended differently, in that I was able to keep bf’ing, but please don’t feel like women like me judge you at all. I know how hard it is to milk yourself like a cow while dealing with so many bigger issues. The only thing that kept me from stopping was that bf’ing was the last thing I had left to hold onto after my body failed at staying pregnant.

Landinsgrandma 5 years ago

After raisiing five boys ,three I gave birth to and two step mothered by me….I have to say my grandchildren all have very different styles in which they are being raised . One is breast fed …home made babyfood ..cloth diapers ,the others raised on formula and jar food and pampers.. do you want to know the only difference ?
NONE ! Motherhood is what you make it . As long as you are enjoying every minute being a mom who cares if you feed the baby by bottle or booby! Respect what others are doing .Do not preach how you are a super mom because you do all that extra stuff for the sake of your child . Some Moms don’t have to work so they have the time . Most Mothers not only are Mothers but work as well.My children were formula fed ,cloth diaper wearing jar food eating HAPPY children and that is all that mattered to me .Today they are all doing well having families of their own and nothing bad ever happened to them because I didn’t make my own food or feed them breastmilk. Alls well that ends well…and this has a happy ending because the joy I had raising my children is now being experienced by them !
Make sure you get to spend time with your child.Read to them everyday.A child is never to young to be read to!

Cassie 5 years ago

Exactly! All of my children were born prematurely and doctor’s discovered an abcess in my uterus when my son was 10 days old. I was extremely sick. I was on a bunch of meds and my doctor said not to feed it to him (plus did I mention I was extremely sick?). Nearly the same thing happened with my twins. So when I see formula being demonized, I feel like I am being judged as a bad mom because I “chose” to quit breastfeeding. I also don’t think I should have to share the whole sordid story so that people understand my decision and can accept it. The thing that kills me is that I shouldn’t be judged in the first place.

Jenn 5 years ago

I guess if I assumed that my OB/GYN giving me formula at my 12 week appointment, getting loads of it in the mail, and many caring friends and family members telling struggling BFing moms to chill out and just use formula isn’t “telling you do to that too” then would be able to agree.

While I agree that these responses are beyond out of control and people are crazy judgmental, it is silly to think that only “crunchy granola” moms are out there doing the judging and advising. Bring a few people on to tell us about Jesus, heaven/hell, circumcision, etc., and you will see the same counterproductive, unhelpful lectures from both sides.

I am pretty sure that your description of us stay at home moms drives that point right home.

Allison Zapata 5 years ago

standing fucking ovation!

Julie 5 years ago

W.O.W.

Really. That’s all I can say.

Julie 5 years ago

WOOHOO! Applause!

Yuliya 5 years ago

Oy Vey. I just read all of these comments while nursing my five month old and am patiently awaiting the arrival of my ‘parent of the year award’ any day now. All I can say is language people language, I know my own mother (who is never right about anything) taught me “if you can’t say something nice…” you know the rest. I think you have a right to disagree with Nina and you should voice that criticism nicely. Calling people that formula feed (for whatever personal reason they have) “lazy” and saying they shouldn’t have kids is NOT helping. Calling people who positively and actively promote breastfeeding support “Nipple Nazis” is NOT helping. Let’s imagine that instead of hiding behind your computer you were in fact talking to a real life person, would you speak that way to another mother in front of you? Let’s hope not. (Or you might get shanked..kidding obviously) I hope all mothers get the support they need.

When I need BREASTFEEDING SUPPORT I turn to places like KellyMom or Best for Babes (and one day I hope it will be so ubiquitous that I won’t need specialty websites), and when I need a LAUGH I turn to ScaryMommy and the funny mommies who post there, like Nina!

LZ 5 years ago

You don’t stop being an individual when you have kids. That’s a pretty crappy example to set for your children, in my opinion. Someone with no life? No interests? No desire to take care of herself.

Cassie 5 years ago

Have these overachieving mothers ever thought about one example they are teaching their children? They are teaching them to put everyone else’s needs (and wants) above their own. These kids will grow up thinking that they are not valuable enough to take time for themselves.

Yup, that’s how I justify those mommy’s nights out.

Cassie 5 years ago

Why is it that “crunchy granola” moms want everyone to be “crunchy granola” people? You don’t hear people who use formula and feeding their kids beanie weinies telling you to do that too. I’m so sick of formula being demonized, and now carrots and water?? Really? And I’m equally sick of this “I can do it, why can’t you?” attitude. Some people don’t stay at home cooking and waiting to serve their husbands when they get home. I have a full time job and three children (2 of them being toddler twins). So go ahead and make your own babyfood and breastfeed-that’s wonderful, but don’t make me out to be selfish because I don’t.

Loren 5 years ago

Hahahahaha!!! Now YOU’VE got a sense of humor!

I “gave up” on my children when they were in the NICU for 3 months and the doctors told me my 2 oz/3 hrs wasn’t going to be enough to feed three fragile micropreemies, even IF I was on Fenugreek and using a hospital grade pump.

But what the hell do I know? Obviously nothing. I should have asked all you know-it-alls how to feed my children, and who knows? Maybe I could be visiting three gravesites instead of my happy and healthy broccoli-eating, academically-excelling 5-year-olds in the next room.

Thanks for setting me straight!

Shawn 5 years ago

OMFG… Seriously people!?!

Life with Kaishon 5 years ago

I just read through this briefly as I have a zillion things I must do today but I actually feel SICK about the people that act like this. What on earth.
It makes me sad that people are like this. Seriously sad.

Life with Kaishon 5 years ago

I don’t know how I missed this.
Brilliant.
To each his own, right.

Cathy 5 years ago

Oh and also, while I’m at it, if you don’t like Scary Mommy’s blog, if you feel that you are better than her….then why the hell are you HERE??? Go find a blog for the terminally humorless and self righteous and subscribe to that one instead. I promise we won’t miss your comments!

Cathy 5 years ago

Oh for crying out loud it’s a blog ode to a woman’s mom. It’s not an argument for or against formula feeding or home made baby food in general. It’s reflective of THE AUTHOR’S opinion. Seriously. Mothers get so damn self righteous sometimes and I hate it. Support each other. You know what, we don’t all have to do it the same way. We don’t all have to do it YOUR way. If you find yourself getting so worked up because someone has a different opinion than you about how THEY choose to care for THEIR offspring……..you need to find a hobby……or get a job……or if you like I will gladly volunteer to come shove you off your high horse.

CLO 5 years ago

I must admit… I’m a little addicted to reading these posts… They’re hilarious! The tug of war between the sides is deliciously rediculous!
After several days I actually went back and reread Nina’s post. Reading some of the posts above you’d think she mused about deciding to let her kids play with knives in the street! RELAX!
Think about it… If being a “good mother” meant putting only good things in our kids mouths then sign me up! I’m in! I’ll only feed them good things and to he11 with the rest of it: reading to them, making sure they feel and are safe, talking to them, educating them, celebrating their accomplishments, teaching them to respect the differences in others (hummmm… perhaps some of us might want to think more about this one ourselves), playing with them, teaching and showing empathy, helping them become strong, independent individuals, teaching them to lead AND follow when appropriate… the list goes on and on. Right???? Maybe NOT! Just maybe being a “good mother” is more than food? Ya think?
I’m not saying that you should NOT feed your kids the right things, but perhaps it’s not the be all end all that some of you think… Heck, I try hard and I know there are things that I could do better, but damn it, I’m trying. Shouldn’t I get a little credit for that even if a drive through window periodically appears on my side of my car? Hey, we’re not all perfect… far from it. Be realistic… Doing one thing doesn’t make you perfect, we all make mistakes. If you can’t see that you don’t have the whole child rearing puzzle completely figured out I feel more sorry for YOUR kids than the ones that eat junk at every meal because you’re unwilling to change. For those of us that see that we have things to learn whether we’ve been parenting 20 months or 20 years, hooray for us! ALL of us!

Maegan 5 years ago

Even as a breastfeeder I think these little things are obnoxious, lol. I must see people posting that “911 babies could have lived…” thing and the jet fuel thing on their FB feeds about 10 times a day!! Goodness gracious, if it was going to be KILLING BABIES, then more than half of babies would be dead before a year!! I think formula is a perfectly acceptable way to feed your baby!

