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. You know what is best for you and your baby boy. Why any would would criticize you is beyond me? They are not in your day to day life, what could they possibly know about your situation! Your children are beautiful, happy and healthy! You are a wonderful Mommy!!!! Don’t let anyone tell you any different!

  2. I’m appalled to hear that people have negatively commented on your parenting skills. I did not read those posts/comments so I don’t know the context but people really have no business commenting on something as sensitive as parenting.

    It also really pisses me off how judgy everyone gets with breastfeeding. I always imagined that I would exclusively breastfeed my child but because of a lot of post-partum issues I was going through I made the decision to stop very soon afterwards. I did get looks when people asked and I said I was not breastfeeding and I felt that that judegment was really uncalled for. These women did not know what I was going through, that this was actually a very difficult decision for me.

    You know what is best for your child and for yourself. Before you have a happy child you need a happy mother. I applaud you for sharing this.

    • Tina says:

      I have had so many friends I know face issues with breastfeeding. I always suggest giving it a solid effort, but if it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work and shouldnt include judgment. Most of the negative comments I have received relating to parenting I delete right away. I find them unnecessary to even address since I trust my mothering. :)

  3. Jess says:

    It’s crazy to me how judgemental people tend to get when it comes to parenting “advice.” I see it all the time with my mama friends and I don’t know how they put up with it. EVERYONE has a different slant on parenting and I don’t think anyone has a right to thrust their views on anyone else, parenting views or otherwise. Sure, if someone is asking for your advice or opinion, that’s one thing, but otherwise – hands off buddy. Seriously, it really REALLY peeves me. And I’m not even a mom so I can’t even imagine how much harder it is to take that kind of thing as a mom.

    As for breastfeeding, I give ANY mom such huge credit for any amount of breastfeeding they manage. I honestly don’t know if I could handle it personally, so I have huge respect for you and my sister and my friends who have all done it in some shape or form and have done so well by their babies in the process.

    Don’t ever feel like you need to apologize for your parenting skills, you are a fantastic mama! xo

  4. Michelle says:

    You are the mom and you have the power to choose what is best for your children. I applaud you for being open about this! I have nursed both of my children for 18 months plus but only because my body produced enough milk to feed a small army.
    It is sad to know that people would criticize you for a choice that is yours and only yours! I can tell that you are a great momma to your cute little ones!
    Good luck with the weaning process! Warm cabbage leaves also works wonders :)

  5. You made it a heck of a long time. He’s what? 7 months? Bravo for doing what you can, and knowing when to say when. You know what’s best for you and your family.

  6. If anyone has something negative to say about this post, know that it is appreciated and comforting to at least one person. I’m nursing my 7-week-old and had to begin supplementing two weeks ago. Between breast feeding, pumping to boost production and build supply for when I return to work and wash bottles/pump accessories, I barely have time for anything. I applaud you for not only nursing this long but putting this on your blog for other moms.

  7. Stephanie says:

    It’s perfectly ok! You have to do what’s right for you and your child…and you should never apologize for being a good mom. And honestly, if you get any negative comments about this, it’s just plain meanness.

  8. It makes my brain hurt to try to understand how someone could possibly think you’re not a good mom after reading your blog. Obviously that’s not true and it must be unpleasant to hear. I think you’re really smart, Tina. You know what you’re doing & baby B. will be totally healthy with you as his mom :)
    I am not a fan of unsolicited advice. I get it a lot about what I eat, how much I exercise, etc.It’s frustrating and incorrect most of the time. People have a lot of preconceived ideas about life and don’t want to hear anything different. It makes me sad.

  9. Thank you for your continued honesty. I think you are amazing for making it this long. No need to stress out over this…he’s happy and well-fed, not to mention you breastfed a lot longer than most people these days! :)

    I only lasted about 5 weeks and then I started pumping and bottle feeding (and using a few formula bottles a day too so that I didn’t have to pump as often) because my kid was HUNGRY and nursing wasn’t cutting it. At first I was pumping and bottle feeding every single time which was SO time consuming so I added 1 formula bottle a day and then went to 2 a day. I’m lucky because for 6 weeks now I have been pumping and have a great milk supply even without nursing, but I know most people don’t have that luck! There’s nothing you can do about it!!

