Try hard to be rubber. (You know, “I am rubber; you are glue”?)
Words cannot hurt you. Words do not have to make you question everything. That is a choice only you can make.
- BREATHE: Deep breath. This is the moment you have been training for. Get some extra oxygen first so you don’t freak out on Aunt Janet.
- Introspect: Ask yourself, “What emotions does this comment bring up in me? Why is this causing me feel so __________? (angry, self-conscious, judged?)”
- Truth: WHAT DO I KNOW TO BE TRUE?
- Collect the love: Assume that the comment is coming from a place of love. Breathe in that love. Breathe it in again.
- Help them understand: Respond with love.
So, responding to Aunt Janet looks something like this:
“Oh! You are still breastfeeding?!”
Breathe: (think, don’t say) “Oh, hell no. She did not just say that. DEEP BREATH IN. She doesn’t even have any kids! What the hell does she know?! DEEP BREATH OUT. How am I supposed to feed my baby? She’s four months old. DEEP BREATH IN. Let me just stop and think about this for a second so I don’t scream at this crazy old lady right now. DEEP BREATH OUT.
Introspect: “What am I feeling? I am feeling judged. I feel like Aunt Janet is telling me that I am doing something wrong by breastfeeding my four-month-old. This is making me question everything I know about breastfeeding. Does everybody think I shouldn’t be breastfeeding? Why is this causing me to feel so self conscious?”
Truth: “I know I am doing the very best for my baby by breastfeeding him right now. It is the perfect food and he needs nothing else.”
Collect the Love: “This crazy old bat just loves me and loves my baby. She wants what is best for us, she just doesn’t know how to express that. I am going to breathe in that love. DEEP BREATH IN. I am going to breathe in that compassion. DEEP BREATH IN. I am going to breathe out love right now so I can respond to her with love. DEEP BREATH OUT. I am going to breathe out compassion now. DEEP BREATH OUT.”
Help them understand: “I will respond with love.”
Now, actually respond. “Yes, Aunt Janet. Isn’t it wonderful? I have worked so hard to get to this point and I am very proud of it!”