I read about a couple who gave their baby soy milk and it died. …THAT is the kind of ‘feeding’ I’m worried about!! I’d rather people give their babies “evil & poisonous” formula than soymilk & apple juice…

If breastmilk was made from jet fuel…I’d be pumping & selling it to NASA & the USAF. :)

Allison Zapata 5 years ago

SERIOUSLY!! CRAZY!

lawyermom 5 years ago

Posted by Hmmm . . .
“Formula, is not anywhere near the same level as breastmilk. In fact, formula is made with jet fuel. If you don’t believe me, look it up.”

I think you need to look it up. Please stop perpetuating this uninformed falsehood. Traces of perchlorate, a component in jet fuel, have been found in formula. Saying that formula is made with jet fuel is like saying that since formula and tomato soup both have water in them, that formula is made from tomato soup. It’s just dumb. This is not to say that perchlorate is not a concern – it is. It can interfere with the function of the thyroid gland. It has also been found in drinking water in 35 states. So you could breastfeed and still be passing on perchlorate to your baby if you are getting it in your drinking water. Therefore, based on your logic, breastmilk is made from jet fuel!!!

Kim 5 years ago

Me too. And I’m fine with it.

PreggersStepMom 5 years ago

HOLY MOTHER OF GOD……………………
I finally read all of the comments on here, and I will very kindly and nicly say, I am glad you negitive judgemental people are my friends or family. Oh wait, you ALL sound just like my BOYFRIEND’S (not married, might never be) MOTHER,
I CAN’T breastfeed, not that I don’t want to I do want to badly, because I have to take medication that will not allow it, the concentration is too high via breastmilk and my adversely effect my child. Thanks to people like all of YOU, I tried to go off my meds, my guy was really upset, what’s the point in breastfeeding if I end up in the hospital after a month and she has to go on formula anyway? And organic baby food? Homemade? Your all insane (more than my crazy ass, and I am certified damn it). Do YOU know where exactly all of the food you lovingly prepare is from? What was that? Ah, didn’t think so. Unless you grow your own food (MIL does, God help me), you have no idea, and ORGANIC isn’t as regulated by the FDA, whereas babyfood is one of the most regulated products. But of course y’all knew that, right? What? Speak up now?
Ahhhhhh, didn’t think so here either.
This woman is NOT LAZY by any means, she is real about her life. I did not intentionally get pregnant, in fact I had no clue it was even possible after 9 miscarrriages, and now, 8 weeks from my due date, I am freaking out and need support, glad I didn’t ask any of the negitive mothers on here for any, I’d be going more CRAZY.
Being a mom, whatever the circumstance may be, is HARD AS HELL, and what works for YOU may not work for any other mom. Get off your high horses, quit trying to judge others, and accept that your way isn’t right for everybody, please.
Thanks,
Preggers
(MOTHER WITH MENTAL ILLNESS, NOT MARRIED, SPAZTASTIC, AND SICK OF EVERYONE’S SHIT)

Lawrence 5 years ago

Neen,
WOW!! As a “newbie” to parent hood, your write-up was a breathe of fresh air to read! Very humorous, touched on the emotions, and overall just makes sense what you said!
Proud to have you as a sister (in-law) and looking forward to all our kids eating mac’n’cheese together someday soon!
Love Lawr

Fearless Formula Feeder 5 years ago

Nina, this was a great post. You’re correct that this was a blog post, not a scholarly article… unfortunately, the people on the extremist side of this debate refuse to make that distinction, and fear that opinion pieces are perpetuating our bottle-loving society – so even breastfeeding moms like yourself aren’t allowed to admit their less-than-sanctimommyous feelings on the subject. You can’t win. But there are a lot of us who appreciate the humor and truth in this post – the point of it was, clearly, that you’ve changed your tune through experience. A valuable lesson, to be sure, and sweetly told. I could’ve written the same letter to my own mom, although she’d never let me live it down!

Scary Mommy- trust me, I understand where you are coming from on the feminist thing. But I recently spoke with a woman who is pretty prominent in the feminist movement who has written about feminism’s confusing relationship to breastfeeding advocacy, and she assures me that there are MANY feminists out there (especially from the Gloria Steinham wave) who hate this b.s. just as much as we do.Unfortunately, they’re scared to admit it.

One more thing…to those who’ve mentioned the lack of breastfeeding info (and therefore the potential “harm” of Nina’s post) , I just can’t understand this argument. I just spent several days researching a post on supplementation, and I could not find more than one reputable resource that didn’t spend at least half the article telling us that breast is best, and don’t supplement on pain of death. I find the opposite problem – it’s nearly impossible to find non-judgmental, sound info on formula feeding, unfortunately.

Pop 5 years ago

Wow, what a discussion. As a guy, I feel a little like Jill’s son and see a lot of scary mommy’s here, but I just wanted to add my $0.02.

Breastfeeding seems to be the issue at hand, but the word ‘guilt’ seems to appear an awful lot in the comments. Recently, my 2.5yo spilled her milk and somehow, it got under most of the major appliances in our kitchen. She saw all the cleanup I had to do and she kept saying, “I’m sorry, daddy,” and had the guiltiest look on her face. She didn’t maliciously throw the milk under the appliances–or did she?!?!–so I told her not to feel bad about it. As far as I can tell, most parents don’t making parenting decisions maliciously – and certainly not those who go so far as to blog about their parenting and leave comments on other parenting blogs – so why the guilt? I think it comes down to comparison.

My wife and I know quite a few super moms/dads. We also know a few deadbeat moms/dads. When we compare ourselves with the super ones, we feel guilty that we’re not doing more; when we compare ourselves to the deadbeat ones, we feel good about ourselves. We’ve since decided it’s best not to compare ourselves to others – to just do the best we can and be ok with our efforts.

As far as breastfeeding goes, my wife and I read quite a bit of info and went to LLL meetings but breastfeeding our first was painful and most of the support we found–whether online or through others–basically said my wife and/or daughter were doing something wrong. So my wife’s bloody nipples were testaments to what a bad mom she was compared to other women who fed their babies with no problems. We had our local LLL leader and a nurse from our birthing center stop by and try to help, but they said my wife and daughter were doing all the right things, but sometimes, despite their best efforts, breastfeeding can be painful for some women. That advice gave her a lot of peace and she stuck with it.

And while I’m at it, I may as well throw in a last bit of testosterone: as a proud father of a 2 week old, I love my wife’s breastfeeding breasts. Granted, I only get to enjoy them from afar, but they’re real and they’re spectacular!

Scary Mommy 5 years ago

Big, fat ditto!!!

subWOW 5 years ago

“You want us to have interests beyond the children, interest in each other, and—I finally get it—you don’t want your grandchildren raised in the upside-down funhouse-mirror version of childhood where the kids’ wants and needs are elevated to the point of insanity. Amen, Sister!”

Amen, indeed! Your mom is a wise woman.

Jill, I had trouble with BF as well and till this day I still feel that guilt. I have not had the courage to recount the days after the babies were born because I was completely traumatized. I still am. Perhaps I should, just to tell my/our side of the stories…

Allison Zapata 5 years ago

YES ROBIN!! JUST YES!!!
XOXO

robyn 5 years ago

I have really enjoyed reading the original post and all the comments.
I’ve had a similar path as Nina. Now that i have #3 on the way, i am lightening up more and more with my “perfect Mom” thing, and valuing my dear mom’s advice more as well.

I do still BF and intend to BF the baby as well (have been lactating for six years straight now). I’ll still be giving all organic unprocessed food too, and co-sleeping, homeschooling, etc, etc. The thing that has changed is my attitude about it all. I once sounded like those ladies whose comments here have vilified formula feeding, but over the years I have learned to honor our diversity as mothers, and I’ve come to see that we are ALL on the same boat regardless of these small differences in what we do with our kids. I’m often in the company of bottle-fed, pacified, crib-sleeping, Gerber-eating, vaccinated babies and their mothers, and ya know what? SO WHAT?!? We do things differently. BIG DEAL. If i let that rule my outlook on life, i will find myself with very few friends. Under all those ins and outs of motherhood, we are all WOMEN, and we all need the same basic respect from each other.

I REALLY liked Cathy’s post too, awesome. (and, the swearing like a sailor every time you get mad!!! HAHAHA me too girl!) The bottom line is that there is NO SUCH THING as a perfect mom, and we do ourselves a huge disservice by judging each other. If my bottle-feeding, crib-sleeping friends were peeking in the window during one of those swearing-like-a-sailor-screaming-my-head-off moments, i would sincerely hope they wouldn’t judge me too harshly. What we need more of is support and encouragement for each other!!!!! No matter who we are and what choices we are making.