    Mom’s are so judgy. I got a lot of negative feedback about working out too hard when I was pregnant and returning to tough workouts too soon when I should have been spending every second with my son….etc. I have a post started called mom’s are judgy and I think you just motivated me to finish it up. :)

  10. Girl this is *your* decision. You know what’s best for you and little B and are listening to your needs. Good for you. I think you are fabulous Mom!

  11. Elisabeth says:

    I’m really surprised that anyone could/would pass judgment on your parenting skills based on your blog posts. I’ve never found anything you’ve said or done to be offensive or display negative parenting skills (the opposite, actually). It’s a shame that people have to be so negative. Your eating healthy does not equate to encouraging an ED in your baby girl.

    The decision for you to stop BFing is yours and yours alone. Nobody can judge you based upon that decision. Some women are not able to breast feed at all, and some women just plain decide from the beginning that it’s not their cup of tea. That is THEIR choice. I respect any choice a woman makes–it’s their body, not mine. I feel like you’ve done a great job BFing, and you shouldn’t feel guilty.

  12. Do what works for YOU and B Tina! You know what’s best for your baby, and for your health (physically and mentally). You are clearly a wonderful and dedicated mother to both of your children & it saddens me that anyone would have the gall to judge you or tell you what you are/aren’t doing is wrong. Every mother, baby, child and situation is different – do your own thing and be proud!

    Regardless of what negative commenters may say to you, you can rest assured that MANY mothers and mothers-to-be are amazed by what you do and look up to you! I know you’ll be one of the mothers I come to for advice whenever I *someday* get pregnant!

  13. cindy says:

    On a totally unrelated note….what photo editing software are you using to add captions?

    After giving your body to your kids for the last 16 months, enjoy having it back!

  14. People actually criticize your mothering skills? Really? Thats the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard. It’s pretty clear you love your children, and take excellent care of them. So what if you went back to blogging quickly? How is that even relevant?

    Anyhow, this is entirely your decision, and no one else has any business judging you for it. I dont know where people get the idea that its ok to judge and criticize other people for their choices. You are doing what is right for you, and what is right for your child. At the end of the day, that is the only thing that matters.

  15. Becky says:

    I think it’s brave of you to post things like this!

  16. Ela says:

    Congrats on being so real and doing what you need to do. I think that whenever we put ourselves out there, we come in line for judgment. Stand strong! But that’s exactly what you do, and it’s inspiring.
    love
    Ela

  17. Tina- props to you to post this. It’s a hard decision for ANYONE! It’s so silly for others to judge. My heart goes out ot you as I know it’s a hard transition to give up that bond. I hope you have some wine on hand with your bags of frozen peas. he he! And as a VIP of the itty bitty titty committee I’m sure you’ll be welcomes with open arms. :)

  18. Jamie says:

    Hi Tina,

    I congratulate you on your efforts on breastfeeding for this long! As a pre-medical student, I know there are countless studies supporting the superiority of breast milk. However, you’ve already breast-fed him for so long. He’s well into his development, and has received plenty of nutrients from the breast milk he’s already had. Just as with everything else in life, we have to make our own decisions based on what is best for us! Thanks for being brave enough to post this.

    -Jamie

  19. Anna says:

    When you’re done, you’re done. And there’s nothing wrong with that. Sounds like you and your boy are both ready. I really wanted to keep nursing my baby until she was at least a year. But I work full time so I was doing a LOT of pumping. Like you, I took Fenugreek like an addict, drank enough water to drown, and everything else. But the truth was? I was ready to be done. So at 11 months, we stopped. And my girl is just fine.

