below is written by my dear friend whom also my x-classmate back during studies in MRSM Taiping..
I can't say this enough... step into others' shoes only if they fit.. in other words. Stop living other ppls' lives. Don't judge what you think other ppl is doing with their lives unless you are in the middle of it. The think that is concerning most to me is of course, parenting choices.
If I were asked about breastfeeding and my thoughts on it is that it's the one most difficult thing I had to do in my daughters' first 2 years of life. I would say that it wasn't so much of the soreness, or moments with low supply, mostly it's just emotionally draining.. and the constant constant breastfeeding sessions and next comes the empathy nod from the one who asked the question, 'oooh...' or maybe it's more like, "aaaah..."
When I try to remember more, it's almost like opening pandora's box.. it all started to emerge. The uncertainties.. the STABBING EXCRUCIATING PAIN I had the first month at the spinal site, the problems with latching.. the whispers saying 'OMG your dotter is sooo going to gantung with you like forever', the things I read on the web that are so clashing with my own personal experience which gave me the highest level of doubts and insecurities, not having anyone to turn to, being so sick of breastfeeding that I literally almost threw up.. that lump I had in my throat when I just had to tell OH that I'm so sick of breastfeeding.. trying to be careful with my choice of words so that he doesn't think I'm saying that it's Afya that's making me sick and that it's the constant breastfeeding instead, and not to mention the buckets of tears poured (mine probably trumped Afya's).. now.. after reading that you may think you understand what I went through.. heck you probably went through it too, but what I wrote is still only the gist of it. To actually be able to understand, you not only need to be there to witness it all.. you need to be me.. the one who actually experienced it. Just from this one paragraph that I've written, it's just not enough to paint the picture. Even if you've had experienced similar problems, my baby is an individual. I am an individual. If something u did worked for you, no way, that the same thing would definitely work for me too. So.. are we still in the same boat now.. have I lost you along the way..?
Having mentioned the few things that I just couldn't mention before, (I dunno for what reason but most probably just wanting to avoid being judged by ppl who easily make their own conclusion simply by making their own deduction, Like.. captain obvious goes, ooo why didn't u do this and this and I'll be like concentrating hard trying to remember why I didn't try the obvious.. ooo maybe COZ IT DIDN'T WORK after the gazilionth time?!) I still stand by breastfeeding. I will do it again and again (planned to have 3). Breastfeeding is the best.. and that's a fact. What I can't stand though is that we are starting to become too extreme with it that instead of gentle persuasions, educating and presenting the benefits, we are starting to look down upon mothers that choose to do it differently. I'm drawing a line. We are not doing just if by promoting breastfeeding, we are also stepping on other ppls head.
Breastfeeding is not wajib. Probably the hukum is very very close to wajib but in the exact sentence in the Quran it is stated that mothers (and fathers) are given the choice to do otherwise if necessary (in the modern context, to give formula milk to their babies) as long as the father bears the expenses (or something like it -- the father bears the expenses part). Islam is just great and it's obvious. Allah knows that breastfeeding is not a simple thing to do less it would have been wajib. Mothers are still given a choice. It's not like covering the aurah. It is wajib.. nowhere in the quran says you have a choice to expose your aurah in front of a non-mahram (unless in darurat). Covering the aurat --- is just too easy (doing it in style probably tricky hehe). So my argument is very simple... mothers (and fathers) are given the choice. Parenting can never be easy. Maybe you can argue that breastfeeding is so much easier than giving bottle and that it is true to you but who are you to say that breastfeeding is an easier option for another mother too? I probably dun have to start on breastfeeding and having to deal with your older children's needs too.
So with all these very difficult parenting choices that we have to make (yes which probably also includes whether or not to send our children to kumon LOL) I think as long as the parents are doing what THEY think is best and that it is an informed decision -- that they know the pros and cons of the choices they made.. following the quran and sunnah, that they are well read, and they had to choose to give their babies the bottle (FM) with whatever excuse or excuses they came up with to tell you, it is THEIR choice to make and we actually dun even have the right to ask for their reasons and excuses to have chosen a different style or parenting path.. and they just shouldn't even be bothered to give one or ten. It's their life.. their children, they are doing the best that they see fit for their family. So who are you again...? The 2nd mother? We can however try to understand what other parents are going through and show some support and share knowledge and share our parenting experiences. Give a hand if they need help or simply guide them to someone who can help. There's no where in Quran saying we can mock or taunt them.
In the end, don't make the same mistake that our parents and our parents' parents did.. don't let the society dictates what is right or wrong, and pressure parents into making choices that's not right for them. Instead of reaping benefits, more problems arises and leaving everyone downright miserable, affecting their state of mind, health and faith in the end. This was one of the reasons that at one time formula milk was deemed better than breastmilk and that we forgot to breastfeed our own babies.
Hopefully this will serve as a reminder to myself not to get too sucked in with any parenting fad and forgetting that other mommies have feelings too, some are not as fortunate as others, and that although we are great at being superwomen, none of us is Superwomen. Come on.. support each other.. being a mommy is challenging enough.. being sneered by another mother will only make it difficult.Oh please please please don't smoke with your child is sitting on your lap.. it's just not right.