Alright, I’ll admit it - I have judged moms my whole life. As a child we are always judging our own mothers about how they are treating us. As an adult I subconsciously have been judging all my friends. I never understood the mom who will not bring her new baby out with her wherever she goes - the kid sleeps easily in the stroller right?! As a new mom I could barely get out of the house myself, let alone with child, so there goes that judgement. I didn’t understand why a mom would have her baby sleep in her room 3 months after being born - that’s a long time! My son is 3 months old and I didn’t even notice it’s been 3 months. And mostly I was all for breastfeeding until at least 6 months. ONLY breastfeeding!
I grew up with my hippie mom who let her children sleep in her bed until 2 years old and breastfed them way past the time when they started asking for her boob. She is so pro-breastfeeding that she teaches new moms how to nurse when they are having trouble, even though she is not a lactation consultant. Almost every woman I know breastfeeds. My sisters do. Most of my friends do. What I didn’t know, and am just discovering, is that almost everyone I know also gives their new babies formula bottles. How did I not know this, is it just not talked about? Since most people are only substituting 1 bottle a day in the beginning, maybe they don’t consider that ‘feeding their babies formula.’
My sherlock holmes capabilities came out because this week I was going back to work and realized I did not have enough pumped milk in the freezer to get the little guy through the day. The problem was I couldn’t pump enough because Kol still needed to eat and I only have 2 boobs. (Crazy, right?) I started asking around to see what would be the best way to pump and one of my girlfriends suggested I give him a formula bottle to see if he takes it, “just in case I get desperate.” But he is only 3 months and I always assumed I would breastfeed until he eats real food and NEVER give formula. That is when I found out almost everyone I know has been giving their babies one bottle of formula from almost day one... “just in case.” Why did I not get the memo? Oh right, I know, I was too busy judging all these ladies. Too busy in my head saying ONLY breast milk because that is the best thing for your baby and to be a good mother you need to give your baby the breast.
I called Kol’s doctor (who is very into homeopathic remedies as well as medical practice) to make sure she thought it was a good idea and which formula to use. Turns out even she gives her baby a formula bottle too!
Being a new mother, I may be finally getting it. To be a good mother you need to do what’s best for your family, and your family includes you. I nervously made Kol his bottle Monday afternoon. I’ve never fed him a bottle before, Dov’s always done it but Dov was not around. I prepped myself for my little man to put up a fight. He was going to be dealing with two new things at once - formula instead of breastmilk and me giving him a bottle. Turns out Kol is pretty adaptable, he took the bottle like a champ, did not even think twice about it. As it turns out, my judgement mind was also wrong about the fact that you can only really connect with your baby if he is nursing. Kol looked up at me and smiled amidst his formula gulps just as he does when he nurses. My judging days are so very over. From now on if someone does not seem to be fitting into my life in my head I am going to assume they are busy fitting into their own.