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“I think breast feeding a four year old child is DISGUSTING.” I just heard on Dr. Phil. He is doing a special on “controversial parenting.” They happen to be discussing attachment parenting; which, apparently, is controversial. Hm. Another story for another day. But really…disgusting?! You think it is DISGUSTING!? I mean I generally reserve that word for things that truly turn my stomach; vomit, moldy fruit, or even more serious: sick twisted people who kill. Those things are disgusting. But breast feeding a four month old does not strike me as being worthy of this word. Clearly, some people do not agree with the practice of extended breastfeeding (past one year). I mean, even my own family has made negative comments about my decision to continue breastfeeding Zachary past a year indefinitely. Again, another story for another day. But disgusting? I think not. Why do we, as a society, feel it appropriate to be so judgmental of others’ lives, especially parents’? It is as if, when you chose to become a parent, you chose to subject yourself to the scrutiny of others, both privately and publicly. I think with the increased usage of social media, this phenomenon has been made worse. And it blows my mind. Being a parent is a new chapter in one’s life, as is puberty, or seniority. But it is, somehow, the only one that makes people feel as if it is appropriate to judge. Or at least it seems as much. It is UNREAL how many people have opinions on why you should or shouldn’t sleep with your child, why you should or shouldn’t breastfeed, when you should start solids, why you should or shouldn’t wear your child, why you should or shouldn’t put your child on a schedule, etc…. I mean, in reality, we are all human, and we chose to do things differently; isn’t that one of the greatest things about being human? The opportunity to be different; to make choices? And even further in reality…these choices have NO IMPACT WHATSOEVER on the people who are judging them! Anyway, I know I sound like I am ranting, which I partially am, but I am trying to get the point across. Being a parent is already scary enough as it is; it brings out a feeling of severe vulnerability. We do not need to be subject of judgement by others for the decisions we make, thereby increasing our vulnerability even more. And that is where I think the root of problem lies; those who have children are weary of their decision making. Of course! We want what is best for our children naturally, so it is possible to feel insecure about personal decisions, and the way some deal with insecurity is to scrutinize others. And those who do not have children who judge, well…they just don’t understand. Do I think Zachary will be breast feeding when he is four? Probably not. But do I think it is disgusting?! ABSOLUTELY not. It truly blows my mind how much time people spend on judging the choices of others, and I think it is time that we stop, and instead enjoy the choices we, ourselves have made.


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