This will more than likely be my first and last rant on anything on this blog. I just have a few things to get off my chest and I apologize ahead of time for pressing the pause button on our normally scheduled blog posts…
Even before I begin, I just want to say that I much prefer our blog to be a place of learning, fun, and Jane being real about the journey of pregnancy and parenthood. I’ve always, always stayed away from negativity and subjects that seem to attract the “wild bunch” who seem to post comments on blogs to start fights, put people down, or just cause chaos. We’ve got no time for that junk. There are enough websites and forums that cater to that.
However, there has been a topic that I’ve wanted to bring to the surface for awhile now – and the two blog posts by Jane today really set a theory I’ve had for awhile in stone.
When HisBoysCanSwim was just a pregnancy blog, things were pretty much smooth sailing. Sure, Jane or I would get the occasional commenter who’d disagree or be a little annoying, but they were VERY few and far between. And during the months of December through the end of July, we only received one rude email from some crazy lady – and I don’t remember now what in the heck she was going nuts about but remember it was quite laughable really. But all in all, blogging through pregnancy was a breeze and a lot of fun.
However, since having Monkey, all hell has broken loose. Maybe it’s because we’re an anonymous blog and we’re free to totally speak our minds, not sugar coat anything, and not have to worry about what friends or family think, since they are unaware this blog. Maybe we’re a little too out there for some people’s comfort. Or maybe parenthood really makes worlds boobs collide.
Now the last thing in the world I want to do is start the whole breastfeeding debate here. I’m a little upset that some small battles have begun on Jane’s previous blog posts, but oh well, I knew it was coming the moment we posted Jane would no longer be breastfeeding. All Jane and I ask is that all of our friends, regular commenters, and supports, please don’t fuel the fire that the… well, not so friendly people are trying to start.
If you’re interested in yelling, screaming, going nuts, flaming people, and on and on, there are hundreds, maybe thousands of sites out there that are all for that in the world of breastfeeding. This blog isn’t the place for it my grandmother used to tell me that if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. :)
But I do want to say that I’m SHOCKED by what Jane has read to me and shown me over the last few weeks. I’m sorry for my language, but holy shit, some woman are really brutal out there and the things they are saying to these new moms are horrible. It has really become the War of the Boobs out there – that’s for sure. Talk about a lot of unneeded pressure for a new mom, you know? Especially if she’s having a really hard time. Believe me, those woman are beating themselves up enough and don’t need someone to keep kicking them when they are already down.
I mean not that it matters, but Jane and I both are supporters of breastfeeding. It’s really a great thing! However, we also believe that woman have a choice, and whatever they choose to do and whenever they choose to do it is theirs (and their families) to make – whatever the reasons are. So I support the opportunity to also make a choice – and not have people bash you for your decision. God knows anyone deciding to or not to breastfeed – or whether or not to stop for any reason has had MANY sleepless nights and gallons of tears shed – no matter how hard it’s been.
Now Jane has to stop breastfeeding because of the medicine she’s taking. And the main reason for this post is the number of negative comments, emails, and some Twitter direct messages Jane showed me of people flaming her! Are you #&%$ serious?
People telling her that she’s giving up too soon, that she’s using PPD as an excuse to stop breastfeeding, that she really doesn’t have PPD and that it’s normal for her to feel this way, that she should suck it up and keep breastfeeding Monkey because formula is pure poison, and yet another who claims to have no respect for any woman who chooses not or stops breastfeeding for any reason whatsoever.
Standing on the outside and watching the Boob War unfold right before my eyes is startling. It’s scary actually. New mom’s have enough pressure – and for people to come out of the woodwork and post negative comments, send rude emails, etc. to someone who is suffering from postpartum depression is idiotic.
