Yesterday, I went to lunch with a friend. (Yay, right?) I've only known this friend for about a year, she's about 5 years younger than me, and she's not a mom. No big deal. None of these things would stand in the way of me having a really fun lunch with a cool chick.
Except that she has a niece and nephew who she spends a lot of time with. Which makes her an expert. Doesn't it?
Five minutes into lunch, the waitress came over to fuss over Baby Girl.
"Did you tell the waitress thank you?" I said, signing thank you as I said it because, hey, you never know.
My friend raised her eyebrows. "Are you teaching her sign language?"
I laughed. "Yeah. Well, I sign. Not so much her. But we'll see."
"Yeah. I've never seen that actually work."
After the food came, she asked me if the baby likes french fries.
"Oh, no, we're waiting on french fries a bit. Just so she doesn't get a taste for the junk yet."
"Oh. Well there's nothing you can do about her getting a taste for french fries."
Sure there is. Not give it to her.
Then, when we were about to leave, she looked at Baby Girl who had given up on her Cheerios and was eating the actual table.
"Does she need a bottle?"
"What? Oh, no. I'll nurse her when I get back to my car. She'll be okay until then."
"Oh. I think I'm just going to do bottles. That's what my sister did and her kids are fine."
"Oh. Well. You have to do what works for you."
Because it's true. That is what I believe. I don't judge french fries. I love french fries. I don't even judge people who give 8 month olds french fries. I'm sure it's something lots of awesome moms do. Just not, you know, me.
And while it makes me sad to hear a young woman say that she doesn't even want to try breastfeeding, that's not really my business, and I won't think any less of her as a person or a mom if that's the choice she makes for her family.
So why do I feel guilty? Why do I feel like I need to hide the fact that I want to teach my baby to sign, give her healthy food, and breastfeed her? Why does doing these things publicly make me feel like I'm doing something wrong, like I'm being rude? I'm not trying to flaunt my choices or claim that they're better than anyone else's. But I AM proud of the way I'm raising my daughter. What's so wrong with that?