I’ve been thinking lately about how I hear a whole lot of stuff presented as absolute fact, when the truth is that nothing is ever absolute. Except maybe the statement “Don’t eat yellow snow.” I don’t care if you colored it with Country Time Lemonade yourself. Don’t eat it. You’ll regret it.
Seriously, though, what works for my family may not work for your family. I’ll give you an example from my own life. I used to be one of those holier-than-thou ultra-militant breastfeeders. I went around making statements like “Formula should be prescription only” and “Why would you make an inferior choice like formula feeding for your precious baby?” I would fight the formula feeding mommies left and right on the mommy forums.
Then I met a chick named Kate. Kate was one of those mommies I totally idealized, she never fed her kids anything but the best, made from scratch, organic meals, and she was always doing fun, educational stuff with her kids, who were all on a first name basis with museum and library staff across the state. She managed to live a totally green lifestyle, the likes of which I will never achieve.
So, one day we were talking and I was going off on “those stupid formula feeders” and she said something like, “You know, Ivy, I had to feed my kids formula…I just didn’t have enough breast tissue to do so.” She told me about how she tried literally everything she could think of to get breastfeeding to work out, while her baby got thinner and hungrier. Finally, she fed the baby formula (knowing Kate, it was probably some fabulous organic brand) and her baby thrived.
I thought back to all the times I had been snotty to people who had said they tried to breastfeed and it didn’t work out. I thought about how I had told them to try harder, and how I had made catty remarks about how “only 2 percent of women can physically not breastfeed and miraculously, they all post on this forum”.
Yes, y’all, I was THAT person on the forums. I’m not proud of it.
The reason I’m posting this is because that was my moment I realized that nothing was absolute. Sure, you can throw around “2% of all blah blah blah” statistics all you want, but the truth is, nobody knows what will work best for you and your family, but YOU, and YOUR FAMILY.
This was inspired by first, this post on Frugal Hacks. Some of us might want to be so frugal you’re making your own board games from cardboard and rusty paperclips you find by the side of the road, and that might not work for others of us.
The other thing that made me think of this was this comment from Scrappy Quilter* on Heather’s potatoes post. For her family, buying potatoes in 50 pound increments works. For my family, we’d never get through that many potatoes before they spoiled.
And one more thing that made me think of it was a frank discussion I was reading (somewhere on Livejournal and now I can’t find it to link to it, grr) about using a Diva Cup vs. tampons vs. make-it-yourself pads. We are all so different. And when something works for us, we become evangelists about it. Sometimes, it ends up in arguments.
If we all just keep in mind that all of us are not the same, I think we could all get to feeling great about who we each individually are. And there’s your Friday Sermon from your pal Ivy.
Think about it. But don’t ever eat yellow snow. Seriously. Don’t.
*My apologies to Scrappy Quilter, who is a good example of something that works for her family, that didn’t work for other families. This post may be unclear as to that. She’s a good example, not the horrible warning. I’m sorry I wasn’t clearer.