My daughter turned one a few weeks ago. I went back to the submission I made to this site when she was just two weeks old. It brought back a lot of happy emotions to recall my little newborn and how she came into this world, but it also conjured up a lot of negative emotions.
I felt ashamed. I read the text, and the more I read the more it reeked of self-righteousness, like I knew all the answers. Arrogance.
It’s amazing how much can change in one year. One year. Twelve months.
I’ve learned to let go of a few of things. A lot of judgement. I still judge, but I like to think that it’s a lot less than it used to be. I’ll give you some examples.
I used to think that people who opted for disposables were lazy and hurting the environment. Guess what? I’ve used disposables.
I used to think poorly of parents if I saw them out with their baby late at night. “Why, surely that baby needs to be in bed,” I used to say to myself. Funny how easy it is to judge parents when you’ve never had a baby yourself…
I used to look down on women who didn’t breastfeed, like they were intentionally not giving the best to their babies, but then I realized that, first of all, it’s none of my business, and second of all, all moms out there are trying their best. Do I wish there were more initiatives to educate pregnant women on the benefits of breastfeeding and help new mothers breastfeed? Sure. But do I think everyone is like me and adores breastfeeding? No (and this is something I had to learn).
I’m beginning to realize that judging people only perpetuates criticism and arrogance.
Now that my daughter is past one year and still breastfeeding, I’ve begun to receive criticism from people around me. Suggestive words. Harsh looks. “You’re still breastfeeding?!” they ask. “Even during the DAY?!” they prod.
It’s not that I’ve stopped caring about things. I’m simply “letting go” of a few things. You want to judge me? Go ahead, that’s your prerogative. But I’m not going to reciprocate those negative feelings. I’m not going to waste my energy, my time, thinking badly about you and making assumptions about your life when I could be playing or snuggling with my daughter.
Thank you, Bonnie, for creating this site. It’s a great resource and I love reading people’s stories.
And just for fun, here’s a picture of my stretch-marked belly one-year postpartum. I’m sort of indifferent to my stretch marks now, whereas before I was upset to look in the mirror and see them.