Thanks again for the interesting read :)

Allison Zapata 5 years ago

“not an academic piece for a scholarly journal”

hahahahahahhahahahha

Nina Badzin 5 years ago

Alisa, you’re simply wrong about my intentions. And remember, I’m not a blogger. I was a guest. The entire point was that I was hard on myself about a lot of things the first time around and I don’t think parents needs to measure their self worth on food alone or any single issue for that matter. (I only picked the feeding issue in this particular piece). Where I was being flip and over the top, perhaps, is making it sound in any way shape or form black and white. I don’t believe in all or nothing. If I made it sound that way it was a mistake. I take my kids to a natural doctor for Kinesiology for goodness sake and give my son natural allergy d-hist pills instead of the real thing. Don’t I get SOME creds!!! There are no “sides” in parenting. We’re all the same side–loving our kids and doing the best we can.

Allison Zapata 5 years ago

Hey you! Happy Blogoversary! :)

Nina Badzin 5 years ago

Karen, Yes, I read some of the posts urging for less specific judgment. And I appreciate your note here too!

DiPaola Momma 5 years ago

AMEN! Take that you 0rganic-clothes-wearing-size-zero-chewing-your-kid’s-hormone-free-meat-for-him-super-soccer moms! (envious much? yeah a bit.. ha ha)

Alisa 5 years ago

It strikes me as disingenous to suggest that this post is simply a fun, flip joke. I get that it has a humourous tone, and I get the idea that we live and learn. There’s no doubt that I’ve relaxed about a lot of things over my 13 years of parenting, and I totally agree with the point that parents (mothers especially) really need to be easier on themselves and accept that no one is ever perfect. At the same time, you had to know the kind of debate this would touch off. Unless you’ve never read a parenting blog before, I can’t see how you didn’t anticipate exactly this kind of discussion ensuing. It’s predictable like whoah. And anyway, as I mentioned in a comment above, for me, the choice to breastfeed my second daughter (I nursed my first for a few months but gave it up for formula because of all the free cans I’d collected while pregnant, beckoning from the pantry, combined with a lack of support for body image issues I was experiencing) and to make her baby food (so freaking easy it’s not even funny) was as much a parenting choice as a political one. I have certain morals and values that include buying as little processed/packaged stuff as possible, and I know things about nutrition and how my own body reacts to processed/packaged food that made it a no-brainer to choose to avoid those things for my kids. To each their own, yes, but let’s not kid ourselves about basic health facts, as well as about the destructive impact of our collective hyper-consumerist behaviour. Call me humourless if you want (wouldn’t be the first time)–I just don’t really find this kind of thing especially funny.

Alisa 5 years ago

Thank you, Jill and Rebecca M. Well said. Like you, my politics and my interest in making decisions based on solid information about health and development didn’t fly out the door the second I had a baby (I’ve got 2, btw, ages 3 and 13, and if it makes a difference, I also work full time and run a small business). I choose to withhold as much of my money from big pharma and big food as possible, too, and for health reasons, I choose not to feed myself shit from a can most of a time, so it’s no surprise I’d choose the same for my kids. It really doesn’t take much effort at all–I’m not sure why people insist that eating unprocessed foods requires being a “super mom.” It kind of boggles my mind.

MamaMia 5 years ago

I’m sure every mom in here feels that way. Obviously our children come before we do. The difference is that some people are able to handle different situations better than other’s. Good for you that you broke through your depression to do what’s best for your kids. But if someone isn’t able to do THE BEST (by societie’s standard) for their kids without feeling like crap then why should they? Some people just don’t have the time or the strength to make their own baby food. It doesn’t make them bad moms. If mom is happy the children will be happy.

Maimai 5 years ago

I’m a mother, its not about my needs and wants. Its about the health and welfare of my kids. I’ve been there with depression and hated feeding for a long period of time but knew this wasn’t about me anymore. And no, feeding did not come easy, I’ve been there with the lost milk, the bleeding nipples, the chunks of tissue falling off my nips, I’ve pumped every 2 hours round the clock for months til all I was pumping was blood but I’d be damned if I was gonna formula feed, and yep once i was over the abnormal stuff it was plain sailing… and I’d do the same thing again tomorrow cos my kids come before me

Maegan 5 years ago

FWIW, and I don’t know that it will help calm things down…But I think the reason so many people jump up & go, “Hey, now! Wait a minute…” is b/c if someone is saying, “Wow, this is really the way to do it!” then it sort of IMPLIES that others (like whoever is READING) aren’t doing it the “right” way.

I don’t think it’s really a breast vs. bottle thing…but a “I did it this way and you did it that way” kind of thing…and everyone has reasons for doing things the way they do them. I know I have seen a lot of comments about people being harassed b/c they didn’t want to breastfeed…well, I was harassed b/c I wasn’t formula feeding! In the hospital the nurses tried to push formula on me. The pediatrician said I should switch to formula (my first question, “Is she malnourished?!?” was answered with, “No…but if you’re going back to work, then switching now is the easiest way to do it.” …Umm…you’re a pediatrician and you aren’t considering I would PUMP?) , my mom (even though she paid for a personal lactation counselor) said it would probably stress me out less if I didn’t nurse. I wasn’t really stressed, but I was annoyed b/c people kept suggesting I should STOP doing something that was actually WORKING.

Well…I’m one Hell of a stubborn bitch and I was going to prove every damn one of them wrong. And I did. And it felt GREAT. And after the learning curve…I actually really enjoyed it (not in a weird way, just in a, “cool…I did it!” kind of way). Over time, it felt effortless. Then we moved on to solids (which I actually started a little early, b/c my supply was effected after I went back to work). Since I was one broke ass SOB, my mom (thanks mom!) bought me a hand crank food mill. It’s a little plastic contraption that you put whole pieces of food in to, turn a little crank, and boom…you’ve got baby food! It was even portable.

I had tried to go on WIC, so I could afford some other things…but b/c the paycheck BEFORE my first child was born was a full time paycheck, I technically made $9 too much a YEAR. When I went back to work, I was working about half the hours. I simply didn’t have a chance to retry for WIC…plus I kept cutting my hours back more & more…and being home more I returned the rented breastpump…which put $60 more in my pocket a month. By the time I could afford jar foods, I thought she was kind of past that stage. She needed “real” food…that she could chew on!

I wasn’t educated…I didn’t research or get informed (I did later, but not in the beginning stages)…I did things by default & pure stubbornness.

Maegan 5 years ago

I’m a huge fan of flip. Unfortunately, this piece is a little too “edgey” to be flip. I wouldn’t even put it mildly in the realm of academia…so don’t worry about that, I wasn’t even considering it.

I like flip, sarcasm, tongue in cheek…snide, snarky, and even satire! …I guess this just didn’t come off that way to me. It was more shocking than anything…but not that kind of shocking that makes you sit up & go “hmmm” or even the kind of shocking that’s so over the top it’s funny. This was just…weird & sad.

MamaMia 5 years ago

LOL making homemade baby food shows love? Get real. As far as I’m concerned your kid isn’t going to give a crap whether you gave him Gerber or homemade stuff. He’s not even going to remember.

MamaMia 5 years ago

Maybe breastfeeding was the best option for you but that doesn’t mean it’s the best for everyone else. Everyone has different needs and wants. Awesome that you have the time and energy to pull your boob out at your kid’s command. Not everyone is able to. Why must we be easy to judge other people and their choices?

Amber 5 years ago

Love this. I’d probably get a “C” on my AP report card. Yeah, we still BF at 16 months, but I don’t love it. She loves it, and I love her, so I let her keep doing it. HA! Co-sleeping, I wasn’t a fan but she wouldn’t sleep alone, or flat, due to reflux. Now she’s SLOWLY learning to sleep on her own. Baby wearing? We keep trying, and failing. She likes to be carried around, sure…but fuck yeah I love my stupid fancy strollers 😛 Homemade baby-food. We did that for a few months, then I got lazy. I don’t cook enough for the adults here to do the whole “chop up what you have for dinner” thing, and pureeing meats is nasty. Jarred it is about half the time. She’s finally eating more chunky foods so that part of my life will be over soon! Cloth diapers lasted about a year. When she started walking they got in the way. Too bulky. Disposables, cheap ass target brand!