  20. First off, I just have to say I can’t believe you get comments like that?! In my eyes that’s just uncalled for, I know we put ourselves out there with blogging, but knowing people say that to you just really breaks my heart. Though I only know you through this blog world, you are an inspiring woman, who I see as a fabulous mother and wife. I’m happy for you in that you’re doing what’s best for you…we are only human and I applaud you for how inspiring and strong you are in sharing this with us. B & M have an amazing mother and are so very lucky to have you :)

  21. Haley says:

    Bravo! I’m not a blogger, but am a “Preacher’s wife.” I have 7- and 4-year-old girlies. I have to unfortunately bite my tongue more than my flesh wants me to, but another “first lady” gave me the best unsolicited advice I’ve ever received. “Honey, tell them that you know they mean well, but that they should mind their own business, and if you would like their advice in the future, you can look up their number in the church directory.” (Imagine all of that in a s-l-o-w Southern drawl – precious!) The first time I did it, I felt ridiculously empowered! Now, I don’t hesitate. SO, from one mother to another, “Go on girl!” I’m proud of you for doing what is right for you and your babies!

  22. Anna Crouch says:

    Okay, seriously….it’s ridiculous that anyone would be so judgmental toward YOUR decisions. I think your perspective is positive and right:

    “I do what works for my family and if I need help, guidance, or support – let me ask!”

    I always keep this stance in ANY area of my life. I do what I see and know works for me; I don’t strive to meet anyone elses standards, I just live according to God’s Word and standards, and if something doesn’t align with either one of those, I’ll fix it. Otherwise, I don’t worry about what other people say, suggest, tell me to do, how to live, or etc. When I’m convicted about something and am in need of help, I ask for it. Otherwise, I have confidence in knowing I can do what works best for ME. Keep that attitude and perspective!

  23. Heidi Nicole says:

    I am no mother and the stories of never ending judgement from others terrifies me when thinking of possible motherhood!

    This decision is about your and your baby, so stand by it and ignore the nay sayers!

  24. Jan says:

    You know, this is a personal decision, one that you don’t have to explain to anyone but yourself. You know what’s best for your son and you’re making this choice based out of love. I was in a similar boat with my son. We had to supplement and then he preferred the bottle, so I pumped. I was finally able to get my supply back up and keep up, but I was on a prescription medication to do so (Fenugreek didn’t work, nor did the ton of water, eating oatmeal or doing the power hour pump session). Bleh! You’re doing great and don’t let anyone else tell you otherwise. :)

  25. Good for you Tina, you’ve got to do what is best for you and your baby. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise, you’re a great mom!

  26. Like P.P. said, you have to do what feels right FOR YOU! Think about all the great benefits he’s gotten from nursing this long! No guilt there, Tina!

  27. Heather B says:

    Ohhh Tina! Breatfeeding is a gift and you gave baby B that gift for 6 (?) months already. Be proud of nursing that long and try to look at it as, not how you couldn’t nurse longer, but how you nursed for so long!! Really, celebrate that your body provided for your baby for months and months and leave it at that. You don’t need to explain yourself!! You know what’s best for you and your family!!

  28. I can not believe people pick on you for your parenting! Ridiculous. Of course, I hear it’s common that mothers turn back into mean girls from high school and like to judge everyone one what they choose to do or not do.
    I agree with you- do what is best for you and your family. I’m glad it sounds like weening won’t be painful for you- yay! :)

  29. teresa says:

    Being tuned in to your body, your needs, your kids… You are the only one who knows what will work best for your family.
    It’s such an emotional issue.
    You’ve already given him a great start.
    And I know all about going to extreme lengths to have enough milk.
    Good job making hte decision and taking such good care of all of you.

  30. Martini Mom says:

    Nursing my first was a breeze, even after I went back to work and had to pump like a crazy woman. Even when he started cutting teeth early (4 mos), there was no biting or anything. It was heaven.

