I really have no idea where it started, but it’s a popular thing these days to say, when something doesn’t go as planned, a sarcastic “FAIL!” Husband and I, along with many of our friends, do this frequently. There is even at least one website dedicated to comedic mishaps called the “FailBlog” that we very much enjoy perusing occasionally. (WARNING: Some content on that website may be a bit objectionable, but most often it is not and is just plain funny. Still, use caution when viewing it around children or those who might be easily offended.)
Two weeks ago I performed what I felt at the time was an epic FAIL: I purchased a canister of powdered baby formula.
At first I didn’t want to give it to Little Miss. I was a) afraid she wouldn’t like it and would refuse it, creating even more problems, and b) mad at myself for having to buy it in the first place. Situation prevailed, however, and the next day we sent one bottle of breastmilk and one bottle of formula to the sitter’s with her. She took it just fine, and even drank it cold; she didn’t care, she just wanted whatever was in that bottle. Still, I felt awful about my failure to nurse my child until she was a year old and avoid having to give her formula.
Later that week Husband was talking to two other young mothers (one was a mother-to-be) in his office, and mentioned that I was still breastfeeding Little Miss. Both women were surprised and expressed to him how impressed they were that I’d kept it up this long, even working full time. When he told me this, I felt a small amount of pride trying to shove my illogical guilt aside.
The more I thought about it, the more I realized how silly I was being. It’s true that I hadn’t planned on giving her formula, and that I still believe that breastmilk is the BEST possible option for babies. But I have also come to the realization and understanding that my supplementing with formula is in no way a failure on my part as a mother. I am still breastfeeding three times a day, and she still gets one bottle (usually) per day of breastmilk. She will, indeed, be breastfed until she is a year old. So in reality, I will achieve my goal, while remaining flexible and open-minded, and making the best possible decisions for my child.
How can that ever be considered a FAIL?