So I can appreciate both sides. People need to just focus on what works for their child rather than trying to keep up with the family next to you (be it the fancy smancy one or the super crunchy).

Momlissa 5 years ago

Am I the only one takes offense at the use of the term “informed” parenting to describe the anti-sentiment of the author’s post as if those of us who might have formula fed, bought processed food and chose not to let the kids run the household are “mis“ informed parents? I find it highly condescending and incredibly insluting. The weak and the lazy? Get over yourself, indeed, people!

When I had my first, I thought I knew everything and certainly did my due diligence with regards to researching and creating healthy sleep and eating habits. She was breastfed and slept in my room until close to 1 yr old. But then I had 2 more children in less than 2 years and…all best were off. Quite frankly, were it not for formula, chicken nuggets, pasta pickups and mac’n’cheese, I probably would have had a nervous breakdown. Or two.

“Report back when have 3” – (huge laugh) Truer words have never been spoken.

I applaud the author of this post for an honest look at motherhood, particularly when you are parenting 2-3-4+ kids.

Kristin 5 years ago

Scary mommy: don’t feel bad about feeling anti-feminist. I decided I was anti-feminist long ago and have been a much better person for it. :)

Amber 5 years ago

YOU WIN THE INTERNET TODAY!

Amber 5 years ago

Allison, funny you should mention ear infections! Alexa has had 2 already…and she’s been BF’d for 16 months now. Not only that, but she has some pretty nasty allergies.

I’m still a strong supporter of breastfeeding for as long as possible, but it’s not at all the miracle cure that everyone likes to believe.

At this point I’m so freakin’ tired from all the “so called easy” co-sleeping and night nursing that I sometimes wish I had just stuck with formula (we had to FIGHT to get breastfeeding to work in the beginning). HA :-)

Erin I’m Gonna Kill Him 5 years ago

I decided to prepare my daughter for life in an unjust world by toughening her up and teaching her essential life skills early. So I put a spoon and a bowl of pureed baby food in front of her and waited months for her to do it herself, all while I watched Jersey Shore. Now that I’m on #3, I plan to make this one grow his own food in my pesticide-free garden and puree it himself at 4 months old while I watch from my platter of Yellow #5 laden Twinkies.

Whatever, let peeps do what they want. I formula fed my son and breastfed my daughter. Differences? He walked and talked sooner. Do I credit formula? No, but I don’t shit on people who do. I cloth diaper because I love handling feces, but I don’t blame people who don’t because its disgusting.

And I hate playgroups for this very reason. Raise your kids, let others raise theirs whether they’re whipping boobs or bottles out! The article was about acknowledging another viewpoint. We all get too ‘in our mom heads’ sometimes.

Scary Mommy 5 years ago

You know what kills me?

I was unable to breastfeed. For some freak of nature reason, I simply do not produce milk. My boobs remain the exact same size all the way through my pregnancies (which is quite tragic since I was not blessed with a nice rack and always thought I’d learn how the other half lives during pregnancy. Sigh.)

Anyway… I felt so much judgment and hostility from women like this during a time that was really tough for me. I met with lactation consultants and pumped and took herbal crap. Nada. The last thing I needed (or need) are holier than thou women bashing my “choice.”

Breastfeeding may be best. Fine. But, I would much rather be the mom who is supporting the new mother who is devastated that she can’t do the most natural thing in the world than on the other side judging her. And, if she (for whatever reason) simply chooses not to breastfeed? That’s her choice. Not yours.

It’s people like you ladies that make me feel like an anti-feminist.

Scary Mommy 5 years ago

Ditto. Loved this, Cathy. :)

Glam-O-Mommy 5 years ago

Cathy, I think I love you! Awesome comment!

Kristin 5 years ago

Also, I must add, Breastfeeding CAN and WILL hurt like HELL for some of us, even with a perfect technique!!! I Am SO EFFING SICK of hearing that bullshit about it not hurting if “done properly”. How the hell would you know?!

I nursed my son (third kid) in the hospital and had every Nurse and Lactation Consultant in the place check me and verify that I was doing it right. No matter. After 48 hours I had bleeding and cracked nipples. Formula was and is God’s Gift to this Mommy!!

Kristin 5 years ago

Nina, I loved this post! I laughed all the way through it! I was the same way with my first- I even had plans to cloth- diaper. Thankfully reality set in pretty quickly and I realized that a happy and well- rested mommy meant happy and content kids! :p I formula fed all three of my kids. They watch tv. They sleep in their own beds. They get spanked when they’ve been naughty. They occasionally eat way too much sugar. And guess what? They’re happy, healthy, and extremely well-adjusted. They’re the coolest people I know.

Nipple Nazis: get a life!!

Nina 5 years ago

Love it, Cathy. And you share my mom’s name (with a K)!

Mr Lady 5 years ago

I’m pro-kid-feeding.

:)

Nina 5 years ago

Of course I don’t feel that way. I don’t even know what to say to that. I agree the tone is flip, but it’s a fun letter for a fun blog, not an academic piece for scholarly journal.

Enough already 5 years ago

Not the line of thought I was going with at all.
But whatever.

Maegan 5 years ago

Because the article itself is critical of women who have “wasted” their time doing these things…which according to “mom” should all have switched over to heaven in a bottle, rather than doing what felt right and good to THEM. My mom can say all she wants about what *I* choose to do as a mother. But in the end, I feel like I have made/am making the best decisions for RIGHT NOW.

Maegan 5 years ago

The problem is…this article, while not vilifying, is saying that those that didn’t just smarten up & switch to heaven in a bottle are over extending themselves or just plain stupid for trying to work hard to prove themselves as mothers or women or something.

Cathy 5 years ago

I made a choice to stay home with my kids, breastfeed all four of them, make baby food, and cloth diaper because I wanted to do those things and think they were the best choices for my family.

Having said that, I’m also occasionally a roaring monster, have a sick obsession with InStyle that will probably warp my daughters’ body image forever, swear like a sailor any time I get mad (so…three times a day, give or take?), and let my kids watch Barbie.

We all make different choices and, no matter what the statistics say about what’s best for the vast majority, those choices are 95% detail in my opinion. You can do everything “right” and screw up where it counts, right? So who cares if you do some things that aren’t the A++ choices, even throw in an F or two, and get it RIGHT where it counts?

I truly believe that loving your kids from a place of peace and joy counts way more than what you get on your Attachment Parenting report card. And if (like me, even though I still did it) you DON’T find breastfeeding a holy connection to the earth goddess in you or DO discover that having that fourth child really put limits on how much puree you could stand to whip up, maybe following AP like it proceeded from the Holy Mouth of God isn’t the BEST thing for your family.

Anyway, leaving all that aside, here’s what I don’t get.

What the FUCK do you care what other moms are doing? Do your thing, and feel free to suggest your thing to other moms (I know I sure as hell talk to friends about the benefits of nursing and natural birth and cloth diapering).

But when a loving mom chooses to nurture and love and be the world to her kids in a way that’s different than yours, look at where her heart is, give her a hug as a fellow pilgrim in this insane life, and then shut. the. fuck. up.

Love,
Cathy

Glam-O-Mommy 5 years ago

Nina, I loved your post! Screw the naysayers! And anyone saying something mean about your mom just has no class. She sounds great.

I was a formula-fed baby who was and still is a picky eater (translation: I love meat and potatoes and eat no fruits and only a few vegetables…none of which is my parents fault–they eat very healthy, I’m just weird). I did not breastfeed my daughter either (and think formula is fantastic, so sue me) and relied on good old Gerber baby food when it was time to start feeding her solids. And what was the result of all this terrible mothering? I have a healthy beautiful daughter who LOVES, LOVES, LOVES fruits and vegetables, asks for them all the time, and can’t get enough of them! She eats WAY better than me and I’m so glad and do everything I can to reinforce her healthy choices. But I don’t actually think anything I’ve done so far has anything to do with that. My daughter’s healthy tastes are her own, just like my unhealthy ones are!

