Originally Posted by RomanGoddess
To those who have suggested in their posts that whether a child is breastfed or formula fed, sleep-trained or not, etc. makes absolutely no difference at all 10 or however many years down the road, I have a question:
Really? Do you really believe this? Not that it's not a legit or reasonable opinion, I'm just wondering why you would choose to breastfeed, co-sleep, AP, etc. if you don't think it will make a difference long term? Or maybe these were not your choices?
Honestly, not trying to be provocative. Just wondering why one would practise aspects of NFL/AP if in the end, you don't think it makes a difference.
Yup, I do.
I'll take breastfeeding as an example. I extended breastfed with my son to three years of age, and I am EBFing my 5 month old. I've fought through undersupply, oversupply, clogged ducts, three rounds of mastitis, and cracked and bleeding nipples as well as slept on a couch in a lobby to be able to breastfeed my newborn when he was in the NICU. So hopefully that establishes my commitment to breastfeeding, for me.
I actually think some of the health and social benefits are overstated or misunderstood, but I still also think that as the most natural default, and with the benefit of a Canadian maternity leave, it is still the most in-line with how our family operates and how we do things.
That said I honestly do not see a difference between my husband (EBF) and me (formula-fed), or between my son's peers who were FF vs. those who were BF. I can believe breastfeeding is best for us without putting anyone else down, in the way that I might not be vegan (but support that choice) or TF (but support that choice).
On top of that, my sister chose to formula feed for complicated reasons including an incredibly difficult pregnancy where she spent 10 weeks on her back not even going to the bathroom to keep her baby in, and an American maternity leave looming over her head. What struck me with her family was that her husband had such a natural, easy attached relationship with their daughter, because he was fully capable of meeting all her needs including food. They gelled as a parenting team much, much earlier in their parenting journey than my husband and I had a few years previously, in part because my sister was not called on to be there 24/7. (And yet my niece had one of her parents there, meeting her needs, 24/7.)
If you remember that the goal is a connected, attached family I don't think it becomes too difficult to see that there are different paths to meeting children's needs. For me there are some limits - spanking, for example, is not meeting a need.
But for example:
Need for nurturing food on cue - breast, or the best formula you can find and afford, as long as the baby eats
Need for comfort - can be two moms, two dads, a mom and a dad, a mom and a grandmother, a mom...whoever
Need for loving touch and connection - can be a $150 handwoven wrap, a $20 sling, being on someone's hip, or even being in a stroller along for the ride, as long as the parent is responsive.
Need for security - can be one parent being home, can be a loving and connected caregiver + enough money to pay the rent, or a parent who is not freaking out from miserableness, or one SAHP and one WOHP, or people who choose to both work and not divorce due to stress over money, or even to invest for university...security is defined differently by different people
Do I lean natural? Yeah I do, hence the NFL component. But for me, if my attachment is suffering due to the naturalness, the naturalness goes first and I order the pizza rather than being extremely grumpy over having to make the tofu stir fry, y'know?
It does not take anything away from my choices to say that other choices are equally legitimate. It does not make my choices less important to me. It does not mean I don't deserve support in my choices. We're not vegan but when my vegan friends come over, I serve vegan dishes. I know how important that is to them. We can all end up healthy, and although they probably feel we don't have the same view on animal rights, they respect that I support animal rights and free-range farming, etc. to the extent that I do.
It's the same thing to me with the vast majority of "mommy war" issues.