Dear Aunt Becky,
I gave birth to the most wonderful baby boy – my first kid – several weeks ago and am in absolutely in love. However, I was I labor with him for 36 long and insanely painful hours that finally ended in a c-section, after which he was taken to the NICU for so something which has now been thankfully resolved. During my stay in the hospital, he was fed formula and I was so drugged up on painkillers that I was unable to start breastfeeding right away. He never really got the hang of breastfeeding and I decided to pump and supplement with formula, because really, kid’s gotta eat and hi, screaming baby biting at your nipple? Not pleasant. Of course, in the interim, my dad got sick, and I’ve been taking care of his business as well as working at my own job. , I started losing all hours of sleep and I haven’t pumped for a while now.
My son is now eating nothing but formula and I’m getting nothing but criticism for abandoning all efforts to breastfeed. I would love to…but I’m gonna have to split myself in two or five. I feel terrible, nevertheless. I want to provide my own milk for him and give him the immunity and benefits of breastmilk and all that good stuff. What say you? Am I a bad mom? I feel like I suck for just throwing the formula his way.
No. You’re not a bad mom AT ALL. HEAR ME? YOU ARE NOT A BAD MOM AT ALL. Don’t you DARE let a single person let you feel like shit about it because until they’ve walked a mile with your tits, they don’t have the space to judge you. And if they do? SEND THEM TO ME.
Sometimes? BREASTFEEDING DOESN’T WORK OUT AND THAT IS OKAY. You’re not feeding your kid apple juice or vodka or Diet Coke so you’re fine. Please, give yourself a break on this one. You’re one person and dealing with feeding issues on top of the stress of life PLUS a new baby? So. Not. Worth. It.
Want to step into the Way Back Machine With Aunt Becky?
I had every intention of breastfeeding my first son, Ben. Bought all the gear including the ugly ass nursing covers they made and when he was born? He was having NONE of it. I had no C-section, no sick mom or dad. I tried to feed him and he refused to latch on every time I tried. I do mean every time.
I tried SNS, the nipple shields, skin to skin, lactation specialists, I was bullied, I was shamed, I pumped and eventually? I said FUCK THIS and gave the kid formula. Because mealtime would end with us both in tears. Not. Worth. It. Ben was a colicky horrible baby and I didn’t need the extra stress.
I went on to nurse Alex and Amelia who had no problems (turns out that Ben had sensory issues) after feeling like a failure for five long years. I was ashamed of my inability to nurse my kid, which was “supposed to be” so easy. Well, it wasn’t.
What I’m saying here is this: you matter too, sweetie. Your son will love you every bit as much if you give him formula because he’s a baby. They’re love buckets. That’s what they do. And people are going to judge you for the breastfeeding thing because people are fucking assholes. They’ll judge ALL of your parenting choices, but the breastfeeding one is particularly annoying.
My advice to you is to try and NOT MENTION IT if people ask. Make a joke about feeding him steak or something and try and deflect it. If they persist, remind them that it’s REALLY none of their business and if they still persist, ask them how much they weigh. It’s none of their fucking business. It simply isn’t. That’s between you and your son. That’s it.
You’re doing a great job. That little boy is thriving and that’s all that matters. Take care of yourself, okay?
Dear Aunt Becky,
I’d like to know how to handle my Hitler-esque husband when it comes to watching programs we DVR.
You see, we have a toddler and cannot watch the shows we like when he’s around due to either bad content or the extreme guilt that The Man puts on us for rotting his brain. So, we DVR.
After he is blissfully sleeping, we trudge to the basement to indulge and that’s when it happens. It doesn’t matter what or how many backed up episodes I have, we will watch whatever he wants.
I mean, really. What can I do? Sometimes I just want to watch a cake challenge instead of someone in a motorcycle club get brutally beaten. Am I asking for too much?
Not Hailing to My Hitler
First off, Gentle Reader, you have a DVR? I am VERY jealous right now because, you see, Aunt Becky lives in The Dark Ages and has no DVR. She is lustful after yours.
What I would do, my televisionally controlled friend, is to insist that a certain portion of the night be Your Part Of The Night. Because I’m sure that just as you hate the Motorcycle Gang beating each other, he hates the Ace Of Cakes or Biggest Loser Marathon (side note, be sure to eat cake while WATCHING Biggest Loser because it burns more calories if YOU are on a diet, FYI).
But he needs to compromise. I personally would rather gouge out my eyeballs with a spork than have to watch Star Trek and I’m pretty sure The Daver would rather eat his own vomit than be forced to watch reruns of Sex In The City, so we simply go our separate ways when we want to watch these things.
Otherwise, the heavy dramatic “I HATE that you’re making me watch this” sighing would never end. Ah, TRUE LOVE.
So a friend of mine at school and I are both graduating around the same time with similar degrees and we’re looking for jobs. She applied at a company for position X. Two weeks later a new position Y opened up and I applied. I let her know that I applied to the company for position Y and NOT position X. Although she claims that everything is a-ok, it is clearly not. She’s acting different and generally being very cool towards me. I feel that I didn’t do anything wrong, because I didn’t apply for the same job and I told her that I did it (didn’t try to hide it from her). I know I can’t change her reaction, but here is my question for you Aunt Becky.
How can I stop dwelling on the fact that she’s mad at me (but unwilling to admit it)? Any advice on how to let it go? She is (was?) a good friend, and I miss chatting with her. Help.
It looks like your friend is pulling a “Melissa.”
Let me explain the term. Melissa was a friend of mine from nursing school and one day she mentioned that there was these positions opening up at a hospital. Eagerly, I asked her for the HR information, figuring that, like I would, why not pass along the info to a friend? I knew she was going for it, but there were a couple positions because the hospital is a pretty big place.
She never did.
When I asked her about it (because I am oblivious) she ignored me. Obviously, she had no obligation to help me, but I couldn’t fathom why she wouldn’t help a friend.
Same way I can’t imagine why your friend could possibly be upset with you, except that she’s insecure about herself and afraid that you’re going to eclipse her and somehow take her position. It’s really stupid, but I’d be willing to guess that your friend is threatened and/or jealous of you.
I’m sorry, but this is clearly because you are full of The Awesome.
Good luck. I hope that you get the job.
As always, my Gentle Readers, please feel free to fill in where I left off, although I must insist that you do not berate my first guest for her choice to formula feed. Like I said in my response, you may take it up with ME, but not her. I’ve had years to make my peace with my decisions. She needs some good lovin’.
If you’d like to see some places I’ve been:
I’m over here at Skirt! with an column about finding yourself.