Satan Didn’t Make Formula

26 Jun

Yesterday, we went to the celebration of my aunt and uncle’s 25th wedding anniversary. It was a great time. Lots of Cajun music and food. Lots of old Cajun people.

While I was feeding my baby from a bottle, an elderly man (that I have never met) walked up to me and said “You should really be breast-feeding instead.” That didn’t bother me very much. Only, he continued to talk, and started saying things about how formula fed babies don’t turn out as well as breastfed babies. He started saying that they don’t turn out as smart, and are unhealthy. He went on and said more rude things. At this point, I had MANY choice words for him. He had never met me, he didn’t know my story. He had no right to say these things to me. He didn’t know that my baby was never able to latch on, or that I pumped my breasts in order to feed her breast milk for every meal. He didn’t know that after about four weeks, my breasts stopped producing milk and I had to switch to formula. He wouldn’t understand what it is like to feel like you can’t feed your child on your own, or how much you feel like a failure. There’s no way he would ever understand the extremely depressing, emotional process I went through before I no longer felt guilty about feeding my daughter formula. I’m sure he meant well, but that still didn’t make it ok to say things like that to a stranger.

Instead of sharing my “choice words” with him, I did the adult thing. Ran outside with my baby to cry.

There is also a group of local mothers that accidentally does this sort of thing. I know they mean well, they just go about it in the wrong way. They are great people and they’ve given me lots of help and guidance when it came to cloth diapering, but they are constantly making me (and many other moms) feel very guilty about not breast-feeding. They make it sound like formula is poison.

Guess what? FORMULA ISN’T MADE BY SATAN. It is ok. If someone wouldn’t have invented formula, my daughter wouldn’t be alive. It wasn’t my choice to use formula, but if someone else makes the choice on their own, they are not a bad person. Everyone just has different ways of parenting, and there is no wrong way (unless you are harming your child). I was a formula-fed baby. So was my husband. We are just fine. I made my first “B” in the sixth grade, so I don’t think that formula makes you any less smart than breast milk would. Don’t get me wrong, breast milk is definitely best because you pass antibodies on to your child that aren’t found in formula, but if you can’t breast feed, you aren’t evil. You aren’t evil if you choose not to breast feed, either.

There are many ways of doing things, and none are wrong. I had an epidural when I gave birth, that doesn’t make me a bad person and my baby wasn’t harmed. If you choose to go without medication, that is your choice. The same with cloth diapering. I don’t think you’re a bad person if you use disposables (although I may think that you are throwing your money away). Don’t force your way of doing things on other people, everyone is just different. Don’t try to convince other people that your way is better than theirs. In the same way, if someone makes you feel uncomfortable or tries to make you feel as if your way isn’t as good as theirs (intentionally or not), don’t let that bother you either. Only you know what your lifestyle is like, and no one knows your baby as well as you do.

This can apply to you, even if you don’t have a baby. Politics, religion, etc. No one is right, and no one is wrong. We are all just very different and we have different opinions, and it is OK. Once everyone figures this out, the world will be a much better place. I just wish it were possible for everyone to figure out.

On a lighter note, the baker wrote "Take God" instead of "Thank God" on the cake!

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10 Responses to “Satan Didn’t Make Formula”

  1. Deborah the Closet Monster June 26, 2011 at 10:00 pm #

    Oh, man. I had a hell of a time getting Li’l D to breastfeed. I visited five different lactation consultants and countless clinics over the first six weeks of his life. I was so distressed by my self-perceived failure to breastfeed I barely had time to feel good about anything else. I’d get on to websites trying to find encouragement to get me through but ended up being discouraged by the antagonism some of the moms showed toward women who’d given up. It was all breastmilk all the time for Li’l D for six months, but every drop of not-formula I used was another drop in my bucket of despair.

    I was so overjoyed when the fifth lactation consultant almost instantly got me and Li’l D on the right track. It was such an amazing thing to be breastfeeding, and to be doing so without stress or negativity being heaped on me–or others–where I was looking for support. I used to feel so dejected for humanity when I’d read boob nazis telling women who couldn’t BF (or do so exclusively) that they were lazier or not as interested in their children’s well being.

    Um, no. If those statements said anything, they were about the speakers, not the recipients.

    So when I meet people who are struggling, I try to be encouraging. But I don’t presume that I know about their lives from one tiny glimpse into one tiny facet of such lives. We’re all trying to juggle so much and get so much right, we can’t just focus on one thing and let that be our lives.

    Thanks for this thoughtful, mellowing entry. I only wish the judgernauts of the world could read it and see the differences between a slice of life and the fullness of it.

    • ContradictingKimmy June 28, 2011 at 7:57 pm #

      Exactly. The most important thing is that my daughter is getting fed. One look at her and you can tell that she is VERY… um.. healthy. She’s far above the average weight for babies her age. I hate that some people really do see it as laziness. They’re moms too. Wouldn’t they understand that all moms want to try to do what they think is best?

  2. Heather B June 27, 2011 at 1:59 pm #

    I worry about things like that, not being able to breast feed and such. I wish people would stop putting such a negative spin on formula. At least you are able to feed your baby something, unlike some people.

    You should submit that photo to Cake Wrecks lol

    • ContradictingKimmy June 28, 2011 at 7:58 pm #

      My cousin later pointed out that it also says “25th years” lol!

  3. Beth Chiasson June 28, 2011 at 3:44 pm #

    Go Kimmy! I completely agree.

  4. Kari June 28, 2011 at 6:35 pm #

    Sorry if you feel I had said something to make you feel bad. I’d be in tears too if this had happened to me. I had trouble in the beginning too and thank God we got over the hump (and the other ones that pop up). You are a very good mommy to Zoe and you are making good choices for her. I do not think formula is the devil. I do think the marketing of it is way off track, but at the end of the day I just want to help other moms help their babies. Support is so powerful. However, breastfeeding in general…,along with natural birth and cloth…are things that are very close to my heart because they have opened doors for me, brought me to new people and made my life fuller with my daughter and husband. As I know you feel the same about some things too! Hooray for babies!

  5. Stacy Stevens June 29, 2011 at 12:05 pm #

    I’m not a mom so I don’t have much opinion other than to say, screw those people. There is no right and wrong way to rear a child (ok there are ‘wrong ways’ but that’s another discussion). If it was black and white, God would have given parents a handbook on how to raise each individual child in the world.

    Don’t ever let someone else feel like you are a bad parent.

    ps – first time I’m reading your blog. I may need to read on 🙂

  6. Jason Meaux June 29, 2011 at 8:24 pm #

    This post was fucking awesome Kimmy! Next time I think you shoul poke Gramps in the chest and tell him your story so he thinks twice before pounding his opinions into a young capable mother who knows what she is doing. Keep rocking your shit girl!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Slutty Baby « Contradicting Kimmy - July 1, 2011

    […] is wrong. I have seen it, and it gets pretty nasty. I have pretty much the same message as my last post. Why is it so important to people to be “more right” than other people when it comes to […]

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