Quick background: I exclusively nursed my daughter until she was a little over 3 years old. With my son, he’s 5 months and we have started supplementing.
I had heard, and even said, “fed is best,” but the truth is, I didn’t believe it. I thought, yes of course you should feed your baby, but breast milk is superior. I was thankful for the option to use formula, but it was for other moms, not for me.
Then I was running a business during a pandemic. Working a million hours. With a baby who wasn’t sleeping. I felt myself feeling like I needed an escape. In the past that escape would have been alcohol or poor life choices. I shut the door on those ideas real fast.
I thought back on my drinking issues when I was nursing my daughter. I thought back on how poor my mental health was. I thought back on nearly ending my marriage. I thought back on all the idiotic things I said to friends when I was drunk as a skunk. And that was it for me. I clicked, “add to cart” on the formula, and I never looked back.
Because for me, it’s not breast is best or fed is best. It’s, “how am I my best?” That is what I owe my babies. To be my best, physically, mentally, and emotionally. That is how they will thrive.
I am still nursing throughout the day, and sometimes I do mourn the days I was an “exclusive breast feeder.” At the end of the day, I’ll take being a supplementing mama over being an exclusive jackass. That is what I would be right now if I was making myself crazy with pumping, producing, not sleeping etc.
I think it’s admirable to feed your baby in the way that is best for you, your baby, and your family. I’ve done the breastfeeding thing and now I’ve done the supplementing thing. I just wish someone had said to me, “hey, take care of you. Use formula if you need to.” So if you’re reading this and need someone to tell you that, I’m talking to you.
Maybe I’ll continue nursing until a year, maybe I’ll stop next week. I’m not setting any goals or expectations for this journey, because raising babies is not a competition with yourself or with anyone else. I’m taking it one day at a time and honoring what we need as those days come.
That’s all for now.