Moms face tons of pressure to do everything right for their newborns -- and the rest of the family. Whether that pressure comes from within or external forces, it can be exhausting trying to take care of everyone and yourself simultaneously. One woman bravely revealed that stopping breastfeeding has made her a better mom, and her post has been met with cheers and jeers.
Australian TV star Maddi Wright admitted that she wished she'd never breastfed. Along with an adorable photo of herself and her thriving tot, the mom wrote heartfelt explanations on both her Facebook and her Instagram about why she stopped nursing and how much better she's felt since. She concluded on FB with this brutally real statement: "I never [had] that 'glowing' feeling when I fed. Most feeds I'd cry from pure exhaustion. I know I will cop [a lot] of negative comments about this post but I think it's important for mums to know that MUM HAS TO BE HAPPY TOO."
It's almost crazy how "brave" she seems to express her opinion -- one that she knew would be met with criticism -- which seems counter to so many others'.
Here's her bold and honest Instagram post:
More from CafeMom: 11 Dads Share Their Brutally Honest Feelings About Breastfeeding
This part comes as words of relief and absolution to other moms who've been feeling the same way but afraid to express it:
...3 weeks post stopping breastfeeding with my 4 month old I am a completely different person. I'm a better mum and better wife. I have more energy. I actually have gaps where bub is NOT on my body so I get to miss him a little. I have more time for my other son. I am more affectionate towards my husband.
One grateful commenter wrote: "I praise you for this post..I didn't breastfeed both of my little ones by choice despite everyone telling me to do so and on occasion even calling me a bad mother."
Another thanked her for professing her "truth," writing, "I felt compelled to just simply say -- I commend you and I support you. If women took time to simply say those words, our world would be a happier place. Each person's story is different and your health and happiness is so important for your child and family."
More from CafeMom: 14 LOL-Worthy Breastfeeding Tweets That Every Nursing Mom Can Relate To
As you'd suspect, other commenters were quick to judge. This comment was left under her post:
"...your body image issues and the inconvenience of having to care for your child unfortunately come with the territory. I honestly don't think babies are for everybody. The benefits of breast feeding are can not be disputed. One of the most important benefits is a decrease in obesity with exclusive breast-feeding for at least six months. Look up to study we don't believe me."
More from CafeMom: 13 Moms Get Real About Why They Chose Not to Breastfeed
Other negative thoughts flowed her way when Parents magazine shared her story:
"Me me me me it's all about 'me'. I have four and only breastfeed 3. I wish I breastfeed all of them, yes I leaked, I was tired, but that never stopped me from being a good mom or wife, I could say so many things but, please, to say 'I wish I never breastfed my baby'? Really? Never?"
More from CafeMom: 10 Things I Really Wanted to Say in Response to 'You're Not Breastfeeding?!'
Many moms want to breastfeed but, for one reason or another, can't or aren't successful. Yet, even though they may have tried their hardest, they still carry those feelings of guilt or of letting their baby and their partner down. As another commenter wrote:
"The guilt is REAL. It drives many to depression and very dark places."
This sentiment was echoed just two months ago when a new dad-turned-widower shared the heartbreaking story of how the pressure to breastfeed contributed to his wife's depression and eventual suicide.
Unfortunately, there seems to be so much judgement on both sides of this. If moms breastfeed in public, they feel scrutinized and shamed. Moms who pull out a bottle risk hearing that they're not doing enough to give their babies the best start possible.
It's time for women to stop judging each other and support whichever decision works best for mom and baby and the overall well-being of the family.
This commenter sums it up best:
"It's every mom's own choice. We are all moms and women and should lift one another up and help one another."