And I have nothing against anyone else making the choice to breastfeed…I think that’s awesome. I’ve had many friends do it, and that was what was best for them. It just wasn’t the right thing for me. But I do find it interesting that so many breastfeeding moms cite the addictive feeling they get from breastfeeding for long periods of time and how they hate to give it up. Sounds a little bit like it’s about the wonderful way breastfeeding makes them feel, not how healthy and wonderful it is for their babies. Just saying…none of us are perfect! :)

CLO 5 years ago

Wow! Have some of you NO sense of humor? Have you no opportunities to look outside your own holier than thou “perfect parent” little lives to see a little satire? I only buy organic fruit, veggies and milk… AND my kids eat candy sometimes. I get my kids to bed by 7:30 at the latest 99% of nights… AND recently we stayed in our jammies ALL DAY and watched movies. I BALANCE my friends BALANCE. Believe me, I haven’t given up, I love my kids and would do anything for them, including giving myself a break which is often the BEST thing I can do for them to help me keep a little sanity and a little piece of me.
Nina, I loved your piece… I GET it. 😉 Job well done to a wonderful parent!

mystic_eye 5 years ago

Go say formula is perfectly safe to the moms of the 911 babies that died from being formula fed last year.

And making “baby food” is the easiest thing other. Make dinner (use less salt), hand food over to baby. Do not puree. Do not mash. Do not reduce herbs or seasonings. Done.

Karen 5 years ago

I hope you were able to see that there are women who are Feminist Breeder fans who were disappointed by the critical tone of some of the comments left in response to your blog post. I hate that the positive message got lost in some heated words. And although I agree with much of TFB’s philosophies on child rearing, I think there are many ways to be a good mom.

suzanne the shortcake 5 years ago

i breastfed and formula fed my twins, sanitizing bottles and purchasing formula that the tater tots could not digest (WE TRIED ALL KINDS) really wasted too much time and money (not to mention their the screaming from the tummy pain), breast feeding them just got me a wicked oxytocin/prolactin high that helped me to feel happy and healthy. i still make all their food for here at home, they like some veggies and not others. they are happier and healthier than *I* was as a tot, just ask my formula/convenience food loving mother.

Enough already 5 years ago

That’s it! It’s official. I’m going to stop reading comments on people’s blogs. Because people simply have too much time on their hands to spend criticizing others and trying to make themselves sound better than everyone else. Why can’t we just honour one another’s choices? I can’t believe how condescending some of these comments are. Nina, you wrote a great post. I love the honesty of it. Thank you.

Valerie 5 years ago

I dont get it. You breastfed 3 kids (2 of them for a year even) and were making their baby food – which would make me think that at one time you knew (or at least thought) there was some value to those things. Then it seems that your mom convinced you that your efforts were a waste of time. I dont know if it was your intent, but the post comes across as “breastfeeding and making baby food are a total waste of time, it’s “freeing” and “easier” to just buy formula and jarred food”. While I dont agree with that, what I dont agree with even more so is the general tone of the post which encourages moms to choose the “easiest” way and not think beyond that.

Swirl Girl 5 years ago

I made a choice not to breast feed my children. I have no guilt or shame or feel no less of a great mom for those choices. In fact, I had an epidural too. And my kids watch t.v… I was just too darned busy milling my own wheat working on the loom …(said slightly tongue in cheek) So sue me.

What I don’t get is why don’t women support each other?

Nina Badzin 5 years ago

Wow! Just saw the comments on Feminist Breeder’s Facebook page! First, let me say that I appreciate her efforts to keep the issue broad and not personal. What irks me about some of her readers’ comments against what I was saying is that it takes such an all or nothing attitude . . . as if parents are forced to put up a tent on one side of the camp rather than adopt practices from both. Most people don’t 100% go one way or another on parenting issues. Real life requires different choices at different times in our lives. And breastfeeding/food/sleeping choices are hardly the only defining moments of motherhood or childhood for that matter. You can raise wonderful, happy, loved children no matter which way you go.

And let me just say that whoever insulted my mom on that Facebook feed. NOT COOL! 😉 Nina

Rachel 5 years ago

I praise you for having enough energy to give a shit about supporting corporate greed. Because I don’t. You must be on some sort of super mother meth. I’m still trying to get past the period where I’m tripping over my feet every morning trying to make breakfast before I collapse on the couch in a puddle of overtired mom goo, and my kids are 3 and 5.

Sara Plays House 5 years ago

Here’s the thing Nipple Nazis don’t seem to get–your condescending, nasty attitude helps no one. Getting snarky and high and mighty about your choice to breastfeed only makes all nursing mothers look like lunatics.
The bottom line is: what another mother does for her children is none of your damn business. (Says the former breastfeeding AND formula feeding mom)
Also completely agreed that having a child should not mean that your universe suddenly revolves around them. A coddled child almost always turn into a crazy serial killer stalker type. (Who lives in his mommy’s basement)
Love this piece–SO right on!

Sara Plays House 5 years ago

BEST. COMMENT. EVER.

the grumbles 5 years ago

ouch, Sage, even *I* am offended by this one. so because i send 100% awesome pure breastmilk for my son to drink from a bottle while he is at daycare i’m not “breastfeeding”? you’ve got to be kidding me. i’m glad all that pumping i do is completely worthless in your eyes, but i feel pretty good about it.

janelle 5 years ago

salt! *gasp* you probably use pasteurized milk too! 😉

janelle 5 years ago

awesome. :)

Kat Sojka 5 years ago

Not going to touch the breastfeeding debate with a ten foot poll. But on baby food. I made my own baby food and I think it is the reason I have the least picky 4 year old eater I have even seen! I added herbs and spices and *gasp* a little bit of salt to her food as a baby. The jar stuff is so bland it is no wonder there are countless articles on “How to get your toddler to eat” and “The art of hiding veggies”. I say making your own baby food may take a few extra minutes but will save countless hours of frustration later! Help them develop a palate early!

Allison Zapata 5 years ago

Forgot to mention….

I had ZERO guilt about not being able to breastfeed. I had a breast reduction when I was 18 and my milk never really came in. There was all these things they tried to get me to do, tape a IV from milk to my nipple so he would think he was breastfeeding….when he was asleep they wanted me to try a zillion things to try and produce milk, etc.

I flat out told the lactation consultant that I appreciated what she was trying to do, but that feeding my child should not be so complicated.

The breast reduction, the not being able to breast feed, etc., I would change NOTHING if I could go back.

As for all the holier than thou, judgmental moms out there, you can call it giving up or taking the easy road all you want, but for me and my child, it was what was natural for us. and it was perfect.

janelle 5 years ago

agreed. formula would have ruined us financially with our twins, but we’re lucky, there were not feeding issues (malnutrition, reflux, what have you).

however we supplemented with formula occasionally. if we didn’t have any “extra” breast milk in the freezer or if I wanted to have some cocktails and would have to pump and dump. nobody’s perfect, and mama needs to have a life too. :)

Allison Zapata 5 years ago

bwhahahahahahha

Mama Kat 5 years ago

I beer fed each of my children. Raising a young group of alcoholics (ages 6,5, and 3) is not easy, but they sleep REALLY well!!

Allison Zapata 5 years ago

Great that all this is right for you and yours. I on the other hand, love the fact that my 23 month old begs to go to sleep each night in his own bed…because he loves it so much. It’s a place just for him, independent of his parents…which is what I want for my child and what I believe is healthy and best for him.

My kid was not breastfed and I leave him with sitters a couple of times a month. I even just left for 8 nights to Europe. *gasp* Personally, I came back a better mom. He did awesome while I was away. And he learned that when I leave, I will return. It’s building trust between us a little at a time.

So, you see, that’s what is best for MY child and my family. Your way would never have worked for us.

TO EACH HIS OWN!

Allison Zapata 5 years ago

PUH-LEASE!!

