In emails, and on the internet, and in real life, we constantly come across crass mentalities and attitudes that can beat us down. Not to be excluded are comments from breastfeeding advocates. The fact is, it's much easier to be mean on the internet than in real life because there is a disconnect of consequences on the net. The anonymity makes some feel they have been granted free rein to bash, insult, and criticize other's choices and circumstances.
I try not to let this mentality affect or influence me, because, one, it's bad for business and two, it's just incompassionate.
I spoke to a mother of a young baby today, and I gently inquired if the baby was breastfed. I could notice a turn in her demeanor and tone of voice. She almost hesitantly admitted that due to problems and so fort, she didn't breastfeed for long. I don't know if she was surprised or taken back by my response...
"I understand. It's not always that our circumstances meet our plans half way "
Yes. I am a passionate breastfeeding advocate, and no, I don't think you're a bad, unfit, horrible, uncaring, selfish mother if you chose not to breastfed, or if for some unforeseen occurrence, you were unable to do so.
You know why I force myself to feel this way and constantly remind myself to be compassionate? Because there is a general lack of this quality everywhere we turn. Austere, narrow-mindedness weighs people down and makes them go the other direction. You know why I force myself? Because all of us struggle with certain negative qualities, nearly everyone is judgmental, but we can, control our feelings. And I choose to keep mine in check.
This helps that same mom who confided in me today, that in the future, if she has breastfeeding problems with any subsequent children, she feels free to ask help from me, or to just talk to me because I'm not going to react harshly. She feels comfortable around me, and that is good for everyone. It's good for primarily the baby (because this one can possibly get only human milk), it's good for the mom because no one likes judgmental people, it's good for business (who wants to PAY to be criticized?!) and it's good for me because when we go good to others, good comes back to us.