When someone is already feeling horrible, like their whole world is crashing down on them, and they’ve reached the point where they do not want to look at, touch, or have anything to do with the baby is beyond the time you need to call a doctor. And to bash someone who is admittedly going through the toughest time in her life emotionally and is truly, truly scared is completely soulless. Especially when admitting something is very wrong is hard enough to do – and then making the decision to do something about it to be a better mom to her child. But for some reason some people don’t see it that way.
Jane is a woman who has postpartum depression – and things got really serious over the last couple of days – which Jane has been fairly public about on her blog posts. Sure there are some other factors going on and more pieces to it that Jane and I chose not to go into detail on this blog. Who knows, maybe it would have made some people more understanding – but frankly, it doesn’t matter, and I actually doubt it. And it goes without saying that the things she did admit to, the things she did write were really tough to admit, and I commend her for doing so – as many of you also have.
After Jane read me her blog post yesterday, the last few days made a lot of sense to me. Her comments, her actions, and they way she had been acting was WAY off track the past few days. Jane wasn’t her normal self and she had put on a front. I asked her some questions and we discussed some things that made all flags go up and tell her, “call your doctor right now”. Things were bad and we need not go into all the details here.
Postpartum depression is very, very serious and cannot go untreated. I had a very close family member with a rare mental illness and lived most of my life dealing with many, many things that most people cannot even imagine. If some of the people flaming Jane were to live in my shoes for just one hour of my life growing up, they’d be singing a different tune – having a deep understanding of depression, mental illness, and the effect it can have on someone and those around them.
So Jane’s doctor prescribes some meds and gives her info a good friend of hers who owns a practices and specializes in helping woman with postpartum depression if Jane feels she needs to talk to someone. Perfect. I 100% support that and know Jane will be doing a 180 in the next few days.
So why is Jane not breastfeeding? Is she “giving up easily” or “taking the easy way out” as some have put it?
Well, everyone – including a HUGE warning that came with the medicine that says, “DO NOT BREASTFEED WHILE TAKING THIS MEDICATION”, Jane’s nurse, the pharmacist, what we’ve read online, and the paperwork with the medicine all said not to breastfeed.
Jane was crushed when she heard the news from the nurse, and tears streamed down her face. Even though she did not like breastfeeding, she felt she had to keep going and was pushing to go six weeks and reevaluate how she felt about it – hoping she would feel better and continue. I can tell you first-hand that if it wasn’t for postpartum depression kicking into a serious high-gear, Jane would have stuck to breastfeeding – NO MATTER WHAT.
YES, Jane did battle breastfeeding daily – and with every feeding. Yes, it was hard on her. Yes, it was not easy. We talked about it EVERY single day, but she was committed to keep going, keep pushing, and evaluate everything again in six weeks. I’m so freaking tired of people jumping the gun and making assumptions. Makes me a little sick to my stomach to think that they are attacking other woman who may not be as strong as Jane and may take a lot of things that people say to them personal. The fact is (which we have NOT disclosed on this blog ever) is that both Jane and I have lost people in our family very close to us to serious illnesses. Jane and I knew breastfeeding was proven to help with all sorts of things – which was Jane’s driving force to keep going.
People just don’t know the whole story of why a woman decides not to or has to stop breastfeeding. I doubt most would go into the intimate details of why they chose not to or why they had to stop because frankly, it’s none of people’s business. But people take it on themselves to chime in on their strong opinions – looking past the fact that there may be other things going on and their comments are only making things tougher on the person. Frankly, it’s heartless and foolish to hurt someone who is already down.
Anyway, with all of that said, some woman still felt the need to kick someone while they were down and post negative comments, send negative emails, and post negative dm’s on Jane’s Twitter account. That made me furious. It’s uncalled for. It’s low. Hell, some admit to not even reading the full post or know what is going on entirely, they just saw that Jane stopped breastfeeding and proceed to send crazy emails. Which frankly, some are extremely heartless and I delete them so Jane doesn’t have to deal with reading things that’ll hurt her, make her feel bad about herself, and so on.
