I'm a loner Dottie, a rebel

April 7, 2011

My dear friend Sarah had a beautiful baby girl almost three months ago. She's been psyched to breastfeed and has thrown herself totally into the whirlwind of early motherhood– only to have her doctor raise concerns about her baby's weight. Though as healthy as can be they're worried about her weight gain, and after rigorous research and consultation and even drugs to increase supply... they finally suggested, "Look, it's time to try supplementing with some formula."

Tough. As a friend I watched her wrestle with this decision. I saw her reluctance, and sadness, and eventually acceptance. She continues to breastfeed around the clock but they've also started adding in formula for extra calorie goodness. It's exactly what the doctor ordered– literally– and well, everything's good, right? Sounds like a perfect compromise!

She wrote a post about her on her blog {here}, a post where she tried to make peace with her difficult and personal decision. And who would you guess shows up but the damned Boob Police.

Don't even act like you don't know the Boob Police! They're these people:
Ugh, hate to rain on your parade, but a bottle and formula usually bring on the premature weaning...
...That is of course if you want to continue nursing full term. 
Babies die from formula ;( It is NOT a thing of the past yet.
Powdered formula is not sterile.
Formula is only 4th choice when deciding what to feed your baby.
I can go on and on.

Lovely. Nothing starts out the day like an anonymous lurker trying to make you feel like crap for feeding your baby, right?

Aside from my gut reaction {which was YOU NO HURT MY FRIEND KILL SMASH} it very clearly illustrates something that has been coming to a head {in my head} for quite a while. Over the past few months I've distanced myself from almost all the parenting "communities" I used to vaguely enjoy.

When I first discovered parenting "communities" existed we were in Jude's infant days. I found a few that I agreed with and I thought MAN, this is awesome! Look, other people who think like me! There's a world outside the BabyCenter! {Amen.}

Ever so slowly, things began to change. Huh. That's... kinda mean. And, Wow. You're REALLY overreacting. And, SHIT GIRL, you CARAAAAAZY. Even worse was the reaction if someone disagreed with the flavor of the day, no matter how politely. It was a constant state of everyone up in arms! Hyper-activism! Vigilance! Discrimination! Outrage!

I don't know how they even keep up. I just can't be that outraged all the time. After a while, who cares?! I don't have the time nor the energy to jump on every crazy bandwagon.

When it comes down to it no matter what choices Jon and I make for our family I'm totally cool with other families doing it differently. I'm not interested in aligning myself with people who make other moms feel like crap. It's a zero tolerance policy. The instigators in these situations are generally the minority but my time is too precious to waste on even a single person who is so full of poison and vitriol. There's a few bad apples in the group, just look past it ok? No, not ok. I think that's the wisdom of age talking: you don't have to put up with even a single bad attitude that can bring you down. I don't have the patience for it. I'm not willing to ignore all the rudeness and dig down to the supposed good stuff at the bottom.

There's a whole lot of "I'm-better-than-you" condescension thrown about in the name of education. It doesn't get anybody anywhere. Constantly spewing your opinions at everyone doesn't mean you believe in them more, or that they're any more true. I'm happy to offer friendship, comfort, and relay the things I've experienced. I'll even give advice {if asked for some}. There's a whole other way to live your life as a positive role model that these troll-type people can't seem to fathom. Touching people through care and concern has a much greater impact than throwing things in their face. Plus you don't have to act like an asshole! Double bonus!

There are good people out there, loving, caring, educated people who get lumped in with these loudmouthed jerks. I don't want to be rolled in with them.

This was my response to the Boob-Police of the day, because while crude I think it sums the issue up succinctly:

This type of snarky know-it-all lactivism is the exact reason I am no longer willing to be affiliated with “natural parenting” groups. You think you’re “helping” because she “just doesn’t know any better” but instead you turn people off from breastfeeding by being a huge bitch. You’re hurting your own cause. I’m one of your own, and yet I don’t want to be associated with you in any way.

I’m about as pro-breastfeeding as you can possibly get, and the attitude in your comment is uncalled for. It’s ridiculous to come here {to Sarah's blog} and passive-aggressively insult a mom who was venting about something so obviously difficult and personal for her family.

You show up here all of one time and take a shit all over her feelings. Lactivism fail.
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