It seems there is a new dirty “F” word taking hold in society. Some people love it; lots of people loath it. And everyone has something to say about when, where and how it should or shouldn’t be used.

That’s right, I’m talking about formula.

The other day, I was at the mall doing some festive shopping when my eight-week old started to squawk. We settled down on a bench so I could feed him a bottle…a dirty little bottle full of the dirty F word.

Just as my son started cooing with delight, an older man sauntered over to have a gander. He leaned in to take a look and lingered just long enough to make me uncomfortable. When he finally stood up straight, he looked me dead in the eye. I smiled with pride thinking he was going to tell me how cute my baby was, but he didn’t smile back. Instead he said, “That baby should be drinking mother’s milk.”

“Ex-squeeze me?!” I responded.

As he meandered away he muttered, “He shouldn’t be drinking that stuff…”

I was stunned by his audacity almost to the point of speechlessness. Almost…but not quite.

I shot off the bench—ferocious words were my weapon of choice as I flew after him.

“Hey you?! Hey?! Mister?!” I called.

He stopped and turned somewhat surprised to see I’d leapt from the bench with such stealth all while my baby still managed to nosh away.

I stood frozen just long enough to channel my inner momster. I threw my shoulders back, took a deep breath and began my performance.

“How dare you, you ignorant, old arsehole?! You don’t even know me. You don’t know why I feed my baby formula. What if I told you I have to bottle feed? What if I told you I had breast cancer and had to have a double mastectomy, therefore I can’t produce milk? What if I told you I’m lucky to even be alive—to even have a kid? How would you feel then about your ignorant, judgmental comment? Well? WELL?”

Satisfied with my spectacle, I took a bow…but no one was clapping. The man did, however, look somewhat apologetic. He backed away in repentance, but still managed to rhyme off something about wet nurses in his day.

Breathless, I went back to my bench, finished feeding my baby, packed up our stuff and left.

Once we were safe inside the car, I cried. I cried and cried while my baby slept all fat and happy in the backseat.

I didn’t cry because of what the man said. I cried because my performance was just that—an act, a show, a big, fat lie. I didn’t have breast cancer. I don’t HAVE to feed my baby formula. I choose to feed him formula because I just don’t want to breastfeed. But something in me didn’t feel that was a good enough reason. I didn’t have the balls to tell the man the truth (not like it was any of his business) so I chose to make up a seemingly credible story instead.

And that’s how it goes. Those of us who choose to use the F word feel we need to have a valid reason in society’s eyes. We need to have a low milk supply, or an illness that won’t allow us to breastfeed. It’s not enough to simply say, “I choose to formula feed because I don’t want to breastfeed,” for fear we’ll be judged for our choice.

I wish now I’d had the balls to stare back at the ignorant, old arsehole dead in the eyes. I wish I’d had the courage to stand up for myself and tell him the truth. Because by making up a lie about how I couldn’t breastfeed, I was reinforcing the societal stamp that says any woman who can nurse, should want to nurse. And that’s not how I truly feel in my heart.

And so…because I didn’t have the balls to stand up for myself then, I’ll do it now instead.

Hey, ignorant, old arsehole?! I use the F word and you know what? I don’t give a fuck what you have to say about it.

 — — — — —

Lisa lives in PEI, Canada with her husband and two boys. She blogs regularly at Momologues-Soliloquies on poop, barf and postpartum depression. When she’s not blogging or mothering, she teaches music at a local public school. She’s also part of a group of women lobbying government for better resources for women with PPD in her province. Follow her on twitter at @elsiekarmadi

Wannabe's are Guest Authors to BLUNTmoms. They might be one-hit wonders, or share a variety of posts with us. They "may" share their names with you, or they might write as "anonymous" but either way, they are sharing their stories and their opinions on our site, and for that we are grateful.


  1. Welcome to the non-breast-feeders club, Lisa. When I was expecting my son, I knew, I just KNEW, that breastfeeding wasn’t for me. When I told my doctor, he said, “If you don’t think you can do it, then you’re not going to be successful at it. Don’t stress yourself. Use formula.” And I did. For both my kids. Don’t get me wrong… I give credit to all the women out there who choose to and can breast feed. But I don’t believe for one minute that I’m any less of a good mom for not breast feeding. It didn’t hurt them. They are not damaged goods because they got formula instead of breast milk. They are 26 and 21 yrs old now and both happy, healthy adults. Both are well adjusted and were honour students when they were in school. Motherhood is difficult enough without people judging us for our choices. And I’m sick and tired of people judging.

    You keep doing what you’re doing, Lisa. And don’t let other’s opinions concern you. Breastfeeding your baby doesn’t make you a good mom. Loving and caring and being there for your baby is what makes you a good mom.