Maimai 5 years ago

Gotta agree with you there fem breeder… I’ve been breastfeeding my two kids without a break for the past 3 and a half years (and still going!) I tell you its the easiest thing in the world. My kids are the pickiest eaters ever but I’ve never had to worry about nutrition cos I know what goes into my body goes into theirs. And on the spouse time stuff… I think kids are supposed to enrich a marriage, we live in a city where we have no family and we don’t leave our kids with anyone but immediate family, our marriage isn’t suffering from never getting a break cos we don’t see our kids as a threat to our relationship… I think you all need to loosen up about sharing your body with your babes for their life’s sake. And no, I have nothing to prove to anyone, but I have to live with myself at the end of the day and I just don’t think I could if I knew I was taking the supposedly easy route and feeding my kids all the poisons in formula… and on that note… breastfeeding is actually the easier option if you’re prepared to give your body to your baby, and it truly is the most freeing and enriching experience

Saga 5 years ago

I didn’t think I sounded stressed or wound up 😀 And if you don’t think I have sense of humour then my jokes must be really, really bad since you totally missed them :)

I suppose I’ve seen too much of the kind of stuff that that’s on the original post. I feel it’s not good to normalize FF since it can be very hard to find any proper information on breastfeeding as is. Flaunting it as ‘freedom’ is misleading and I’d hate to see another mom give up on BF early on after reading this kind of stuff. BF isn’t that hard and it doesn’t hurt – if done properly. I’ve enjoyed my BF journey so much I’d love for others to have a proper chance at experiencing something like it :)

drlori71 5 years ago

Nice post! I enjoyed reading it. I wish people wouldn’t attack other mothers everytime formula is mentioned. It’s a choice – it doesn’t make someone a bad mother.

Nina Badzin 5 years ago

Thanks! :)

Jenn 5 years ago

Ha! I breastfeed ‘because’ I am lazy ;).

Jennifer K 5 years ago

Dear Saga, Rebecca M, and Hmm–the three of you sound like the most stressed out, tightly wound, no sense of humor bunch of people. If you are so happy with yourself why are you attacking other people and their choices? Maybe you should try some formula for your baby and a stiff drink for yourself.

Nina-You are doing a great job!!

Jennifer 5 years ago

I am sorry your efforts were undermined by your mother. I am sorry that your lack of support lead to your child missing out on their right to nourishment biologically created and perfectly for them. I hope now that you have given up on doing the best for you children, you are able to move into doing the best you can do for your children.

Karen 5 years ago

I think the important thing to take from this post is that women need to do what works for them to make them better mothers, without succumbing the guilt trips in either direction. Yes, I’m all for breastfeeding and making babyfood – but I actually enjoyed those activities, which made me a better mother. If those were things that took up time I didn’t have and made me a frazzled, stressed out mom then I think it’d be much more important to use formula and gerber and be a happy, healthy mama than be a crazy, stressed out mama! Babies need happy, healthy mamas as much as they need breastmilk :-)

Jenn 5 years ago

Oh, and off topic, your family is crazy cute.

Jenn 5 years ago

I agree that sometimes even our moms can give us great advice! Mine told me not to attempt breastfeeding (she had a shot after labor and never had the chance) and after seeing her grandsons breastfed has now turned into something of a mini-lactivist! Goes to show that sometimes they enjoy learning a thing or two from us.

In my sleep deprived world, mixing a bottle whilst listening to my son cry would be a nightmare compared to the ease with which I can pop my boob in his 7-month-old mouth at 3am. Not to mention the cost. Not to mention the environment. For me, eliminating all of the buying, mixing, and washing is where BFing actually helps me relax. I have lost the desire to pump this time around and am cool with him having the odd bottle of formula once a week or so if the freezer is empty and I need DH or a sitter to do a feeding. As with your post, that is my version of giving myself a break and being less uptight.

What women need is support and encouragement, not every other mom who has formula fed telling them, all the time, to throw in the towel and there is no difference. There is a difference and women deserve, not the guilt, but at least the facts. Doctors not stepping up about the benefits of breastfeeding when a word from them and some help if needed, could make the lives of so many moms that much easier. In my opinion of course.

amber 5 years ago

Ladies. Why don’t we all just stop attacking each other (and our choices) and try being a little supportive, instead? This was supposed to be a lighthearted post – not an excuse for another all out boob vs. bottle war!

I had to formula feed. And it wasn’t an easy decision to make. Especially because of the flack I got from other women (oh, the buckets of tears I cried). Lay off, already!

Rebecca M. 5 years ago

We, as mothers, need to throw out the term “guilt”. Guilt is the feeling of remorse from knowing you’ve done something wrong. If you KNOW that you did the right thing for you and your family, in your situation, then you have NO reason to feel “guilt.” Maybe you feel regret that you didn’t have the resources or support to make a different choice, or maybe you feel anger that others are not showing empathy or support. But no one else can MAKE you feel anything, including guilt, and I cannot see how anyone, whether doctors, govt health agencies, or other moms stating FACTS about the risks of artificial feeding can “make” anyone feel “guilty.” I’m not a fan of “breast vs bottle” debates either, and I don’t this as such. I see this as some moms who have different opinions and have had different experiences than the OP, sharing those opinions/experiences. There should be no “debate” about breastfeeding. It’s normal and right for MOST babies and moms. Artificial milk can be life-saving, and yes, sometimes sanity-saving, in those cases where breastfeeding doesn’t work.

Nina Badzin 5 years ago

Allison! Yes! THAT was my point (and my mom’s!)

Allison Zapata 5 years ago

LOVE THIS POST!! My son, now 2, was a formula baby. The moment I stopped listening to all the voices telling me what was best for me and my child, I let go of all the horrible anxiety I felt every time he cried out in hunger. I started looking forward to those times. I was happy and my baby could sense that. My choice was BEST for both of us.

Possibly worth noting, the kid just got his first ear infection and real fever ever. At almost two. He is off the charts in weight and height. He is amazing!

Really, as woman, shouldn’t we be supporting one another in our right to choose and know what is right for each of us as individuals. I vote yes. What works for some, does not work for others. What is right for some of us, isn’t for the rest of us.

Thanks for the great read :)

Natalie @ Hope Springs Eternal 5 years ago

Ohhh, awesome. Another breast vs. bottle debate. I breastfed my baby for two weeks, and then I switched to formula. I went from sobbing while nursing her every night when she wouldn’t stop crying from not getting enough milk and I was sleep deprived, to bottle-feeding her and being rested and happier, and therefore a better mother. Formula is what worked for me, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. I was devastated when I had to stop breastfeeding and felt so much guilt it wasn’t funny, and the reason I felt so much guilt is for comments by people like the ones commenting here who are saying negative things about formula.

Formula worked for me and my baby. Formula works for other moms and other babies. How ’bout we stop judging and bickering, and realize that we’re all thrown in this crazy ass, rickety parenting boat together and get the fuck along?

Great post, BTW, Nina.

Saga 5 years ago

Ok :) I suppose I’ve never understood the whole “getting up to feed”-thing either so it’s a little confusing for me. If you really want to take it easy and relax, co-sleeping can do wonders! My two-year-old loves going to bed and I love not having to power-struggle over bedtimes or ever get up at night to feed or soothe her.

Nina Badzin 5 years ago

Report back in when you have three. 😉

Nina Badzin 5 years ago

Once in awhile my husband would get up to do a feeding from milk I’d pumped at some other time.

Nina Badzin 5 years ago

I meant in total “I’VE nursed babies for 2.5 years . . . “

Saga 5 years ago

Oh, I was also confused by this “Bryan left the bottle out all night”. If you were BF’ing earlier/the other kids, why the hell were bottles involved? It’s not breastfeeding if you’re bottlefeeding, you know…

Nina Badzin 5 years ago

Hey group! Don’t get me wrong, I’m all about breastfeeding and have helped many a friend learn how to do it. (In total if nursed babies for 2.5 years so I get everything that you’re saying about it.) I just don’t think that as women we need to vilify the mothers who don’t do it. (Which is the kind of stuff my mom wanted me to see . . . that it’s not as if there’s only ONE way to do ANYTHING from feeding to anything else.)

Saga 5 years ago

“And as for relaxing? You’re a mom. Your days of relaxation are WAY over. They were way over when you got pregnant ( when you had morning sickness, fatigue, hunger, etc). If you want to relax, don’t have kids. Get a goldfish. Motherhood isn’t for the weak and lazy.”

I want to comment on this… I think it’s perfectly doable to have kids, give them oyur best and still be reasonably relaxed. You might have to learn new ways to do it but it’s possible. When you work hard to make your life what you want it to be on a daily basis, it shouldn’t all topple down because of the odd day spent just relaxing. Plus once you become accustomed to a new lifestyle, like I have become accustomed to attachment parenting, it’s relaxing in itself. I LOVE cuddling up to my toddler when I go to bed at night. I’ve loved it (almost) every night since she was born. Leaving her with a sitter to go and “relax” somewhere would’ve turned me into a nervous wreck. What relaxed me was the unbelievable freedom of babywearing, really.

