Breast is best but breast feeding moms are sometimes way too much to take
I know what you're thinking. "Paige, that's a little "mommy war-ish of you..." I get it. But actually, what I have to say about annoying breast feeding moms is the opposite of mommy war. Hear me out! I promise to put my mom-war gun down. *waves a white flag*
Breast feeding moms, you need to chill the heck out for a minute, ok? And I feel like I can have this heart to heart with you because I am one of you. Yes, I EBF Otto. And no, I'm not one of those annoying moms. Here's why.
At the six week mark of breastfeeding Otto, I almost called it quits. I was sick of being dairy and caffeine free and when I would try to pump, I'd get an ounce or two. If I couldn't pump enough for a bottle, I couldn't leave Otto for more than an hour, and that just wasn't going to work for me. So I joined a facebook group of La Leche League women to seek some help. They were indeed helpful, and I got both some helpful tips as well as encouragement that made me push through the "hump." But Lord have mercy... Those La Leche-ies are INTENSE. And frankly, most are "those" annoying breastfeeding moms.
First, they have a badge system to reward moms for how many months they've breast fed. Ok. Kinda strange. (What, you want a prize for feeding your kid?! Are there badges for formula moms? No? Are there badges for everyday you keep your kid alive? Do you want a cookie with that badge? Get serious.) Women are free to post their questions, which as I mentioned, was very helpful to me. But they're also free to post whatever they want and reply to those questions/statements with whatever they want... One day, I was crusin' Facebook and saw a thread pop up from my La Leche League group with a mom who was WORN OUT from breastfeeding and seeking help. I read the comments/replies she got, because I've been there myself.
All of the respondents, and I mean ALL of them, told her she needed to "stop feeling entitled to sleep." Excuse me, what? Entitled to sleep? Is that a joke? Sleeping is a basic human need! If you don't sleep enough, you're more likely to get sick, to age faster and to gain weight, not to mention suffer depression, be irritable and hate your life. But a breast feeding mom isn't entitled to it because she "should be up with her baby all night, meeting his nutrition needs"? Hell no. Nope. Not even a little bit, La Leche League. That is some backwards advice. But don't mention that to those League ladies; they'll bite your head off if you mention sleep training or formula supplementing - even when the mom is facing a mental breakdown.
Breastfeeding moms, if you're that close to the brink, it's ok to offer formula so daddy can take a feeding for you to sleep. Sleep training is good too, and if you don't like cry-it-out you can do a gentle night wean. You don't need to be so hardcore about your boobs or "breast is best." Back it up, La Leche sisters. Don't lose your sanity for breast milk. That makes you annoying.
The other thing about the La Leche-ies is that they looooooove to commiserate together. Misery loves company, right? All too often, a photo would pop up in my feed of a mom breastfeeding her toddler (which I'm totally cool with, btw - both the breastfeeding pic [see mine above] and breastfeeding the toddler) The pic features a dumb caption like, "My 34 month old just bit me and told me he wants to wean! What can I do to keep him latched and not biting?" Several things about this: A) stop it with the month count after your child has hit 2 years. You wouldn't say "my child is 134 weeks old!" and you shouldn't say "my 67 mo old..." NO. It's your two year old, your two and a half year old or your three year old, etc. B) Sounds like YOU'RE the one struggling to give up breastfeeding. Sounds like you're the one struggling to not be "needed" in that way anymore.
When you push your needs to breastfeed over that of your toddler (who's old enough to communicate he's no longer interested), you've become an annoying breastfeeding mom. Stop it. And the fact that you're publicly complaining about it, making it about your child as opposed to what it really is (an issue with yourself)? It makes you a mommy martyr, the most annoying mom of all.
Then I was on one of my blogging groups when the question was asked, "What are some topics you absolutely won't discuss on your blog?" I anticipated most people to say politics and religion. Standard. But I was shocked and disgusted when one of the first commenters said baby formula. She often discussed breastfeeding on her blog, and went out of her way to mention she's turned down paid work because she "would never discuss formula and discourage breastfeeding moms."
Hold on, lady! Since when does talking about formula mean that you're discouraging breastfeeding?! They aren't mutually exclusive. Talking about the benefits of one doesn't mean that you're dissing the other. In fact, that would make you more inclusive of all moms. The fact that she won't discuss it as an option is annoying. But hey! I've made a great income working with a few formula brands, so if she wants to continue to be an annoying breast feeding elitist, more opportunities for brand partnerships for me. I'll be over here supporting ALL moms.
Here's the thing, breastfeeding moms: I get that it's a ton of work. I get that it's tiresome. I get that it's the best nutrition on the planet for a baby. I get it because I do it myself. But what I don't get, and why breastfeeding makes you annoying AF, is your sense of superiority over those who either can't or don't want to breast feed. You shouldn't put yourself in a loony bin over feeding your baby. You ARE entitled to sleep! Formula is not the devil and you are not a better mom because you didn't give any to your baby. Knock it off, breastfeeding moms.
Xoxo, another breastfeeding mom