When I got pregnant with my son, I had made specific plans when it came to how I wanted to experience motherhood. I wanted to cloth diaper; I wanted to join "mommy groups" and set up multiple playdates for my son; I wanted to exclusively breastfeed for at least the first six months. Yeah, none of that happened. I didn't join mommy groups or set up playdates and I breastfed for what many would consider a "short" amount of time, which means I heard all the things moms who breastfeed for a short period of time are tired of hearing. Just like life itself, no one cared about what I had planned, just about what I was able to do (apparently), and that made my previously perfect plans all the more difficult to ditch.
My son experienced complications at birth and by the time we brought him home from the NICU, I was too drained (both physically and emotionally) to be bothered with washing diapers or making small talk with local moms. I was also incapable of breastfeeding. I tried desperately to breastfeed my son but my body couldn't produce enough milk and that, well, left me at a disadvantage. I already felt guilty and like I had "failed," so hearing other mothers tell me that I didn't do the "one thing" I should do for my son, and for as long as I was apparently supposed to do it, made the entire experience all the more heartbreaking. How long I was able to breastfeed was completely out of my control, but I was still being forced to listen to people talk to me as if I had made the decision (and honestly, even if it was my decision to stop breastfeeding, it definitely wasn't anyone's business to comment on it).
As a new mom, you have to be prepared to contend with an endless barrage of unsolicited advice and straight bad advice and, sadly, judgement from damn near everyone, regardless of what you do or the decisions you make. However, this is especially true when ti comes to breastfeeding. If you don't breastfeed or hated breastfeeding or only breastfed for an amount of time that someone else doesn't consider acceptable, there's no doubt that you will have heard the following: