Tough Decision

Posted: August 25, 2011 at 1:01 pm

I have recently come to a tough decision. I hesitated to blog about because it’s a personal matter that I honestly anticipated receiving judgment over. Probably because any remotely attacking negative comment I have received on this blog has related to my mothering. Talk about a dagger to the heart.

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I don’t know why I receive more negative comments about my parenting – how quickly I went back to blogging after Braedon, sharing pictures of my kids, “undeniably giving M an eating disorder when she grows up”, etc. I faced uncertainty posting this decision because I didn’t want to to be told in a round about way I had given up too easily or could have done more for my child.

While not all of you may relate, I know some can and that in itself warrants me stepping out on the limb. For the past month, I have officially been weaning Baby B from breastfeeding and plan to fully stop within the next month. I know I don’t have to “justify” myself, but I still want to express the why in case any of the many future mommies (or current mommies) who read this blog have faced or will face the same.

Why I’m Deciding To Stop Nursing

  • I couldn’t keep up! The hungry boy needed more than my body could give him and I found myself having to supplement at least 50% of his feedings with formula all the time. It gets old to nurse, then prep a bottle, then feed again, etc. with another child to care for a as well.
  • Milk stimulation wasn’t working. I took Fenugreek like it was my job, drank more water than my bladder could handle, pumped more, and many other tips. Nothing worked. Around the same time after Makenzie my supply decreased suddenly and dramatically. I spent 6 weeks fighting it without results. Now facing the same situation, I refuse to stress myself out like that again.
  • Braedon wouldn’t nurse. As he gets older, he becomes more interested in exploring rather than nursing. He simply will not stay on the boob to eat! Then, when he would eat he would attack me with biting, kicking, clawing and pulling on the nips. Not so fun. Or effective. So I turned to pumping and giving him bottles…but that just decreased my supply even more.

It’s hard to give up that special bond and know that I would personally prefer him to drink solely breast milk, but it just isn’t happening anymore. I am NOT asking for tips. I know 99% of them. I have tried 100% of those. I did not take this decision lightly and being told “oh, you should have tried this” will leave me feeling like I didn’t do enough. I adored every moment I had with my little B in this way, but I also promised myself I would not stress if I encountered the same things as I did with Makenzie and had to stop before a year again.

I embrace this change because I know it suits me and my family. I have bags of frozen peas on standby to ice sore, weaning tatas should I find the need. Although, honestly, my supply has gotten that bad that even after dropping another feeding yesterday I felt nothing. So…I guess say goodbye to the milk jugs and hello to the itty bitty titty committee. I hope I get a warm welcome. Winking smile 

  • Do you receive negative feedback or judgment (on the blog or in everyday life) more readily in a particular area? What?
  • What type of unsolicited advice do you hate to receive? I hate getting unsolicited parenting advice. I do what works for my family and if I need help, guidance, or support – let me ask!

***Look for an announcement with the Love Grown Giveaway winner tonight!!!***

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148 Comments to “Tough Decision”
  1. I don’t kno wwhy you would ever get any negative comments about parenting because you’re an awesome mamma! You do what’s best for youand your kids!

  2. I’m sorry you’ve had to deal with unsolicited parenting advice and negative comments. That’s ridiculous. It’s clear to me that you are an awesome mom from what I’ve read. I think it’s awesome when any woman breastfeeds–whether it’s for a day or a year. Great job keeping it up as long as you did even with the struggles!

  3. Rachel says:

    UGHH reading what people have said to you makes me so mad!! you can’t “give” someone an eating disorder! you know how to raise your kids. if people are so invested in good parenting, have kids of your own. people make me so mad sometimes! i think you are such a strong person just from reading your blog, and with your focus on Christ, how can your children grow up with less than wonderful values? the thing i’ve hated most in my recovery is people who think they know what i need to do… people who tell me to “suck it up and gain weight”. uhh if i told YOU to gain 10 pounds how would YOU react? my reaction is no different! i have a team (or two or three) of medically professionals who are helping me…. i don’t need you to help! ugh…

  4. Blogging about child-rearing is probably the topic that people seem to have the most opinions about. I’m sure that even people without children and no experience raising children have something to say on the topic. I think that really the intention is good-natured. I think that people really want to help you raise your child well and they want to give you tips thinking you may not have heard them before. Sometimes those good intentions are lost in the means that people try to get them across.

