We say we support and accept breastfeeding as the best means to feed a baby, but it would seem that support and acceptance is conditional. A photo of a mom nursing her working friend's child caused all hell to break loose online during World Breastfeeding Week.
According to the post by blogger Mama Bean, Jessica Anne Colletti began caring for her friend's son - then five months old - while the mom went back to work. Colletti was breastfeeding a three month old of her own, and suggested nursing her friend's son, too. The working mom raced to accept Colette's gracious offer because hey, it beats expressing and bottling every day.
"My friend struggled with breastfeeding in the beginning and succeeded for nine months," said Colletti. "She was always very happy that her son had the nutrition and comfort he needed while she was working. Being able to breastfeed her little boy has created a special bond between us all, a bond I will always cherish."
And even though the concept of a wet nurse is far from new, not everyone was a fan of the #MilkSiblings moment. "Gross." "Inappropriate." That was the overriding tone of dissenters, but I would dig a bit deeper and add a touch of "bitter" and "squeamish."
The idea of a wet nurse may be old as the hills, but the fact is, it's not part of our current culture. It feels foreign, and therefore wrong.
Breastfeeding is so emotionally charged these days. It has become about so much more than simply feeding a child. We have turned it an expression of love and intimacy and a source of deep pride, so no wonder we have reservations about another woman sharing that bond with our kid. It's a kind of misguided possessiveness. If I can't feed my baby with my own body, no one else will!
Those who can't do it, feel like we have failed at Motherhood. We nurse bitterness, guilt, and even an element of resentment toward those who manage to feed their babies so effortlessly. If breast milk is the best source of nutrition for babies, then what parent wouldn't want that for their child? I couldn't nurse, and that incredible feeling of failure actually contributed to my postpartum depression.
Until and unless we drop the emotional baggage from the act of breastfeeding, we aren't ready to truly accept breastfeeding in all its forms.
Image Source: Facebook
David Beckham has it all. He's a superhero with a soccer ball. He has a successful, devoted wife and four kids who probably worship him. But even he isn't immune to criticism about his abilities as a dad.
The UK tabloid Daily Mail took offence to the fact that the Beckham's four-year-old daughter, Harper, was using a pacifier or "dummy" as it's known in England.
"Why does Harper, four, still use a dummy?" That was the actual headline. The paper went on to cite "experts" warning of the dangers - speech and dental problems - of Harper's habit if she continued to use the pacifier. Not so between the lines the Mail implicitly blamed her parents for complicity allowing her to continue this nasty habit.
Beckham probably has pretty thick skin underneath all those tattoos, but even he couldn't help reacting to the Mail's onslaught.
"Why do people feel they have the right to criticize a parent about their own children without having any facts?" wrote Beckham to his 10 million Instagram followers.
"Everybody who has children knows that when they aren't feeling well or have a fever you do what comforts them best and most of the time it's a pacifier so those who criticize think twice about what you say about other people's children because actually you have no right to criticize me as a parent..."
This story reminded me that the best parents in existence right now aren't actual parents. In case you don't know: the path of parenting is paved with good intentions. Before you have kids of your own, you swear blind you'll never do (a) and you most definitely will do (b) when you have kids.
Then - bam! - an actual living creature is shoved into your arms, and from that point on, every minute of every day is concerned with picking your battles and trying to raise the best little human you can as you muddle your way through the day until you finally crash on the couch.
Parenting is not an exact science. It's nuanced and it's spectacular and it's messy. David Beckham, you are so precisely right. So who looks like the dummy now?
If you're still LOLing away on social media, it's time to get with the times. "Laugh Out Louders" are a dying breed it seems, with only 1.9 per cent of (mostly older) people still using the acronym on social media.
These days savvy Facebookers resort to either the "haha" or the "hehe." Then there are the loyal emoji fans...
Forgetting electoral races or race politics for a minute, Facebook had dug deep and released data breaking down how its users laugh - and not surprisingly there is a variance across age, gender and location.
At 51.4 per cent, the "haha" reigned the popular choice, with the emoji following at 33.7 per cent.
If you want to look young and sick (that's young-speak for cool, apparently) opt for the "hehe" or the emoji. Women tended to use the emoji more than men, and it was especially popular in Chicago for some reason, where users also take exception to the "hehe" and use it less than those elsewhere. Make of that what you will.
The syllabic length of the "ha" or the "he" depends on the extent of the funny, with "more elaborate hilarity” earning the longer "haha" or "hehe" version.
Facebook has so much big, culturally significant data at its fingertips, yet it opts to study the way we laugh, which really makes me kinda :( and also :S
The LOL habit will die hard, I admit. And what pray tell will become of its edgier alternatives, LMAO and LMFAO?