Sorry, Did I Offend You By Listening To My Own Voice?

“Maybe she just needs some breast milk and skin-to-skin to feel better!” – can you even imagine the reply you would get if this was ever suggested to a mother who chose to formula feed? The criticism and judgement that would follow it if a breastfeeding mother ever offered this advice?

Somehow the advice was rare when I bottle-fed and never based on the feeding alone.

I think at most, the advice extended to suggestions such as winding and wrapping my daughter up like a caterpillar in a cocoon – and of course the self-settling nonsense I never believed in. But that was it.

In a way it feels as though many already believe you to have made the “right” decision by formula feeding so why would any advice contradicting that even be needed?

As a breastfeeding mother it doesn’t stop – when my son was three and thriving, I was still told I was doing it wrong, that there were better ways and other things to do.

Surely he could chew his own food by now? And yes, he could, but boo boo and solid food do not offer the same comfort, or amazing hormones!

The thing I find the most amusing about this type of unsolicited advice is that if I graciously offer a thank you but decline, as I am happy to continue to way I am, then I AM THE ONE WHO IS RUDE.

Hilda, who is telling me that I’ve done everything wrong and unless I want to breastfeed my son when he is a 22-year-old and bed-share with him and his girlfriend, I must stop my perverted ways immediately. She is NOT rude, no, her advice is thoughtful and comes from a good place.

Here’s the thing Hilda – if anyone is rude, it is you…

Me politely moving the conversation on isn’t rude. You becoming offended because I am happy to continue as I am, you becoming offended as I won’t take your unsolicited advice – that’s rude.

Unless I specifically ask, please assume I am happy with our choices and that they suit our family just perfectly!

And Hilda, if you ever need some solicited advice – you know where to find me!

Sofie Thomson is a writer, breastfeeding advocate and (breastfeeding) peer supporter from Sweden, now living in the Scottish Highlands with her husband and children. Since completing her degree in Child and Youth Studies, she has focused on encouraging parents to follow biological norms and trust their natural parenting instincts via her blog – The Gentle Mum. You can also follow her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram

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