Sometimes it feels like you don’t like me because I breastfeed.

I’ll be honest, I wonder why you don’t.

Most of my friends breastfeed, so we sit around while nursing our babies and commiserate about teeth marks and pumping. This is our way of bonding.

I don’t know how to do that with you.

Without knowing why you use formula, it’s hard for me to approach the situation. I would just avoid it completely, but it inevitably comes up.

If you wanted to breastfed and couldn’t, I’m sorry. I know using formula isn’t always a choice. I mourn your loss of that choice with you.

If you had the choice and chose formula, or formula and breast milk, I know that must have been the right choice for you and your baby.

I don’t talk about it when we are in person though, because I don’t want to offend you. I don’t want to feel compelled to spew off a list of reasons why breastfeeding can be hard sometimes. Even when it is hard, it is what I have chosen. I don’t want to feel like I should apologize for that.

I don’t know what to say to you when the topic comes up in conversation. I’m not going to say, “It’s okay.”  because you don’t need my validation for how you parent and care for your child. I don’t see myself as a judge over other mothers. I don’t want you to think I’m curious because I want to know if your reasons are “good enough”.

I just want to be friends and to support you in your parenting endeavors. Breastfeeding is a significant part of my identity as a mother, but I don’t expect everyone to do it.

I don’t want to cause you pain or say the wrong thing, so I try not to say anything at all.

Dear Formula Mom:

How do we get past the wall between us? I want to be friends and I want to support you.

Love,

New Crunchy Mom

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