    • Thanks for the comment, Cheryl. Like you, I support any woman who can/wants to nurse. I think it’s pretty cool our bodies can do that. I just prefer to bottle feed. I wish people would leave us moms alone however we choose to feed our babes! It seems moms get flack no matter what they choose.

      • When I first had my son I breastfed him but than he wouldn’t want to latch on at night so I started giving him a bottle and it’s a wonderful thing to breastfeed but my son is a very healthy boy and he has been on formula since he was like a month old. I’m proud of you for sticking up for yourself.

  2. When I breastfed in public, I worried that people were judging (she should cover herself). When I fed my babies bottles in public, I worried that people were judguing (she should be breastfeeding). Finally, I stopped worrying because you just can’t win. You could have a bottle of pumped milk and people would still find a way to judge. Lucky for me I live in France where people aren’t quite so bad about it. Also, French kids drink bottles until they’re 3 (THREE!!) and there’s no way in hell I’d breastfeed that long. So, like, you’re gonna have to go to the bottle eventually, so I think people are less judgy about exactly what age they make the switch. Anyway, congrats on standing up for yourself 🙂

  3. Amity Anderson Reply


    I am a mother of 2 great teenage kids who NEVER had a drop of breast milk. I had other moms tell me all the time what a horrible thing I was doing denying my kids that nutrition. They told me all kinds of things that I was doing to deprive my kids. I chose not to breastfed due to depression issues after each birth, the thought of brestfeeding would send me into a panic attack. My husband and I decided that my sanity would be much better off and my kids would be just fine with a bottle; and having to work full time the bottle transition was much easier.

    I feel breastfeeding is a personal decision and I think as mother’s we need to support each other no matter what decision we make. I’ve had a few friends recently have babies and I’m amazed about how many people have an opinion how others should raise their kids. I chose the bottle and that’s what was best for us, for someone else breast may be best! Being a mom is the hardest job there is, we should be praising each other not judging.

    • Amity, I appreciate your comments. I also chose bottle feeding due to mental health issues. I wish we could all just celebrate each other has moms, parents, humans regardless of how we choose to feed our kids! As Vicki mentioned she received flack for breast and bottle feeding. It’s so ignorant.

  4. Hi! My name is Tina and I also CHOSE not to breastfeed my daughter. She’s now 8 years old, performing in school at higher grade levels, average size for those her age, and is healthier than most kids (despite her mother being a nurse). I despise when people tell me how it should have been done because it appears that I DID what should have been done. So there. 🙂

    PS Although I initially made the choise, my milk never came in so I didn’t have a choice either.

  5. Awesome article. EVERYONE out there needs to stop judging on this one and realize that they may not have all the details and not even that but it is an individual choice. There is no proof that formula these days is worse. I was raised on formula and have been healthy my whole life. The biggest point I want to mention though is I was adopted! And I have 2 adopted kids that were fed bottles as babies for obvious reasons and they rock. So more power to anyone who bottle feeds. There is a absolutely nothing wrong with it.

  6. Thank you, Lisa! I, too, chose not to breastfeed. No cancer, no failure to produce milk, no particular reason at all. I was kind of able to ‘fake’ a reason by rationalizing that my mother nearly starved me for the first few weeks of my life when she tried breastfeeding and wasn’t producing any milk. I didn’t want to risk it with my kid. Yeah, that it. Although the story is true, I wouldn’t have breastfed anyway. I just didn’t want to. Glad to know I’m not alone, now.
    And for the record, my now 4-year old is happy, healthy, and gets excellent report cards from preschool. No harm done by that evil F-word.

  7. People had convinced me that I was gong to give my kids allergies, ear infections I mean KILL them if I didn’t breast feed and I almost bought into it. I just couldn’t do it. I tried with the first two but with the 3rd I held my ground and let my breasts dry right up. I got plenty of questions and judgments but all three boys are humongous and thriving now years later.That is my big, fat “I told you so” to everyone. Including my mother-in-law and sister-in-law. Just another great example that nothing beats a mother’s intuition about what works and doesn’t for her family. Feed on formula mommy.

  8. What a wonderful post. Whether or not you told him the actual truth, you stood up for yourself. And look at you now, making an even bigger statement! Breastfeeding is NOT easy, nor is it for everyone. Your baby is happy, healthy, and you are surely doing a terrific job. There is only one thing worse than being critiqued as a mother, and that is witnessing your own child being negatively critiqued. Those are the two things that have made me cry as a parent. The fact that this came from A MAN–one who has NO FUCKING IDEA what it’s like to breastfeed/not breastfeed makes me want to sucker punch him for you, for ALL of us. Screw him- you are fabulous. Great post.

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