    My second? Oy. It’s been a constant struggle. He had some health issues straight out of the womb that kept him from nursing well and kept my supply from coming in full force. Once the health issues cleared up, he just didn’t like nursing. He kicks, pulls, flails… much like what you described. His dad has likened it to a rodeo. On my boob. Which is awesome. I went back to work for three months, and almost lost my supply when pumping failed to stimulate production. I’ve been working from home ever since, which is the only thing that’s allowed me to keep going. That and the fact that he hasn’t cut any teeth yet – I can PROMISE that he’ll be a biter when that happens. We’re nearing his first birthday, and somehow – miraculously – made it through the year .without needing to supplement. But wow, what an unpleasant ride. My plan is to let him wean himself, which he’s already beginning to do, but I can honestly say that I won’t miss nursing him. At all.

    My point in all this is that every woman is different, every baby is different, and every experience with nursing is different. So blanket statements from outsiders about what’s right and what’s wrong are just ridiculous. Unless they’re your boobs and your babies, you really have no idea what the best course of action is.

    (And, yes, as a woman who blogs about parenting her children, I am very familiar with the judgement that comes – though I actually experience it more in real life. Unsolicited parenting advice and the accompanying judgment is THE WORST!)

  31. Katheryn says:

    I hate getting advice when I haven’t asked for it. Unfortunately it happens a lot. Generally I try to roll with it, but it does get out of hand at times. A positive though is that I now only give advice to someone when they have specifically asked.

  32. Jobo says:

    While I’d love to say I can’t believe you get negativity or unsolicited advice, I’m not, though I think that’s awful! You have breastfed far longer than most as it is, and no matter what, I applaud te decision either way, whether someone breastfeeds or not is personal. Congrats for hanging in this long!!

  33. Christy says:

    Congratulations on nursing at all! I admire anyone who can do that. My son just turned 1 and I tried to breastfeed and we just couldn’t get it together. So I pumped and gave him breast milk for 6 months. It was the hardest thing I have ever done. And when I stopped at 6 months I feel like some people just didn’t understand why I didn’t keep going. It’s your body and a decision between you and your family. No one else gets to make that decision. You are the best mom your children have! :) Good luck weaning!

  34. Kelly says:

    So my remark is going to sound calleous but hear me out. I don’t care. And with that…I don’t know why anyone else would care. For real, Tina, this is your life and your choice. No one knows what is best for you, your body, and your family better than you. I wouldn’t have cared if you never breast fed so I am certaintly not going to care if you stop before the one year mark. I was breast fed for 6 wees before my mom called it quits and I turned out just fine! :)

  35. Em says:

    I support you 100%!! Glad you’re doing what you need to do for you and your family!! :)

  36. Denise says:

    The point is that you nursed as long as you could. I only made it 2 weeks and due to conditions I don’t want to share I had to stop. Be thankful that you were able to nurse at all and if you get any negative feedback don’t listen.

  37. High Five to you for BFing as long as you have!!! It’s not easy — especially when you lead a busy life and you have a good eater!

    I’m on the flip side of this – I breastfed both of my kids for 2+ years. I stopped telling people about it after they turned 1. The people I did tell — well, the feedback wasn’t always positive. They thought it was weird and disturbing. I questioned why I ever told them in the first place. It made me ashamed – even though I loved it. I loved that time together and how close it made me feel to them. I weaned Livie a few months ago and it was hard – for me – but easy for her, thankfully. I didn’t really talk about it on my blog until I was done. I was definitely worried about what people would say, which is just SAD.

    Being a mom is hard and parenting decisions only get harder and more complex as the kids get older. We need to support each other and not tear each other down. There’s no RIGHT answer in parenting. You don’t get a reward for breastfeeding the longest. You don’t get a medal for getting your kid to sleep through the night the soonest (you do get more sleep!), and you can’t ever compare your parenting against anothers. Ultimately, it’s whatever works for you and your family. The kids are safe, healthy, and loved — the trifecta of parenthood!

    • Tina says:

      That is so awesome you were able to nurse that long! Mad props to you for keeping it up despite the naysayers.

      • Yep, same here. My kids have all been exclusively nursed-13 mos,, 17 mos, 22 mos and currently nursing my 16 mo old. I totally get harassed for nursing that long. The sad part? It’s mostly “church folk” who give me the dirty looks, scrunch up their nose like it disgusts them etc… I will never get it, these “mommy wars”. Seriously, why does everything have to be so divisive? We are all struggling to do the best we can and love our families. Why the judgment?