I have no problem with people being totally pro breastfeeding – Jane and I are huge fans of it ourselves, but we’d never attack anyone who decided to stop or needs to for a medical reason. I’ll never understand why people feel the need to attack others when they are down. Maybe it makes them feel superior. Maybe they feel like they are actually doing something good? I don’t know, and frankly, I could care less on why they do it. I care for the fact they they do do it – and used Jane as a target.
Are people really that crazy to tell others not to listen to their doctor and everyone else and breastfeed your baby while taking meds that say specifically not to? I was floored by reading the posts and emails. And then it hit me…
These woman are probably doing this to EACH AND EVERY SINGLE WOMAN they find or hear about who is stopping breastfeeding for whatever reason. They all gang up and attack you it seems like – and God forbid you are going through postpartum depression, they could care less. My heart goes out to the woman who are being flamed and attacked by these people.
This is the first time a few crazy woman have gone after Jane, but I’ve seen them first-hand on other sites that Jane has showed me in the past. I thought they were bad, but what I’ve seen last night and today makes some look like heartless monsters thanks to their comments/emails/etc.
So all I’m saying here, is be warned… If you stop breastfeeding for ANY reason – even if your boobs run dry for some reason, and you make it public, get prepared to get some hate mail, idiotic messages, and shocking comments. It doesn’t matter if you’re about to lose it, it doesn’t matter if you can only produce 1 ounce of breastmilk a day or less (very rare, but does happen), you’ll get slammed by people. Sad. Really sad.
Now believe me, I’m all for believing in something very strongly – so strong that you’re compelled to share your message with others. Passion is a good thing. However, a line needs to be drawn when your passion or belief in something is so strong that you’re hurting people trying to get your message across. I’d say at that point you cross the line of being passionate about something to becoming obsessed, and you’ll do anything at a cost to get your message out there – including hurt people.
So again – let’s not debate the whole breastfeeding world. I’ve come to realize there will always be several sides and that people have very strong beliefs. Now don’t get me wrong, I am also fully aware that the “bashers” who go after woman who stop breastfeeding make up a very, very small percentage of pro breastfeeders. So please don’t take me wrong here. I’m fully aware that the wild bunch makes up a small group in an otherwise very, very supportive group of woman of which I have a LOT of respect for.
Let’s all agree that we all have our own thoughts and opinions. And if we disagree, well, let’s agree that it’s OK to disagree. If everyone saw eye-to-eye on everything this world would be a pretty boring place, you know?
So yes, Jane and I are aware there are some anti-depressants that say are safe to take while breastfeeding. However, we discussed it and decided not to call the doctor and have her change the meds she put Jane on for several reasons – no need to go into any of those here.
Not this leads me into what I’m calling, “The Post Pregnancy War”. Now please don’t take this the wrong way, but what in the hell is wrong with some people!? Does having a kid automatically get you into this parenting membership club where you suddenly have the right to share your ways of parenting, and if anyone disagrees with you, you attack them, and give you the green light to be annoying?
If it does, someone please cancel our membership! We’re not going to change who we are just because we’re parents. We’re not going to go crazy and share what we feel is the best way to raise a child, or tell other parents to do this or that because we believe it’s best. Why on earth are there so many people who do? It seems like nearly anything we do or say, someone finds something wrong with it or a reason not to do it.
We were ALL raised differently. We live in a time unlike any other where there are more product options, more choices, more research, more access to information, more, more, more. We’re advertised to over 1,000 times a day. Everyone is doing all they can to grab our attention. Combine all of this with the stressful world of parenthood and no wonder why some parents become so hooked on an idea and feel compelled to share their opinions – in a way that if no one agrees with them, they write people off.
We live in a world where social networking (Twitter, MySpace, FaceBook, etc.) makes it easy to “get new friends” so we’re quick to dump people who don’t share our beliefs and ideas. We’d rather surround ourselves with people who believe the same things we do, share the same parenting styles, and beliefs on how to raise a child than surround ourselves with a diverse group of people to expand your knowledge. It’s a crazy world we live in these days… especially if you are a new parent and choose to be public on any aspect of your child and/or parenting style/choices.
