i wish that i would have written THIS article. because it beautifully sums up what is wrong with people’s perceptions of what normal/average/healthy is. for all children, and people- that don’t fit perfectly on a graph..
do you have, or know a breastfed baby that is ‘overweight’ ? read up
i have been wanting to share this for a while, trying to formulate a post about what it is like for mamas who have children that don’t fit in with the ‘norm’. children that fall below, or excel above the boring average line. mothers who have perfectly healthy babies that are underweight, and those with babies that are over. children that take longer to reach milestones, and children that laugh at milestones as they race past them.
it’s all such a personal thing, this mothering life.. and it’s also so very public. we raise our babies together, we live in society together. we rely on other mamas and build our tribes.
after receiving a comment from a woman- i’m still puzzled by what her intention is exactly
‘I seriously love your webpage and I’ve been following you for months….but I gotta say….your daughter is so OVER-WEIGHT. I understand how you feel about breast-feeding, I totally get that. But she’s got a bunch of teeth now, right? She’s eating real food. Why are you still breast-feeding too? She’s been so so big for a long time now. Usually babies get chubby before they learn how to walk, but once they are up and running, that weight falls off. Claire is still big, so that means either she’s getting in too many calories or she’s not running around enough. I am betting she’s taking in too much calories. I really don’t want to come off as a bitch and I know it’s none of my business. But I am sure I’m not the only person who see’s the pictures of your adorable daughter and wonders why you think it’s so beautiful that she’s so large. Being healthy is one thing, yes your breast milk DID ALL THAT. But she’s this big now, I really hope you don’t continue on thinking that over-weight is fine.’
when i first read that, my heart started pounding.. deep in my stomach. the heat rising to my face, flushed.. embarrassed almost. feeling vulnerable and like a protective mama bear. and as i’ve been sitting here going through different emotions on how to approach this.. well, i’m making very public- because i know that too many other mamas deal with discrimination, nasty comments from friends, family and strangers about their parenting style, their child’s development and so on. i generally try to be very honest and open about things that society doesn’t always accept- from beauty and health, to parenting.
‘i really don’t want to come off as a bitch and i know it’s none of my business’
correct, it IS none of your business. and congratulations, you totally came off as a bitch..
‘i am sure i’m not the only person who see’s the pictures of your adorable daughter and wonders why you think it’s so beautiful that she’s so large’
i don’t really care what people think i think. and i think that my daughter is beautiful because she is. i would think she is beautiful if she was tiny and petite, or average, or exactly what she is.
what is most disturbing about strangers passing remarks to mothers about their children- is that they act as if they come from a place of well meaning- and the remarks and unsolicited advice are actually hurtful, and downright ignorant. what’s even sadder- is that there are so many mamas that are unsupported, in their household and in their community. they don’t have the tribe to reach out to for reassurance, and so they cave to the pressures of what idiots are telling them. regretfully, going against their best judgement and instincts- because someone thinks that they know better, and decided to take the time to ‘not sound like a bitch’.
i’d also like to bring light to the fact that breastmilk is the very best food for babies and children- and that whether they are walking, or talking, or have teeth- is absolutely no indication that they should stop breastfeeding. in fact, there is NO medical reason that you should stop breastfeeding before your child naturally weans, unless there is a cause of distress in the breastfeeding relationship between mama and child.
if a medical professional advises you to end your breastfeeding relationship- and it goes against your instincts, please seek a second and third opinion.. contact your local la leche league or lactation consultant, they are everywhere- and can help to arm you with information, scientific evidence, and ways to deal with discrimination.
mama, only you know your baby best.
and to those who would like to ‘not sound like a bitch’ then stop.
when the words ‘i know it’s probably none of my business but…’ come out of your mouth- stop.
when ‘i don’t mean to sound like a bitch’ comes into your head- know that whatever you are about to say, regardless of the intention meant- makes you sound more than a bitch. so. just don’t.
think. and think again. and probably just keep your thoughts to yourself, because only a mama knows her baby best. and who are you anyway?