This Runner's Trials

All moms make sacrifices

Wyatt started solids a couple of weeks ago!


The first two times, he had no problem eating his rice cereal. But the next few days, he refused to even open his mouth for the grain. I suspected he didn't care for rice cereal (can you blame him?) so we decided to move to sweet potatoes. And what do you know? He cannot get enough of them!


I called his pediatrician before we stopped the rice cereal, though. I wasn't sure if there was a medical reason he needed to start with cereal or not. The nurse asked if he was exclusively breast-fed (EBF). Minus the formula he needed on his third day of life, reflux meds for 4 months, and an ounce of apple juice he needed after 10 days of constipation (yeah…), he has been EBF.

I told the nurse this and she said, "wow, I hope he appreciates the sacrifices you made for him one day!" (For the record, she asked if he was EBF because EBF babies need more iron after 6 months, hence why iron-fortified rice cereal is often recommended.)

The nurse's comment kind of shocked me. One, because she's a nurse. Two because, well, breast-feeding has luckily been really easy for Wyatt and I. The first two weeks he had trouble latching on and staying awake enough to eat, but since then it's been wonderful. I never had any pain, I have a good supply, pumping isn't that bad, he enjoys eating, and it comforts him. I actually think moms who use formula make way more sacrifices when compared to me. I don't have to buy, mix, heat up formula or clean bottles (unless we chose to give him a pumped bottle). I just stick my boob in his mouth and that's that.


But the real reason the nurse's comment irked me was because it's just another example of moms being pinned against one another. Everyone has (strong) opinions of what's the best way to parent.

I am so, so sick of hearing that "breast is best". That working moms are the only ones who have it tough. That those who let their babies cry it out are cruel. That moms who use Baby Led Weaning are "asking" for their child to choke. That parents who co-sleep love their babies more. I can go on and on, and I'm sure every mother out there has heard these comments and so many more.

Can we just stop with the arguing and black and white thinking? All moms make sacrifices and no one has it easy. We're each doing the best we can. There isn't one right way to parent; there are millions of right ways. It takes a village to raise a child, and it would probably benefit that child if the villagers were a little kinder to one another and more open-minded. <3

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  1. Everyone it seems is so prone to dramatics about EVERYTHING- I agree with you- let’s just take it easy with the judgments! Life would be easier if we all just relaxed a bit, hah!

  2. Amen, sister!

  3. Yes there are a million ways to raise a child. It’s amazing to me that my close mom friends and I have all had different birth stories and every single one of us does something different with eating, sleeping, etc. And it all works for everyone!

  4. Yes! Thank you for saying this.

    I think we might need to try sweet potatoes, M is not digging the oatmeal.

    He looks so cute scarfing down that food!

  5. W looks sooo much like his dad, it’s adorable!!

  6. Yes! I love this post, thank you!

  7. I always wonder why people feel like they can express their opinions so freely on what is best for your child! Do what is best for your child. Although I am a huge avocate for breastfeeding if you can I would never push that or anything else on others who did different.

    As far as rice cereal everyone thinks different, there are other ways to get iron. My daughter hated it and it made her so constipated we still have yet to finish a both and she is 2 1/2! :D We swicthed to oatmeal and added in fruits/veggies. I soon was pureeing “real” food for her since she seemed to only want food with flavor.

  8. Yay, yay, yay! Thank you for this post. SO TRUE!!!

  9. I skipped the rice cereal and currently doing oatmeal. I’m going to wait a few more weeks (M is 2 weeks younger than your W) and then try some sweet potato and avocado.

    I would tend to agree with you that formula feeding has more time sacrifices than EBF. I do a mix of the both and find that formula can be more of a pain – especially when travelling. When I have a track meet, I pump up a bottle of BM and it is ready to go – unlike formula where I have to worry about time/chilling it, etc.

  10. Wish there was a LIKE button on this post :). At L’s 1st pedi appointment, the doctor made me cry when she got mad about me about giving him formula. She said I was giving up too soon on BFing, etc… Needless to say, we switched doctors immediately.

  11. Agree! Babies are just small humans. There could never be one perfect way to raise a baby, just like there is no one perfect way to *be* human.

  12. Thank you for this……I just wrote about how great it is to be pushing the double jogger while on a run and have passers by give me a thumbs up or a “way to go mama!” Why can’t we all support each other all the time?

  13. Ahhh guilt!!! Our LO is failing to gain weight so I was asked to supplement with one bottle of formula a day. You have no idea the amount of internal struggle, guilt/ shame I had to deal with. I should feel guilty if I don’t provide her with everything possible to thrive and park my own feelings and desire to exclusively breastfeed untill our circumstances allows us too. Mothers do make sacrifices all the time, a friend of mine advised that I’ll live my whole parenthood feeling guilty about one thing or another, so I better choose wisely n brush the small things aside.

  14. Thunderous applause from me. This post pretty much sums up all of my feelings on the Time magazine controversy. Why can’t we have an article celebrating how “mom enough” EVERY mom is? Why do we need yet another fire waiting to erupt over co-sleeping vs. cry it out, EBF vs. formula, SAHM vs. working moms?

    Great job on this post!

  15. Just to say, thank you for this post.

  16. Great post… glad to see your little one is loving some sweet potatoes. We have a 7 month old girl and she is moving her way through solids. I don’t think my wife would appreciate me putting on the interwebs whether or not we EBF… but yes, all women (and dads) make sacrifices in raising a child, period. It doesn’t just revolve around their diet. Great job mom. Keep doing your thing.

  17. What do you mean by “she’s a nurse”?

    • Ah didn’t mean to be so vague! Just that she likely talks to tons of moms who EBF each day. Her reaction was just unexpected.

  18. I echo several other comments by saying again, “Amen!” I have 2 girls, and each one is so different. They were different as babies, and they are still different now. My ideas about breast feeding, getting babies to sleep, etc. all changed once I had baby #2. We as mothers have to simply do what works sometimes!

  19. According to kellymom, that iron info is wrong:

    • Thanks for sharing!

      I don’t interpret the information as “wrong” though. Iron through breast-milk is better absorbed, however breast-milk is not high in iron. Once the baby reaches 6 months, his or her iron stores begin to deplete so other sources of iron are needed in addition to breast-milk. Of course, naturally iron-rich foods are best, but I definitely see why iron-fortified foods are recommended by some health professionals.

      • My only thought is that babies typically get enough iron if being breast-fed too… I mean, that’s the way nature intended it and how it has been for hundreds and hundreds of years prior to the invent of formulas/cereals.

        NOT a mom here (feel the need to state that!) but I feel like when I do have children I will look for iron-rich foods ? Who knows!

  20. What a fantastic post Jen! So true! Before I had my first child I have to admit that I was pretty judgemental of how other people parented their children but now that I have two of my own, I am like ‘whatever works and makes you and your children/family happy’. It’s so exciting to see their reaction to different solid foods! Good luck! :)

  21. The great thing about parenting (I assume, as I have no children) is that YOU get to make the decisions regarding your children’s future… I can only suspect that that is also a very HARD part of parenting too! You can read as much/little as you want, listen to others out there/or not…. and then listen to your own intuition.

  22. Amen, sister!

  23. Liking this post a lot- as a formula feeding mom who just wasn’t able to get breastfeeding going I really struggled with judging myself and feeling judged by others. My son is doing very well- what else really matters?

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