Rebecca M. 5 years ago

The only point in this post that I can remotely agree with, is that new moms will do well to try to relax and not be too hard on themselves. Stress isn’t good for mom (or her milk supply), baby, her marriage, or anything else really.

For moms who cannot breastfeed, I’m sure that artificial milk is “from heaven” because it prevents starvation. But calling it “the best scientific advancement ever”? As if it has advanced us PAST breastfeeding? Of course many babies who are fed formula are “fine” but that doesn’t mean that there’s nothing wrong with it, either. Articles like this just make me feel so sad about our society and the way we view mothering and normal infant feeding.

Also, I can’t understand what is supposedly so much easier about bottle-feeding. I have worked as a nanny and babysitter to artificially-fed babies and in my experience it was A LOT of work – the measuring, the mixing, the actual feeding (you have no free hand unless you prop the bottle, which increases risks of ear infections and is just lazy and disrespectful to your child, IMO), the cleaning of all the bottles and parts – ugh. Breastfeeding my son has been so much simpler! Just pull up the shirt, pull down the bra, voila. Nothing to lug around with me, no worrying if the water is safe for him to drink, no worrying about leaving anything out on the counter to spoil (only an issue if you’re pumping milk to give in a bottle overnight, which doesn’t make sense to me anyway). Obviously there are constraints when you’re nursing, I’m not being naive — I’m well aware of the limitations on my “freedom.” I’ve had to deal with pumping and bottles and all that at times, but overall breastfeeding has been MUCH more convenient than artificial feeding, plus we haven’t had to deal with the increased illness that often accompanies artifical feeding.

Maegan 5 years ago

Ehh…My mom didn’t say those things, but she did say other things…and like someone else mentioned, a little fucking support would be NICE.

I breastfed both, and hand-pureed both. But I didn’t find it time consuming or soul sucking in any way. Was it easy? Not at first, but once I got the hang of it…It was EASIER to do than driving up to the store to BUY crap to feed my kid!

I got a little tiny hand-mill. Whatever my husband and I were eating, a little portion went into the handmill…and that’s what I fed my kid. Every so often I would make a little extra to store for times when I would be out of the house…I certainly can see the convenience in jar foods (sort of…I mean, if I’m already at the store, sure…but you don’t find a lot of gerber foods at the farmer’s market, where I would often buy veggies in bulk, then blanche & freeze them). But breastfeeding is harder than formula? Whaaa?? No bottles, no sterilizing, no cleaning, heating, mixing. Just open bra, put baby to boob. And I learned how to sleep while doing it.

Scary Mommy 5 years ago

That is NOT what this post is about. It’s about keeping your sanity once you become a mother. I show love for my children in a million ways and none of them included breastfeeding or homemade baby food. Get over yourself.

Saga 5 years ago

I’ve never had to make a trip to the market to get more milk. I got plenty with me, all day, every day, as long as it’s needed. Plus it never needs to be warmed up, cooled down or swished around from one container to the other :)

With baby-led weaning I’ve never had to puree any food for my child or waste hours and hours of time spoon-feeding her. She has done her solids on her own since abt 6 months of age, leaving me free to enjoy my own meal in peace. And we do mostly organic vegan food 😉

I work two part-time jobs and study full-time all while being a full-time mom as well. Instead of feeling exhausted, I feel energetic and alive, happier than I’ve ever been in my life even though I’m a 21 y.o. single mom and “should” have all the reasons to be miserable. I think mothering gives me more energy than it takes. Before I got pregnant I couldn’t even handle just studying FT, now I can do so much more and still feel rested and peaceful on a Sunday morning, laying in our shared bed nursing my two-year-old daughter.

Hmm.. 5 years ago

Very disappointed in this article. All it does is show how to give on being a parent.
Nursing should NOT hurt if DONE properly. Formula, is not anywhere near the same level as breastmilk. In fact, formula is made with jet fuel. If you don’t believe me, look it up. As for making home made baby food. It shows love. It shows that you take the responsibility of being a mom and not taking the lazy way out. Gerber and some other baby foods are not healthy for babies. They are indeed high in sodium and crap that isn’t even food. And as for relaxing? You’re a mom. Your days of relaxation are WAY over. They were way over when you got pregnant ( when you had morning sickness, fatigue, hunger, etc). If you want to relax, don’t have kids. Get a goldfish. Motherhood isn’t for the weak and lazy.

Rebecca M. 5 years ago

I’m glad to see some sanity on this thread. To me, it’s not about trying to be an “overachieving mother.” It’s about making the right choices for my child, armed with the information that I have. And not putting money into the pockets of big pharma and big food if I don’t have to. And not contributing to the wasteful process of manufacturing, transporting, and disposing of processed foods and their containers. I, too, can’t ignore the facts.

Rebecca M. 5 years ago

But see, you don’t have to add all that water and make runny purees for babies over 6 months. If you wait until 6 months to start solids, as recommended by ALL major health organizations, then you don’t even have to do purees — you can give baby soft chunks of food and let them at it. This is known as “baby led weaning” and is HUGELY easier for mom, not to mention you avoid having to convince baby to eat actual food later after he’s grown accustomed to watery crap on a spoon.

TheFeministBreeder 5 years ago

Really? I formula-fed my first and breastfed (well, still am breastfeeding my 2 yr old) and I found formula feeding to be an expensive, time consuming prison that offended everything about my feminist, autonomous principles. Simply pulling my shirt aside to feed my baby has to be the most freeing thing I have ever experienced in my life. My family was so very wrong about that one.

norah 5 years ago

nina,
hilarious, insightful, and truthful post!

Elizabeth Laukka 5 years ago

Nina, so well-said! You have such a command of the English language and the heart and soul of motherhood, all rolled into one. Ditto on every account!

Lauralee Hensley 5 years ago

Yep, they’ve been there, done that, and learned. So it’s okay they want to share the info with you, but then they need to step back and let you do it your own way. Then when the time is right for you and your kids you can add in some of their suggestions.

Kristy 5 years ago

Ugh of course our mom’s are right..they have already done it before..usaully MANY time..it’s just SO hard to listen!! :-)

Maytal 5 years ago

Nina!!
I love it!
Can’t wait to talk more and spend time together when we’ll get to MN.
Love, Maytal- a very new mother :)

Nina 5 years ago

Yes! Zeemaid! That is exactly what I was trying to say. I actually really liked nursing, but I think I also felt a certain amount of pressure (more self-imposed than anything else) to do it for at least a year.

Jodie at Mummy Mayhem 5 years ago

Well, Nina – I reckon your Mum sounds like the coolest Mum EVER! Many Mums/MILs are doing to the opposite – tsk-tsking about us “modern day mothers” not doing everything naturally.

I made baby food – but I NEVER pureed fruit. I’ve always bought that. Good old Heinz.

Great post.

Megan (Best of Fates) 5 years ago

Ah, mom’s being right after all. It both sucks and is inevitable.

Amber 5 years ago

Nina! That is fantastic. I was a pretty well balanced mom the first time around and am getting ready to go for number two (11 years later) and I certainly wonder what kind of mom I’ll be this time. Everything feels so different 11 years later. I hope I’ll be as relaxed as you are this time too! :)

Lorraine 5 years ago

The day my mom popped a soother into my son’s mouth, instantly stopping the yelling that had been going on without cease for what seemed like 6 months (because it HAD BEEN about six months) was the day I realized that maybe my mom did know best. Turns out Kid did not develop a malformed palate or a taste for plastic. He just stopped yelling so much. Cut WAAAY down on the gin budget, too.

Nina Badzin 5 years ago

Yes! My mom is my husband’s biggest advocate!

Nina Badzin 5 years ago

Thanks, Mom! Now I’m getting teary eyed. Meanwhile, people are going to think we never speak in person or on the phone!

Nina Badzin 5 years ago

Exactly! When you see how much water you have to add to some foods to make it smooth enough for the babies, you stop feeling annoyed that water is always an ingredient in jarred food!

Nina Badzin 5 years ago

Listen, it’s nice to have the experience of doing it both ways. Now you’ll never wonder, “Would my daughter eat arugula for lunch if I’d made all my own food.” 😉

Nina Badzin 5 years ago

Oy vey! Not the father and father-in-law too! Oh no! Not to brag . . . but see my mom’s response a bit below. She really is great!