        Sorry, you have experienced that too Tina. Kudos to you for your transparency and for going as long as you did! You are a GREAT mom!

  38. It sucks that you felt hesitant to post this- I understand though- people are so judgmental! You are totally doing the right thing for your body and family and it is such a personal thing. Kudos to you!

  39. That’s so ridiculous that people leave you negative comments about your parenting habits. Every adult and every kid is different…it’s not like there could possibly one set standard for This Is The Best Way To Raise Your Kid. You’ve got to find what works best for you. Haters gon’ hate, I suppose. Listening to your own body and reading your own family’s needs is so much more important than what other people think. You go girl :)

  40. Welcome to my club sister! They are small and I’m proud of it! Seriously, I can’t relate to this problem, but I feel for you since nursing was such a great thing for me. Honestly, you have given him the best and he is such a healthy strong little man. If you do nothing else, feel confident in what an incredible mother you are Tina. Big hugs to you!

  41. I was just talking with a friend of mine yesterday who has a 3-month old about the controversy surrounding the issue of breastfeeding, and how it varies so much from mother to mother and baby to baby. I’m not a mother myself, so I don’t have any perspective to give on the matter, but even if I was a mother I don’t think that anyone has the right to judge anyone else about what decisions they make for themselves or their children in this matter. I say good for you for being confident in your choices.

  42. Lauren says:

    First, I have to tell you that you are by far one of the best mom bloggers I have ever encountered, so please don’t let those crazy people ever make you think different.

    Second, I totally support your decision. Not that my opinion should matter because this is something that is completely person and should be made only based on what is best for you and your baby. You have done some serious consideration and you’ve made that decision because you know it’s better for him. That is what makes you an incredible mom. <3

  43. I couldn’t breast feed as long as I wanted to either, and started my baby on formula at 6 months. I feel your pain! My baby is 10 months old and when I stopped breast feeding it was a hard decision, and I will admit I cried……a few times. You have to make the decision for yourself and your baby. You’re doing awesome!

  44. Oh my gosh- have people really said those horrible things to you that you said at the beginning of the post?! I’m so sorry to hear that- I don’t know why other people think it’s their right to judge anyone else’s decisions, especially when they don’t know them personally!

  45. Jennifer says:

    Thank you for this post. My one month old daughter is nursing more than ever and I have been supplementing with formula and debating ending the breast feeding altogether. While I love the bond we have during it, it is hard to keep up and I know she gets frustrated with my milk supply is low. It’s nice knowing I’m not the only one out there with the same problem. The decision you made is for your family alone. I hope you receive no other negative comments because of it.

  46. Wow, I can’t believe people have commented on your parenting! I’m so sorry to hear that! No one truly knows what goes on in your life outside of what you post on this blog, so they really have no right to provide you with their negative insight.

    I think that you know what is best for you, and congrats on making a hard decision!

  47. lindsay says:

    it is ultimately up to you dear friend. Negative comments hurt, but you know in your heart what is best and thats all that matters, right? You are an amazing mother and know whats best for your kiddos. I sometimes get negative comments about my faith, but I knew that would happen, ya know?
    Big hugs to you!!

  48. Sarah says:

    First, just from reading your blog I can tell that you love those kids more than anything. And they are lucky to have you as a mother!!

    Second, I’ve known women who have chosen not even to breastfeed because it would ruin their tatas. So you’re scores ahead of them.

    Thirdly, it’s your decision. And you have every right to make that decision without any justification from anyone!

    You rock! And don’t worry about the haters: they’re probably just jealous :)

  49. Lee says:

    I think that you know what’s best for you and your child and that no one else should make that decision but you! Plus, you’re like the nicest person ever and I hate that people leave you negative comments.

  50. Your kids are unbelievably cute and I hope you don’t get any unwanted parenting/feeding comments!! You have to do what is best for you!

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