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Hey there! My name is Carrie and I'm an everyday wife and homeschool momma to three {very} energetic boys.  

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To the Momma in the Corner (I saw your formula)

October 17, 2014

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I see you there. You are feeding your infant with a baby bottle filled with the infant formula you hope no one noticed you preparing. Inside, you feel less womanly than the mother confidently breastfeeding across from you.

Momma guilt rears its ugly head and tells you that you have failed the baby you love so much.

You are afraid of another glare, afraid to suffer another wound inflicted by the mommy wars. You’ve seen all the studies, every headline stabs your heart. You did all you could do, and it didn’t work out; or perhaps, you just knew your own limitations and made the decision not to breastfeed. All you’ve heard echoes in your heart . . .

It should be the law that a mother has to breastfeed her baby

 “Formula should be locked up

It is easy and natural, you must have done something wrong

Each bottle you prepare is a reminder of your failure or the cutting words you’ve heard.

I see you there, because I’ve been there with you.

Of all the areas we tend to attack and demean each other as mothers, breastfeeding stirs my heart the most. I totally, completely, 100% back breastfeeding as the best option for a baby—but there are times it simply doesn’t work out and no mother should be judged for that.

The breastfeeding movement is a great thing, but we push it so dogmatically that we forget that mommas have hearts—and those hearts feel every cutting remark and every look of disdain. I’ve seen so many women attacked, scolded, glared at, and demeaned for using infant formula . . . why? Do we think the mother doesn’t already know that breastfeeding is best? Do we really know her reasons for deciding not to? Have we walked in her shoes? Do we know her heart; her motives?

Have we even stopped to talk to her, to listen to her heart?

If you have been able to successfully breastfeed your children, that is fantastic! But I implore you to extend the same grace you fight to receive as a breastfeeding momma to your formula feeding counterpart. Before you judge, remember you don’t know her story. You don’t know her reasons—and even if her reasons are purely selfish, haven’t you also made some purely selfish decisions in your own parenting? {Come now, who hasn’t put their kids to bed early because you just can’t take another hour of chaos?}

To the momma in the corner, if you feel shame, guilt, if you’ve cried . . . know you aren’t alone. Life happens and maybe it was beyond your control; or maybe you knew your own limitations and chose to devote yourself to your precious baby in other ways.

It’s ok!

Know that you have absolutely nothing to be ashamed of. You have not failed your child.

. . . The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart. – 1 Samuel 16:7

We have been called to steward the gifts the Lord has given us and He judges us by our hearts before Him, not by how we’ve fed our infants.

Great mommas and children are not made or broken in the eyes of our Savior by breastfeeding or formula feeding . . . great mommas and children come from hearts totally surrendered and committed to Him.

I am a formula feeding momma. In circumstances with both of my children, breastfeeding came with a huge physical, emotional, and mental price tag–and what good is breastfeeding if momma goes crazy, amen?

I don’t want to be a momma who gets lost in the pride or shame of how I feed my children–I want to be known by my heart for Jesus Christ. This is all that truly counts! Everything we do–even our most wonderful, righteous momma acts are only filthy rags in His eyes . . . He wants our hearts, not our records.

All of us have become like one who is unclean,and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags;we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away. -Isaiah 64:6

Let us not be the momma generation known for our breastfeeding records, but the generation known for our devotion to Christ.

  1. Harriet Cook says:

    Been there, but at an era when formula wasn’t as disdained. I simply couldn’t produce enough. Second child has ‘brick dust’ diapers–he was dehydrated though I fed him all I could make. (My breasts never increased in size and all they ever leaked was an occasional quarter-sized spot.) The hospital’s pay-for-hire-after-you-leave-the-hospital lactation specialist said I didn’t have enough ducts. My first few months with each of my three children was a sobfest as I worked so hard to produce enough milk (adding brewer’s yeast to the diet, eating more instead of trying to lose weight, renting the expensive electronic breast pump, even purchasing the bottle/tube-taped-to-your-breast that adoptive mothers use to initiate lactation!). So believe me, I understand the despair, the guilt, the disappointment!

  2. sara says:

    This spoke volumes to me. Thank you!!!!! The best freedom in the world was once I took ownership of being a formula feeding mama after only 6 weeks of breast feeding.

  3. Maria says:

    Thank you for this post! I, too am a formula feeding mama (breast milk caused my daughter to have jaundice), and I can’t even begin to tell you the mom guilt and the disdain from others that came with that fact. Your words are so comforting, and I feel fortunate to have read it just now. You’re right in saying that breast feeding moms should allow the same grace they were given to those who can’t do what they can (whether it is by choice or not). At the end of the day: we’re all just mothers trying to provide for our children the best way we know how, after all.

  4. Renee says:

    I know there are so many moms our there who need to hear this. Thank you for sharing!
    Renee from #shinebloghop

  5. Amber says:

    I wish I could have found something like this 3.5 years ago for my sister-in-law. She would cry every time someone commented on her having to bottle feed her son- he needed to be in the NICU for 10 days after he was born and never learned to latch properly. It was the only option she had but she felt like “less” for having to do it, and judged besides by all the women that could.I used to be very critical of others parenting choices (of course, I was most critical before I had kids myself!) but the longer I do it, the more I learn that everyone has to do what works for them and their family. My opinion doesn’t, and shouldn’t, matter about their choices, for feeding/sleeping/educating their kids.
    Found you through the Shine blog hop!
    Amber at OurCharmedLife.net

  6. […] To the Momma in the Corner (I Saw Your Formula) – Momma Minutes […]

  7. […] To the Momma in the Corner (I Saw Your Formula) – Momma Minutes […]

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Hey there! My name is Carrie and I'm an everyday wife and homeschool momma to three {very} energetic boys.  

Faith

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