Sure, Jane and I disagree with some things people say – or don’t agree on a certain style of parenting. All parents do! However, we’ve never, nor will we ever flame people for being a parent and choosing to do or not do something. We try to figure out why someone may do something differently and learn something from it instead of passing it off as garbage because it’s different than what we’ve learned or what we know.
We believe that everyone has their own methods and reasons why they do something – and that’s good! We support people being different, trying new things, and doing what they feel is right and best for their child. We just don’t support the whole ‘I’m going to flame you and delete you from my friend list because you use a damn bottle warmer!’ type of crowd.
Don’t put Monkey in a swing… Don’t do this, don’t do that, only buy this, don’t buy that, bwaaa bwaaa bwaaa. Babble babble. I’ll be honest, it was much easier blogging about pregnancy than it is about being a new parent! Although WE DON’T and NEVER will, we feel like we have to be careful what we say sometimes. I hate that feeling. Now we’ll never hold anything back here, but Jane and I have caught ourselves feeling the need to on a few occasions (although we didn’t). It’s sometimes a battle to write something – knowing that you’re going to get flamed a little for it from some people, but that’s the road we’ve decided to travel on here.
As a brand new father, I am amazed at the world of parenthood – not in a good way. It’s sad actually. When it comes to the music, books, toys, DVD’s, and thousands of other items, you’ll find parents who are so for an item or a product they’ll talk about it until they are blue in the face – and you’ll find parents who are the opposite – and bash something until you appear to be on the same wavelength as them. Don’t people have something better to do???
So many people are influencing others that I can see how new parents can easily lose sense of self in the midst of the new-parent craziness. With all of this babble and noise, I’m amazed any of us get anything done sometimes.
Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE being a Daddy, but everyday I’m growing to not like many of the things that it brings in from the outside world – and the people and comments that sometimes also go along with it. Now I’m not just talking about blogging here. I’m talking about everything…
Like how every time we see Jane’s Mom she tells us how she doesn’t understand why we can’t put a blanket in the crib on Monkey. ”It’s to prevent SIDS and everyone has told us not to”, we’ve told her 1,000 times. She comes back with, “well Jane I used a blanket on you to keep you warm and you’re still here!” Word has spread that we don’t use a blanket and people think we’re crazy – because back in the day before Sleep Sacks you of course used a blanket. No one knew any better. But, they are stuck in their ways, which is fine, many people are. Heck, I’m stuck in my ways on many things too. I just choose to keep my mouth shut.
There are at least 272 examples that I can give there ranging from the use of rice cereal, powder on a babies butt, all the way to how a baby should sleep when it comes to things we do that seem crazy to others. Parenting is the most opinionated-filled world that I’ve ever seen.
Seriously, what in the hell has happened to the parenting world? Has is always been this crazy and this opinionated? Has it always been filled with people lurking in dark corners ready to attack you if you do or say something that they personally don’t agree with or think is right? If so, get me the hell out of here! Time for Jane, Monkey, and I to move to the rainforest where I can swing from vines and be the real Tarzan to get away from all this craziness. LOL
Seriously, it’s really crazy what’s going on out there when you take a step back or look at it from the outside.
I guess all you can do is stick to your guns, do what you believe in, and do what you think is right for you and your baby.
After all, isn’t that what being a parent is all about?
P.S… I just updated the page “Cost to have a baby without maternity insurance” with the final total. EEKS.
You might also want to read:
- Breastfeeding Issues: Is it just me, or do other Moms feel this way, but just don’t tell anyone?
- Postpartum blues, help with breastfeeding, and ramblings from an overtired Daddy.
- Past memory of postpartum depression, breastfeeding Monkey, & my dog
- Breastfeeding: Let’s talk painful nipples, shall we?
- Follow-up to previous post about postpartum depression