Thursday, February 3, 2011

My Cup of Tea

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In my family, I am the one who goes against the crowd. My sister would tease me about it whenever I share a new discovery about life that seemed out of the norm (in their eyes anyway).

As a black, hearing impaired, teen undoubtedly, I was a square peg in a round hole. Black people thought I talked too “white”. My deaf acquaintances felt I had too many hearing friends and complained about the fact I used my voice while signing.  And now as an adult, I am all of these things plus, a breastfeeding, home birthing, herbal drinking, bible loving, natural momma.

No one needs to tell me I’m different. I never fit in any culture, white, black or deaf and I’m fine with that. I embrace the fact that I don’t quite fit in any particular group. It gives me the freedom of a wide canvas to make broad strokes of my paintbrush with colors of my choosing.  And I love that freedom…I embrace that liberty.

What can be so sad about this society is the judgments we make of one another. Moms in particular. We can be so harsh! When it comes to breastfeeding, there are strong opinions and moms like me, who nurse their children, and have experienced the GOOD that comes from our lactating breasts, can be especially passionate about the issue.

It becomes a problem when that passion turns into condemnation and criticism.  When that happens…you have a culture of sorts, a gathering of like-minded individuals who stereotype those they see as different and odd. With that perception comes a narrow out-look. You don’t see the broad spectrum of colors that make up that person. All that is seen is that one mom has rejected the choice to breastfeed and is excluded from the culture of breastfeeding.

Yes, the babies are precious and we breastfeeding advocates love them, but before we can love the babies, we must first love the mothers. We must love embrace & acknowledge the same liberty that allowed us to choose breastfeeding, is the same liberty by which they have to chosen not to. By condemning their choice not to breastfeed, by the same principle we condemn our own.

The fact is this whether you hail from La Jolla or a tribal village in Africa, the tie that binds all women across the world is the love we have for our children.  It is this tie we seek to reach out, share and bond. Sometimes, little words are needed  to share your testimony of breastfeeding. A strong, confident demeanor while nursing is a testimony in and of itself. It can invite questions. Personally speaking, there is no better time to share than the right question at the right time.

No matter what leaves or herbs have been brewed in your cup of tea, we ALL have a cup that embraces our tea.

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