Let me start on a light note: yesterday, because I was going out to celebrate my anniversary with the guy I trapped into marrying me by pretending to be a stable individual, I had my toes done. And on a whim cause that the kind of “throw ten dollars to the wind” kind of gal I am, I had them put little hearts on my big toe. Isn’t that totally ghetto fabulous? It’s pretty cute. I recommend it.
Okay, so stop me if you’ve heard this one about Sippy Cups before, but what is it about the topic of breast feeding that inspires people to spew venom at me because I dare to tell women it’s “okay, if they can’t breastfeed.” Why is this such an affront to people? About a week ago, I noticed a freakishly long review of my book which took about a half hour to read since I was also trying to eat a bagel and it kept falling out of my mouth because my mouth was hanging open in shock. This woman’s review has since been taken down (and then replaced by one that she edited to take out the most offensive parts) but still retains the pedantic air of holier than thou. In the first review, this woman actually called my daughter stupid, me a wimp (which she still does in this one) and says that my daughter will amount to nothing and that I’m a terrible mother. Oh and that my daughter smells bad.
Now normally, I might laugh at the ignorance and stupidity that I see everyday not just in my book reviews. But something primal in me was awakened when I read the mean things another WOMEN would say about my two-year-old daughter. Then this same woman put up in her blog (I have a google alert on my book – so it came up) bragging about how she really socked it to me in the name of breastfeeding mothers. Of course all breastfeeding mothers, even extremists are like this, but quite a few are and the implication that every mother who feeds her child through her breast makes her a better mother who is raising a smarter child is still running rampant.
I know, I know, this topic is old and tired. But her review made me cry and sent me into a downword spiral. I felt like, wow, no matter how much love I give me daughter, no matter how much of myself I sacrifice, it will never be enough for some judgmental people. I nearly killed my own spirit trying to breastfeed a baby who didn’t want and physically couldn’t be breastfed by me and if there had been ONE BOOK like mine telling me it’s okay, and that as long as I’m feeding her, and cuddling her, and attuned to her needs she’ll be fine. Maybe if someone had said that no electric pump (which I rented), no Fenugreek supplements which I took until no one would come within 10 feet of me and no lactation consultant doing backflips would help me bond with my daughter better than just snuggling with her in my nice warm bed, looking into her eyes, breathing in her catnip like smells until she fell asleep in my arms, I might not be still smarting over this.
I can’t stress this enough! I think it’s wonderful if you breastfeed. Do it wherever and whenever you want. Do it on the subway, do it in Target, do it in Oval Office, do in on Barbara Walters doorstep, do it until your kid is in Junior High ( I think that’s weird but that’s just my opinion). But for God’s sakes please, please stop saying such horrible things to the women that cannot or choose not to do it.
And for the record, this woman whose review had to be changed, emailed me and told me that
“i’ll be honest with you, i was breastfed & i had an ear infection like every week when i was growing up. but i wasn’t about to admit that on my soapbox (aka- my first amazon review.)”
I’m not mad anymore. I just want this to stop. I’ve had enough.