Liz @ Peace, Love & Guacamole 5 years ago

“Because let’s face it, most of the tidbits you tell me about parenting put you squarely on my side and Bryan’s.” Love that line…it’s solid proof that you and your mom have a wonderful, enviable relationship: she is looking out for you, and you are recognizing and appreciating it.

Thanks for sharing!

zeemaid 5 years ago

I love this because it’s so true. Not that making homemade babyfood and breastfeeding is not a worthy cause etc… but there’s nothing wrong if you’re not the type to spend hours doing it. I had good intentions of making my own babyfood but lacked the energy and motivation to keep it up. I loved breastfeeding because it was such a sweet experience but by my third baby in 4 years, I was more than a little relieved to get my breasts back when I didn’t have enough milk after 3 months of breastfeeding. I felt guilty about not wanting to do it anymore but my boy is now 3 and a very healthy and happy kid and I’m a better mom because my boobs stopped hurting and I was able to get a little more sleep. :)

Jacy 5 years ago

Nina – You need to leave the pool this instant and get back to your desk and write more! Seriously, I so enjoyed this. : )

Mishelle 5 years ago

I think the best piece of advice is just to relax – new parents (and this includes me when I was a new mom for BOTH kids) is just to relax. A relaxed Mom means a relaxed baby.

It’s a smart list.

M

Martini Mama 5 years ago

I have to agree with you on this one! :) Very good letter to your mother, and cute!

ZippyChix4 5 years ago

Love this post!! Have to agree that sometimes it feels like the kids wants and needs take precedence over the parents….I don’t remember this occurring as much when I was a kid. My mom has always stressed the importance of making time for your spouse. Eventually the kids fly the nest; your spouse will still be around, so it is of vital importance to keep the connection. Thanks for the great thoughts!

Jennifer 5 years ago

Hell yeah! Here is to be a “good enough” mom. Perfection is so overrated.

Caroline 5 years ago

Heh . . . got anything about bovine growth hormone that I could tell my mother-in-law??

C @ Kid Things 5 years ago

As someone who formula fed her first and then breastfed her younger two, while there are pros to breastfeeding of course, formula feeding is SO MUCH EASIER. If breastmilk wasn’t free, and if my kids didn’t refuse a bottle, I probably would have been much happier to switch.

Kathy Sackheim 5 years ago

Apology accepted. A wonderful letter. Could I be your mother without dispensing just a little advice? Years ago a professional told me there were no perfect mothers. He said the goal is to be a “good enough mother”. I found those words comforting as you and your sisters were growing up. I am so happy you have learned to relax. You are doing a great job with your children.
Love,
Mom

Jennifer K 5 years ago

Love this post! So true! How come hindsight is 20/20? That Kathy must know a thing or two… PS – I am thinking about switching to target brand diapers—do I dare become the only lady on the Upper East Side not using Pampers Swaddlers??

Nina Badzin 5 years ago

Thanks for all the comments so far everyone! I love reading them, and I had so much fun looking back and poking a little fun at myself. Believe me, I left out WAY MORE than I included. I was really a maniac. Now . . . how to keep reading comments while my kids and I are at the pool today. I’ll have to wait until later! Motherhood! 😉 Nina

Anne Brown 5 years ago

I always thought nursing was more painful than childbirth itself so formula and I go waaaaaaay back! Very funny post! I think I’ll get going on my own apology letter to my mother. I wonder if Hallmark has a card for that.

gigi 5 years ago

Well said! Well said! I think our lives are spent realizing that in many cases, our parents did know what they were talking about. of course, soon, the roles will be reversed and we’ll be the dumb ones when our kids start having kids!

I had to laugh at the making of the baby food. We tried to be all healthy and cheap and stuff. Until we got the wooden spoon stuck in the blender and our homemade babyfood carrots had a bit too much fiber in them. :) Back to Gerber.

Pres. Kathy 5 years ago

Ok – this article is absolutely awesome! Thanks for sharing!

Jill 5 years ago

My mother has the same dissmisive reactions to my “informed” parenting as I like to call it. But instead of thanking her, I wish she were a litle more supportive and not as judgemental about that way I’ve chosen to doing things because breastmilk over cow’s milk and organic purees over processed & preserved jarred food do make a difference in the developing mind and body (I’ll spare you the statistics). While it would certainly make my life easier to just buy the pre-made stuff, I can’t simply ignore the facts.

Is it a matter of life and death, no. I wasn’t breastfed or fed organically and I’m…ok, bad example. But if I can offer healthier altermatives, a pat on the back instead of a roll of the eyes, would go a long way.

LZ 5 years ago

When my first was born, I thought I was such an expert, and disregarded anything my mother said. Even when she agreed, I was sch a know it all that I had to expand on what she told me with my new found wisdom.
Now, though we disagree and many things, I so wish I had listened to a few nuggets of wisdom…maybe I’d have kids that don’t expect a separate meal or expect to run around like maniacs when they should be in bed.
Live and learn…great post!

kalah 5 years ago

on the verge of having #2 and this was wonderful to read. totall boob/self-pureeing mom here and realizing there is no way in hell it will happen for #2 – and really, what was the point when i ask #1 what she wants for breakfast and she answers “mac n cheez” or “icecreeem” everyday. thanks for the reassurance! (now please get this baby out of me this minute!)

Michelle @ Mommy Loves Stilettos 5 years ago

Bravo! I love this post SO MUCH!

Alexis Stein Tande 5 years ago

I was reading this LAUGHING OUT LOUD not even realizing that Nina was the author. Nina- you are a terrific, on-the-money author who just made my morning. Write more! Write more! Between you and Jill, I can’t even imagine the adventures you both have with 3 kids. You guys are both the best!

xoxo
Alexis

From Belgium 5 years ago

Can we change moms? No seriously.
Mine went batshit crazy when her first grandchild arrived. The kind yank-baby-from-boob-cuzz-you’re-doing-it-wrong-let-me-show-you kind of crazy. In which she was unfortunatly aided by my father and father in law. They where the all-knowing-child-raising-Gods.
Many was the time I wanted to bludgeon them to death with a rusty poker.

Danielle 5 years ago

Funny! I’ve gotten the same advice from my mom and it is soooo true! But I’ll never admit it:-) Good Post!

Pop 5 years ago

“You want us to have interests beyond the children, interest in each other, and—I finally get it—you don’t want your grandchildren raised in the upside-down funhouse-mirror version of childhood where the kids’ wants and needs are elevated to the point of insanity. Amen, Sister!”

Well said! I really wish I heeded the advice of my mom when we had our first. My wife and I were completely neurotic and our daughter’s first 2 years of life were by the book (the myriad of parenting books we bought or borrowed). We may have hit all the major milestones when we should’ve hit them and our daughter never knew the evils of HFCS or other processed demon foods, but we were nervous wrecks!

For our second, we’re making it a point to relax and we’re enjoying parenting a lot more. Ooops. The baby slept through a feeding and the wife’s boob is rock solid. Oh well. Oooops. We didn’t change the diaper promptly and the baby has diaper rash. Oh well.

Betsy 5 years ago

It is all true.

Strike one for experience!

You try so hard to be the best mom the first time out, do everything right… and you end up miserable, whacked-out on stress and ready to commit yourself to an insane asylum just for the break. (Or maybe that was just me.)

The twins pretty much took care of that right away for me. They hazed me into being less complicated, more relaxed and buying organic baby food, not making it as I had always planned.

And you know what? They’re fine. And their younger brother is too.

So’s Mom.

Julie 5 years ago

EXCEPT, that breastfeeding and making your own baby food is LIGHT YEARS cheaper. That’d by my only argument. I made my own baby food w/ my 2nd one, and I thought it was fun, and I felt good about doing it for him, but if $$ hadn’t been an issue, seriously… Gerber and I are close.

When #2 was still way underweight @ 9 months, the Dr. gave me a canister of formula and said “Just try it.” I never looked back, mostly because he kept me stocked in free sample cans and I only ever had to buy one can myself. My kid gained weight and finally looked like a normal baby instead of a severely malnourished one. For him, the formula was better. Apparently all the calories from my breast milk went straight to my ass.

Allison 5 years ago

“you don’t want your grandchildren raised in the upside-down funhouse-mirror version of childhood where the kids’ wants and needs are elevated to the point of insanity. Amen, Sister!”

Amen!