    I’m sure that it can be disheartening to hear people critique your parenting and if anyone is strong enough to stand up to those critiques it is you. But if you’re ever feeling down about it, then it might help to remember that the intention is good.

  5. Wait, what’d you say? I was distracted by Baby B’s face ;)

    Seriously though – sounds like you made the best decision for you, and it sounds like he was just ready to be done as well!

  6. Kristy says:

    Hi Tina. It makes me sad to hear that people are harsh and actually comment on your parenting. Who gives anyone the right to say anything? I think it’s great that you make your own decisions and stand by what you believe in.

  7. Erin says:

    I could *die* from the cuteness!!! This is what is so hard being about being a mother – the guilt! You know that you have done your very best (and will continue to) so be proud of yourself!

  8. Who cares what other people say! You are a freaking awesome person, and one of the best mothers i know! You do you! You made the decision that you needed to for you, and B! You’re a rockstar mom!

  9. Man. Tina, you’re the last one I would expect to hear of getting negative comments, let alone on your parenting!! I’m personally sick and tired of the “righteous” parents out there…thinking that anything anyone does differently from them is the wrong way.

    You can’t discipline your children without someone thinking you’re abusing them (and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve feared that a screaming fit from one of my girls would cause a phone call to social services). But, on the other hand, if you don’t discipline them, then you’re a bad parent who can’t control her kids. Same with breastfeeding. If you breastfeed in public, chances are you’re going to get looked at in disgust for being “indecent”, but if you don’t breastfeed, then you’re a bad mother who doesn’t have patience. I’ve heard it all…and it just goes to show one very important thing, and I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase: opinions are like you-know-whats, everyone’s got one. You’re damned if you do, you’re damned if you don’t.

    All I can say is keep doing what YOU know is right for you and your family. You’ve got beautiful children, and your decision to stop is your decision…and B’s decision. If he’s showing less interest, then YOU would be the one to know it. You made it a heck of a lot longer than many mommas out there. I personally made it 7 mos with both girls…and I was working full-time away from them. That pump went and went.

    Sorry for the long-winded comment. Motherhood is a HUGE deal to me. ;)

    • Tina says:

      I love your long winded comments. And you’re so right – there are so many double edged swords out there with motherhood.

  10. I’m not sure why anyone would feel like they have the right to criticize your (or anyone else’s) parenting. Your an awesome mama and you definitely don’t have to explain yourself!

  11. Lisa says:

    I’m lying in bed reading this..wishing you were next to me! I’m even on my phone haha.

    Tina you are beautiful and smart and I know you didn’t come to this decision lightly. You love your children and Want the best for them and that’s evident. Whatever you think, I’ll support 100 percent.

  12. sara says:

    in order to be a great mom you need to be able to look after yourself and your needs. congrats fo how long you lasted at it!! and thankyou for speaking out about it!!

  13. What’s wrong with People!?! Do what feels right for you and the baby. That’s all that really matters and other people should just keep their opinions to themselves. There, I said it!

  14. Lisa says:

    I recently started following your blog. I was so excited to find one that was a mommy! I appreciate your honesty and love that you do what works for you. I too had problems and had some criticism. Thank you for being so open!
    P.S. I noticed the blinds in the background and i had to laugh. Mine are the exact same way from a 3 and 1 year old! :)

  15. janetha says:

    I wanted to type a snarky comment about nursing advice as a joke, until I realized I don’t even know enough about it to crack a joke! I am proud of you for doing what you want, not being afraid to talk about it EVER and for taking the haters’ comments so well. I really can’t believe people criticize your parenting skills. You are a freaking AWESOME momma–I know I could NEVER do what you do. I admire you in so many ways!! xoxoxo

  16. A) You are a GREAT momma.
    B) You breastfed for what, like 8+ months? You’re a rockstar.

  17. Jenny says:

    I’ve decided you can never please everyone!! I have to give you kuddos for bf for this long! With my son, I didn’t have enough milk for him and the bf didn’t go well. Rather than have my son starve, he went on formula after 3 months. I hope to bf as long as possible with the next one but you never know. I can’t stand people that critize like that- you know you are a good momma so don’t pay attention to those people!
    But let me give you one last tip before you give up- HA just kidding. ;)

  18. Diana says:

    KUDOS to you for posting this, despite your fears! One of the things I admire most about your blog is your dedication to you kiddos and your dedication to your health and your peace of mind as an individual so that you might be the best mom that you can! You are an amazing role model for both of your children!

