August is national breastfeeding month, and I am celebrating my breastfeeding journey a little more openly during these weeks. My celebration stems largely from reminiscing on how far my son and I have come on our journey, but I understand that the topic of how mothers feed their babies is a sensitive one.
A lot of women aren’t adequately supported on their breastfeeding journeys. Some mamas can’t breastfeed—while others simply don’t want to. And breastfeeding in itself is flatout hard. So I want to make it known that my celebration of breastfeeding awareness month isn’t to shame formula moms—or moms who chose an alternative route.
Mothers have it hard enough as is. The last thing we need is moms shaming each other for the decisions that they make regarding their families and their children. In my celebration, I want it to be known that I am not attempting to belittle another mom. I am not trying to make any mother feel grief over her personal breastfeeding experience—or lack thereof.
I am celebrating because breastfeeding means a lot to me personally.
I am celebrating because my son and I have been through so much on this journey. We had a rough start. I was unprepared for the battles that breastfeeding would bring about. I felt defeated when he couldn’t seem to latch after we left the hospital—and it was a tough transition to getting used to him being latched onto me for countless hours every single day.
It is my revelation that motherhood is hard and beautiful.
I am celebrating because we are going on 14 months, and not all of them have been strong. Many of them have been exhausting, overwhelming and full of defeat.
I am celebrating because even in praise of the highs, we have experienced so many lows. But every moment has brought us closer together. Every moment has built the bond between mother and child.
I am celebrating because this is the best decision that I could have made for myself and my child—but I honor and respect the decisions that other mamas have made for themselves and their children.
I am celebrating because my love for nursing my baby is constantly growing as we continue along our journey. It is our cherished bond, something that we can call our own.
It is my revelation that motherhood is hard and beautiful. Soft and intimate. Consuming and profound.
So during this month, and every single day of this journey, I am celebrating. Not to make moms who chose a different route feel ashamed or defeated. Not to push the “breast is best” agenda. Not to throw out my unsolicited advice about breastfeeding awareness. Not to make any other mama feel less than or inadequate. Because I know that as mothers, we make decisions that are the best for our family and for our children. And sometimes those decisions don’t look alike. And that's OK.
I am celebrating national breastfeeding month because these moments won't last forever. My son is beginning to need me less and less as his nutrition is supplied from many other sources. And it is bittersweet.
I am celebrating because this is our journey, our story. And it makes me full.
I am celebrating because there were many moments when I was close to giving up, but we somehow managed to find a rhythm. And as overwhelming as it was to get to where we are now, our present bond is beautiful—and I wouldn't exchange it for the world. Because this connection is my world.