A woman shared how her mom, unable to lactate, was criticized online for not breastfeeding. Her mother gave one bullying mom a lesson in motherhood when the other mom’s son showed her far less love than her mother’s affectionate daughter. Here’s what transpired.
She Couldn’t Nurse
In the early 2000s, the emergence of Facebook had many seeking connections via a myriad of groups catering to specific interests. The mother of the woman, experiencing motherhood for the second time, joined a mom’s group hoping to connect with fellow mothers.
“My mom could not physically breastfeed me. She had a medical condition that kept her from lactating; therefore, she had to formula-feed me,” the now-grown daughter explained.
She Had No Choice
The daughter expressed that her mom had a genuine medical condition that prevented her from lactating. Due to such constraints, she had no option but to formula-feed her newborn daughter, just as she had with her older child.
In the 2000s, as in current times, feeding methods have become a polarized topic among parents, but she certainly didn’t expect to receive criticism for a situation beyond her control.
She Faced Abuse
Initially optimistic about the prospect of support and camaraderie from her Facebook mothering group, the mom of two soon learned the darker side of online interactions.
Several group members targeted her for her decision to formula-feed her baby. When she tried to explain her inability to lactate, they either didn’t believe her or were callously unmoved by her plight.
One Bully Was Worse
One particular mother, Susan, was especially vicious. She not only criticized the woman’s feeding method but went as far as to suggest dire consequences.
The daughter recalled, “Susan told my mom that my older sibling would get sick and die because she wasn’t sharing her antibodies through breast milk. She also told my mom that her baby would grow up to resent her because they don’t have bonding time.”
Their Kids Went To School Together
As it turned out, Susan was a local resident, and time would soon bring the two mothers face-to-face at the school gates. As fate would have it, when the woman’s daughter started preschool, she ended up in the same class as Susan’s son, Dylan.
Despite Susan’s dire predictions, the woman’s daughter was healthy, thriving, and shared a strong bond with her mother.
The Son Bullied Her Daughter
Dylan, however, clearly took after his mother and began bullying the girl. The school was useless and refused to step in, citing outdated beliefs that “bullying builds character” and “bullying is normal at this age,” leaving the woman feeling helpless.
On questioning her daughter, the mom discovered that one of the things Dylan bullied her for was the fact that his mother collected him earlier from school.
She Got There Earlier
Concerned by her young daughter’s frequent tears after school, the woman decided on her own strategy, hoping to alleviate her daughter’s distress and dish out some petty revenge at the same time.
Upon realizing that Susan had collected Dylan shortly before her, she started arriving at school earlier and earlier each day—hoping to arrive before or at the same time as Susan.
There Was a Clear Difference
Each day, the mother started arriving a tad earlier, ensuring that she was there alongside or even before Susan. The woman’s daughter, who was always overjoyed to see her mother, would rush into her arms, showcasing their unbreakable bond.
Meanwhile, Dylan often hesitated, too engrossed in playing with toys to even greet his mother.
Her Children Adored Her
This routine seemed to bother Susan, who evidently disliked seeing the strong bond between the woman and her daughter in contrast to her own mother/son relationship.
The daughter added, “My sister has always been the healthiest person I know, and the worst she ever had in her life was a bad stomach flu. Not only that, but she has always been very affectionate and attached to my mom. My brother and I are the exact same way, too.”
She Showed Her Up
Determined not to be overshadowed, Susan started adjusting her schedule, eventually opting to collect Dylan much later, seemingly to avoid any interaction with the woman she had previously bullied online.
The mother, seeing this as a triumph, considered that the most effective form of revenge wasn’t always a grand gesture but simply proving one’s own success and happiness.
Should She Have Been More Forgiving?
This woman, once criticized for her parenting choices, subtly showcased her thriving relationship with her daughter and left her critic with no option but to retreat; she simply couldn’t face seeing how wrong she had been.
The daughter shared her mom’s tale online, asking: did she strike the perfect balance of pettiness and poise, or did her actions teeter on being overly harsh?
The Internet Responded
One user stated, “Here in The Netherlands, it’s called ‘de moedermaffia’ which means “Mother Mafia.” I’m not a mother, but it’s horrible how they always have an opinion on other moms.”
Another posted, “There is no right way to feed a child, clothe a child, play with a child, raise a child, love a child. I tell parents (I’m a pediatrician) that you can’t tell who was breastfed and who was formula-fed in kindergarten. Love your kids. That’s what matters.”
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