Sorry if I judged your boobs
If there’s anything I’ve learned my first year of nursing a baby, it’s this: I am judgmental of other moms, and it’s not fair. When I was pregnant with Miles I had a goal to nurse for a year, no more, no less. Why? I don’t really know. I guess because nursing for a year has become culturally accepted as the healthiest thing. At the time anything less felt like I wasn’t good enough and anything more felt weird.
Nursing actually came very easy to me. This isn’t me bragging. In fact I don’t really think it was up to me. I just got lucky. There were a couple of weeks of pain and some major annoyances throughout but overall I got off a lot easier than many of my friends. I made way more milk than I needed and I enjoyed the peaceful time it gave me with Miles. I had friends who got mastitis, friends who couldn’t make milk at all, friends whose babies just would not latch, and I know all of them had the same goal I had and probably tried way harder than I tried. So when Miles was turning one, the question was on the table of when I would wean him. I was genuinely sad that my goal of a year was over. I had previously made it clear to my husband that I thought it was weird to nurse much longer (and of course I had never even done it). But now, my mind was changing. I was not ready to let go of this and neither was Miles.
So I was left to face my judgement that came from opinions I had about something I had never done and the mom I was becoming that I swore I would never be. I am not good at a lot of Mom things. Miles has eaten way more unhealthy meals than I wish to admit, our dog always licks him in the mouth, he eats dirt out of our plants, he wears pajamas all day long almost everyday, and he already demands “shows”. Pre-baby me would be appalled at this parenting. Nursing was going well and I was not about to give up one of the only things I felt like was working.
I started thinking about how much of this kind of naive judgement was true about other things in my life. How many marriages did I judge before I said I do? How many friends did I judge when they started wearing high waisted jeans? How many parents did I judge when their children misbehaved? How many times did I say “I will never do that” and then straight up did it later. I am admitting that this judgement struggle is an active thing that I am fighting and aware of. It’s so easy to have opinions about people when we haven’t actually been there, right? I don’t think it’s wrong to develop opinions about how we want to live, parent, or act based on the experience of the people we are around. But where is the line between forming opinions for who we want to be and judgements towards people? When is it harmful? I’m still trying to figure this out. I really don’t know. But I am learning that I can be a bit too fast at forming an opinion.
Miles is almost 18 months old and I think we are done nursing. I really needed some kind of break before I have this next baby and I only have four months left. So, I’ve been weaning him for the last week. I have mixed feelings even making this public because one it’s kind of private for me. I wasn’t one of the free the boob Moms because I still prefer my boobs to only be seen in private, although who knows maybe I will change by next week :). And two, I’m embarrassed that I even had an opinion about something I was a stranger to. But I want to be real and vulnerable about mom struggles, especially the ones that I have the power to work on and change. So here’s to slower opinions and more open-mindedness.