I will preface this by saying no matter what choices you make, someone out there will make judgments. I feel if we are choosing to do what is best for our family then we shouldn't worry about other judgments. It's still difficult to brush some judgments off though. I know that some comments are not intended to be hurtful but they are still bothersome. I've been trying to keep in mind that we're all guilty of making judgments of others.
Where am I going with this?
Recently, after overhearing a conversation about the extent I've gone to with my diet in order to continue breastfeeding, someone said to me "There's a time to stop breastfeeding". She is correct, there is a time to stop breastfeeding but that time is different for everyone. Her intention was to tell me that she thinks I've reached that time. She's wrong. She doesn't know all of the details and I didn't feel the need to share any more information with her so I ignored her comment. Obviously I'm still giving her comment thought though. It's difficult not to. I'm sure others have had negative thoughts about what I've done too but I'm HAPPY with MY CHOICE.
At one point it seemed like there weren't any other options besides continuing to breastfeed and I was completely OK with that. First of all, we couldn't make the switch unless we wanted to continue the bottle battle. I wasn't going to put us through that. Ethan has done so well breastfeeding and it comforted him very much. Why would I take that away from him? I love the way breastfeeding has contributed to our bond. Why would I give that up? Other factors were that Ethan would need to be on prescription formula. There is a chance that after time he could become intolerant to that special formula. What the heck would we do then? Search for allergen free breast milk through a milk bank? Can you imagine how expensive that would be? Even if these weren't factors, it works for us and that's what matters.
Others have made negative comments about the sacrifices I've made. I'll be the first to admit that the giving up so many foods part of this hasn't been the easiest thing in the world but it certainly hasn't been the hardest either. Aside from waiting for him, trying to figure out WHAT he is allergic to has been the hardest.
I'm sure that I'll run into Judge Judy's when it comes to many other areas of parenting (I already have when it comes to sleep, cloth diapering, his allergies, etc). I don't think they're all out to intentionally judge. Some judgments stem from having different ways of doing things. We make different choices and that is a liberty. It doesn't mean that one is right or wrong. I choose to do things one way and another mom chooses to do things another way. If they're judging my choice then maybe that is their issue to deal with. Parenting choices are tough (I'm sure tougher ones will come with time) but I hope to be confident in my choices the way I am with my choice to continue breastfeeding. It's a beautiful thing to HAVE CHOICES!
I've said it on here before ... I feel very fortunate that breastfeeding worked out for us even with the challenges/sacrifices. It has been an amazing experience. I'll take the saggy, lopsided breasts as badges of honor.