The Breastfeeding Lesson: How Twitter Beef Helped Me Get Over
Yesterday on twitter I got unfollowed. I would say I got into an altercation, but I was mentioned by the person who unfollowed me, who proceeded to make their account private and then talk about me without me being able to defend myself. Let me give you a little background info…yesterday, I was asked to go thrifting with a friend of mine. Both of us have 4 year olds and were worried about their behavior in the thrift stores, and I said I would bring my stroller just in case my twins got antsy or tired of walking through several stores. That lead me to take to twitter and FB and ask how old was too old to have children in a stroller. From that series of questions and answers, another follower of mine asked how old was too old to breastfeed. I replied “If you MUST include breastmilk in your childs diet after they grow teeth, PUMP. Do not have Tyrone’s 3 y/o ass hanging from your breastmeat.”
Now while you may be offended by the wording, take into consideration I am admittedly abrasive. Regardless of how it was stated, I stand behind the fact that I think it’s odd to breastfeed after 2. I think once a child becomes a pre-schooler, they are learning acceptable social behaviors, they are maturing, and they are becoming more and more independent of their mother and father. If you eat at the table, shouldn’t you drink there too? But, there is apparently a whole community of people who disagrees with me. As I said, not only was I unfollowed, but my mentions flooded by women upset about my comments, slinging very false accusations my way.
One woman suggested I sexualized breastfeeding, and that since we were mammals, our breasts were made only for feeding, not sexual pleasure. Another suggested I must think breast feeding is disgusting, and must have had trouble doing it so I am punishing the amazing, wonderful women who CAN do it by vilifying something that is natural and beautiful. Another woman suggested I wasn’t educated because a child’s first set of teeth is called “milk teeth” for a reason, and since children don’t lose milk teeth until around age 5, breastfeeding until they are all gone is natural and normal.
That’s when I got angry. I could honestly care less if a woman who loves nursing doesn’t want to follow me anymore. What I HATE are people making assumptions about me and my life and thought process. Immediately I took to my timeline to complain. In doing so, though, I completely recognized I was just as bad as the chick that had to hide behind a private profile. People are going to misjudge me. People are going to take ONE thing I say, and run with it, making assumptions about me and my life and my abilities. One of the hardest lessons in life that I have had to learn is that I DON’T HAVE TO CARE.
For the record, I praise breastfeeding. Any of my friends who are mothers can tell you I wholeheartedly think it’s the best way to provide THE BEST nutrition for your infant. In addition to the fact that you provide the best start for your child, you develop a beautiful bond by breastfeeding. I LOVED breastfeeding. I was a milk producing fiend. I produced so much milk, it used to amaze me because the twins would finish eating, and sometimes it would literally shoot across the room. I never had trouble with the twins latching on. It wasn’t painful. Breastfeeding was amazing. Especially with my daughter (who breastfed longer than my son for medical reasons) I remember bonding with her for so long and just starting into her eyes and rubbing her hair until she fell asleep. When I stopped breastfeeding, I missed it so much, I took fenugreek to increase my milk flow and tried to start it again when the twins were older. My son was born with an underdeveloped digestive system. What we originally thought was colic turned out to be an issue more closely related to him being born at 36 weeks, and being smaller. He was unable to digest my breast milk, and had to be put on a special formula. BEFORE I put him on formula, I removed items from my diet one by one, to the point where I was making myself sick (I am anemic, and was removing some key elements from my own diet) in order to figure out what I was eating that was making him unable to digest. I would have rather starved, or gone without something I was consuming than to make him unable to nurse. I rarely pumped to feed my children; I only pumped because I was engorged. I had so much milk saved and frozen; I had to stop saving it. All of that said, I still think as much as I loved it, and as much as I loved being able to bond with my babies by doing it, a 2 year old is too old to nurse. And, interestingly enough, I personally nursed past 2. My mom confirmed this morning. She wanted to stop nursing at 18 months, but ended up going until about 3 months after my second birthday. No one in my family thought breastfeeding was disgusting. I don’t come from a line of people who made me think of it as a bad thing.
However, even as a person who personally nursed after age 2, I wouldn’t have nursed my own past 2. And I didn’t .But you know what? NONE of the people who wrote those horrible things about me are going to read that paragraph. They are going to continue to think I am anti-breastfeeding. They are going to maintain that I am insensitive and sexualize it or couldn’t do it. They will think that I am ignorant, even though I know that in addition to “milk teeth” nature also has us grow 4-8 extra molars (known commonly as wisdom teeth) because we used to lose teeth by chewing tough and undercooked or raw meats from animals like mammoths, so by the “milk teeth” logic, we should also go out and kill and eat elephants so we don’t waste these good years with our wisdom teeth, right?
No matter how smart, or witty or truthful I am in this post, I am not going to change those minds because they won’t seek me out to even be swayed. They will mudsling, and hide behind private profiles and suggest that I am a poor thinker for following social norms as opposed to evolutionary ones. But I can’t change that. It drives me insane. I want to go into my twitter account and reply to everyone who said something mean to me with this link, but once again it’s hit or miss because I can’t force them to read it or make up their minds for them. People are going to say and think and accuse me of things that I think are unfair, biased and wrong. Wasting the time trying to change their minds though? I can avoid that. I obviously have a lot of work to do, because this post (or this one ) wasn’t exactly a super great way to utilize my time, but I want you all to know, life handed me a lesson yesterday, and I think the best thing was that I learned it.Tags: breast milk, breastfeed, milk teeth, misunderstood, nurse, nursing, slander