Handling Criticism (#BFing-style)

Today’s post is part of the Breastfeeding Blog Hop hosted by Life With Levi, The Slacker Mom, and Diary of a Devil Dog Wife and the topic is “Handling Criticism”.

It’s no secret, this Mama wears her heart on her sleeve. My emotions are not hard to hide. I am passionate and deeply loyal, and if anyone steps on my toes, they hear about it–whether through tears or anger or, well, a blog post (passive aggressive much?).

When breastfeeing ‘lil Miss A, I am sure I was a bit more discreet than I was with ‘lil Man (read: nursing in my bedroom versus under a nursing shirt/cover). Mr. Burgher claims he didn’t even realize I was feeding her (maybe I was just ninja), even in the hospital. I guess that’s a good thing. With ‘lil Man, it just wasn’t practical (he was an eater) and I realized times have are changing, people are becoming more respectful of the mother’s need to feed her child.

But, that doesn’t mean I fed him without criticism. I had several days in my life when I thought there were people I was never going to be able to speak to again because they were angered by my nursing in public. It was not easy. I shed many tears. I sent many texts to my friends, hoping someone would understand.

Criticism of a woman doing something that God intended for her to do for her child is not easy to swallow. My experience involved anger, hurt feelings, and many tears…but it made me a stronger person. I learned that there are limits–times and places were nursing is (and is not) ok. Criticism from people close to me prepared me for the looks, glares, and sighs from public who really don’t understand.

As a mother, I’ve also come to realize day to day life will not go without criticism. I was criticized as a single mother by people who didn’t (and may never) understand my past and the things that led to me being a single mother. I was criticized by people because I wouldn’t let my daughter have milk (uh…she’s allergic!) and just “see what happens”. I was criticized because I wanted to have a VBAC (even though it didn’t happen in the end). I was criticized because I chose to marry someone of mixed race…and oh so soon after we started dating. In the end, what does it matter? The only person who is really going to judge me is God, and as long as we are right, then that’s what matters.

I just hope that the way I’ve handled criticism can serve as a good model for my kids.

How do you handle criticism of any kind? Please share!

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3 responses to “Handling Criticism (#BFing-style)

  1. I also tend to cry, get angry and then write a blog post. Then cry some more. I need to sort of work through the emotional response to get to a more reasoned approach to the actual critique. While I can shake things off, I do have a little place where I store the especially vicious hurtful comments (the ones that reflect my own fears) and pull them out to lash myself once in awhile. It takes a lot to stop that tape, much less stop adding to those messages. Kudos for writing about it.

  2. Oh my – I really haven’t experienced criticism in any of these areas. I find it sad how people judge. 😦 I have my own criticisms on how other people live their lives but they are just that – THEIR lives! I don’t go around telling people how they should live. I was more bold breastfeeding my son in public 9 years ago, and I swear friends we met for lunch once never wanted to go out with us again because I fed him right at the table! But this time around my back hurts more and I need a comfortable location and I like peace instead of chaos and so I don’t mind the car or even the restroom if that’s the best place to do it at the time. I have support from both sides of our families, and even my Bestie who was uncomfortable with the idea of it (due to lack of exposure) has gotten used to it and even did some research on it for herself. I enjoyed helping her learn more about it and all the good it brings!

    I remember your tweets when you were away and all the sacrifices you made to continue breastfeeding and I was impressed! You have a beautiful family and you can text me anytime for support! 🙂

  3. I’m totally passive-aggressive (blog post), too, lol.

    It’s sad that people judge, but I’m so glad you’re hanging in there. And I’m always around to tweet or email 🙂

    Next week’s topic will hopefully balance out this one – Words Of Encouragement

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