What one mom thought was a cute photo of her 2-year-old daughter Charlotte breastfeeding her baby doll has stirred up a firestorm of controversy. Now, the mom says she is absolutely shocked by how viciously she was attacked, and I don't blame her!
Breastfeeding Mama Talk's Facebook page reposted the original post from the mom, which included the hashtags #normalizebreastfeeding and #nurseinpublic.
"The breastfeeding shaming starts before they even start really breastfeeding!" the repost reads, going on to share the mom's thoughts about what commenters said about the photo of Charlotte.
"A small rant because I wasn't sure where else would understand the mix of emotions I have," she said. "I am absolutely blown away. I posted this picture of my daughter and woke up to messages asking if this was about me. I'm not bashing for how anyone else parents and maybe it is the wording that gets to me, the parts saying 'it's the nastiest shit of their life' and 'I need punched in the damn face' but I am shocked."
Um, yeah. Those are ridiculously strong reactions to what, as this mom points out, is just a child mimicking a normal and natural way of feeding a baby.
The mom goes on to share she strictly breastfed Charlotte and formula fed an older son. "I am open to both, both are equally wonderful," she wrote, adding, "I would LOVE to know how it is 'the nastiest shit of her life' ... Breastfeeding is something that is natural and IS normal. A baby putting a bottle to its dolls mouth, they are feeding their baby doll, correct? There's no difference. I do not feel the need to correct Charlotte because breastfeeding is wrong? She said her baby wanted to eat, so she fed her. Charlotte says she wants to eat, in public or not, I nurse. Charlotte also pretends to do her makeup, my son pretends to work on his vehicles and fix things from watching his father. Isn't that how it is?"
Sadly, the mom goes on to question whether she is in the wrong to allow her daughter to "breastfeed." But luckily, Breastfeeding Mama Talk commenters have her back.
"Don't correct her at all. Like you said, her baby was hungry, she fed her baby. Absolutely nothing wrong with that!!" one commenter said, adding a photo of her son pretending to breastfeed a stuffed giraffe. Many other mamas also shared images of their kids pretending to breastfeed dolls.
"People who see it as disgusting can not remove the sexual aspect away from the natural aspect. They see it in a perverse way, the issue lies with thier [sic] mentality. Your baby is just doing what she instictually [sic] is wired to do! There is nothing wrong with what she is doing," another commenter wrote. And many more posters went on to voice their support for this mom, and their anger and frustration that she was attacked so mercilessly online.
Hopefully this mom will not stop one thing she is doing. Because what needs to change is how horribly we treat each other online, anonymously, for our parenting choices, not that kids pretend to breastfeed dolls.
What is your take?
Melissa Willets is a writer/blogger and a mom. Follow her on Twitter (@Spitupnsuburbs), where she chronicles her love of exercising and drinking coffee, but never simultaneously.