  19. I was never able to nurse my children. I pumped as long as I could for both and cried more buckets of tears than I ever thought possible. It makes me so sad to hear mamas struggle with nursing and beat themselves up over it.

  20. Christina says:

    I was going to ask how you managed to go the HLS child-free (because a child-free trip looks awesome!), but I thought that might be too personal. Good luck on the weaning. As much as I love the breastfeeding bond I’m looking forward to the return of the smaller boobs, no more stretched out t-shirts (by the end of the day they look sloppy pulling them up discretely to get to a boob) and no more little chomper teeth on my nipples!!
    BTW, from my little glimpse over here, you’re a great mama!
    Christina

  21. Tina, I can so empathize! I weaned Karlyn very slowly starting at 5.5 months. By 7 months, we were done…I even wrote a long post about it. I went back and forth, back and forth a MILLION times. It is such a hard decision and you can’t explain the emotion that goes into it to someone whose never done it. You did awesome b-feeding little B as long as you did and you should be proud of that.

    I already look forward to nursing my next, whenever that is, which is just crazy. It’s like you want it to be over, but you cherish the time too. Way to go mama!!

  22. [...] Personal Post: Tough Decision – deciding to wean [...]

  23. Amanda says:

    I’m late to the party here, but seriously no one should give you grief about this. Not that no one will, but he’s your child, it’s your body, and you know when enough is enough. My younger sister dealt with supply issues from the outset. She tried it all, and the load of people coming up to her with “Did you try X, Y, or Z?” was so frustrating.

    In fact, I’m going to rip a page from my sister’s lactation consultant’s book here. Your first two jobs as a mother with an infant are 1) enjoy the baby, and 2) feed the baby. In that order. If #2 gets in the way of #1, it’s seriously time to re-evaluate.

    Enjoy your freedom from nursing bras! I know the first time my younger son lunged for a cup instead of my chest I nearly held a party :)

  24. Amanda says:

    Oh dear — that second “no one” should be “anyone”. It’s been a long day, I accidentally missed my appointment to have my roots touched up, and clearly my brain has left the building. Yipes!

  25. Becky says:

    Oh goodness, Tina – you should be the very LAST person I can think of to get any kind of negativity or hatred about your parenting. You are amazing, Tina, and you know what – you know it just like we all do. You know it because you’ve been on the other side, where all the issues and all the crap you had to get over and through lie, and you know that the person you are and the place you’re at now in your life is, well, fabulous. You’ve done wonderfully with nursing and you should be proud! Anyone who tells you anything otherwise is trying to comfort their own lacking self-esteem by trying to hate on you. Rock on, girlfriend!

  26. Why do people think that they know better than you?? Everyone can make decisions that are right for their families. I wouldn’t let them judge you. They don’t live at your house, breastfeed your child, or take care of your toddler. Until they are doing that, they don’t get to give you unsolicited advice.

    ps- I don’t blame you for quitting. First off, he’s already gotten probably most if not all the benefits of breastmilk.

    I got your back ;)

  27. I’m so sorry you’ve been receiving negative comments. Each of us have to do what’s best for our babies and families. It’s just not that black and white.

    I’m a doula and very pro breastfeeding and I too had the same issues you had. All my babies weaned around 7 months. And because I lost a lot of weight quickly, I was given that advice of “maybe you’re doing too much.” And I’d feel guilty.

    Truth is happy mothers= happy kids. You’re doing what you love and what feeds you, so you’re also doing what best for them.

    No guilt girl!!

    Jen
    (Avid reader of your blog, but seldom comment)

    • Tina says:

      Thanks so much, Jen! It’s nice hearing someone who understands you can be very pro breastfeeding but also reach a point where it’s not the best fit anymore for personal reasons.

  28. [...] loved Tina’s post about her breastfeeding journey coming to an end. She was honest (as always) about her fear that people would judge her or think that she [...]

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