It All Began on Facebook

I had posted an article about breastfeeding in public. And you know how heated those discussions can get. I figured there’d be some debate in the comments, but what I didn’t expect from that post was the birth of a new blog. Here, for your reading pleasure, is (most of) the conversation that birthed this place:

  • Lindsey: Wow, the ignorance! I actually do wear a cover, I guess I’m too self-conscious. I wish I had the “f u” mentality to just whip it out in public, but alas. Maybe that’s why my kids never made it past 8 months with nursing? CHALLENGE ACCEPTED!
  • Katie: I’ve almost always used a nursing cover in public and still will depending on where we are. Church…yes. Library or coffee shop…usually not.  It doesn’t phase me nearly as much as it did with [my first] mostly because I know what i’m doing now and I don’t feel awkward.
  • Jaclyn (me!): Sorry, Lindsey, I was just making fun of THAT cover. That thing is hideous. I always used a nursing cover, too. It’s partly self-consciousness (because I’m NOT that efficient at getting the nipple in a crying baby’s mouth in under 2 seconds) but partly because I know we live in a fallen world, and I know what the sight of a bare breast does to some (many) men. I choose not to be a part of that. BUT I totally support women who want to feed their baby the way they choose to.
  • Michelle: I’m not a fan of covers. But that’s my choice… I’m not afraid of confrontation I always remember that Jesus was breastfed and it was normal.

    I don’t look down on woman who use them though because they are STILL NURSING! I applaud any way you can do it! Some women have been abused or shamed about their bodies and that woman may be working through tremendous issues and just being able to nurse at all is a huge milestone. 

    But Jaclyn I think if I saw a woman wearing that I would have to take her to get something else just because that would embarrass me! Totally ugly and NOT discreet.
  • Alison: Man, that cover is ugly! And kinda ridiculous.  I use a cover most of the time… Just because it’s my preference. But I’m so proud every time I see a mama nursing her baby… With or without a cover.
  • Monique: I used a cover sometimes, because I don’t think my baby’s mealtime was a prime opportunity for political action. I think if I’d had an easier time of it, I would have been a lot more comfortable feeding in public in general. There needs to be a conversation about mothers who are trying their hardest to breastfeed, but still need some help. Colin was always more comfortable uncovered, but that invites more than just prying disapproving eyes. There is a subset of pro-breastfeeding (women AND men) who like to think they have the answer to your particular problem. I shouldn’t be made to feel inept because I’m using a nipple shield, or topping him up with formula after a feed. Moms, let us be as gentle with ourselves as we aim to be with each other!
  • Jaclyn: *Standing ovation for Moe.* Honestly, the energy we waste on judgment and assumptions is ridiculous. Heck, even if a woman just plain CHOOSES to formula-feed, how is that ANYONE else’s business! It’s not the choice *I* made, it’s not the choice I hope my daughters (or my son’s wife) will make, but if a baby is being well cared-for, I’m keeping my choice to myself!
    Frig. I just read half-way through the FIRST comment and had to close the tab. Good freaking grief!!
  • Monique: I am fiercely militant about supporting new moms in whatever decisions they make. Having been there, I firmly believe that no one knows what your baby needs better than you, but I also remember vividly the fog of doubt that I lived in every day. I wish 2013 Moe could go back in time and lay hands on 2009 Moe and tell her to just take a nap and eat some cookies. (My letdown was always at its best after a carb binge). I would also tell her that jeggings are absolutely a valid choice for “going out,” I would introduce her to Nellie’s Laundry Soda, and I would tell her what a wonderful, sweet, caring and funny little boy [my son] will grow up to be.
  • Jaclyn: Oh, the things I wish I could tell 2008 Jaclyn! Sheesh. I would have been a LOT better off if I knew then what I know now!
    You know what I’m realizing? I’m not really that different than those trolls commenting on that blog. We both have very strong opinions. The only difference, really, is that I’m aware that *I* am the only person who thinks my opinions are more valid than everyone else’s! I have a lot (and I mean a LOT) of strong opinions that I keep to myself, because not only are they unpopular opinions to hold, but because I realize that nobody gives a crap what I think, nor should they. The end.
  • Monique: “I believe” that the widespread use of “I” statements would solve a lot of the world’s problems.  PS. I give a crap what you think. That’s why I ask you sometimes.
  • Amanda: Breastfeeding, as with most other parenting issues, is such a deeply personal thing for each mother. Why are we not more gracious with one another? I can’t tell you enough what it would have meant to me as a new mommy struggling to do the “right” thing for someone to have said, “Whatever you’re doing, if it is coming from love and concern for your baby’s health and well-being, is the right thing to do. I trust you. You can trust yourself.” I feel like so many months that should have been spent giggling and gloating over my babies were stolen from me by my own insecurity and also by well-meaning people who unintentionally convinced me that the lie of “you can’t trust your instincts as a mother because “they” are wiser, better educated, more experienced, etc. than you are” was the truth. Looking back now as a mother of three, I was actually doing a damn good job with my first two babies, but at the time I felt like a failure. New mothers (yes, ALL new mothers), desperately need people to tell them that they are doing a good job and to remind them that they were hand-picked by God for that baby. Period. Our words have such power. Speak life, not death. Courage, not fear. Truth, not doubt. Show me kids raised by mothers who believe that God brought them and their children together for a purpose much larger than breast vs. bottle, cloth vs. disposable, work vs. staying at home, etc. and I think we would see a generation of children and parents walking confidently in their gifts and bringing love and empathy back to the table.
  • Monique: Do you think that will fit on a t-shirt, Amanda?
  • Amanda: lol….maybe a maternity shirt??
  • Alison: Do you blog, Amanda? I would read your every post. Preach!
  • Jaclyn: (Do you know what we should TOTALLY do? Start a communal mama blog! A handful of regular contributors and guest posts as they come in. A way to share thoughts, insights – even opinions!)
  • Amanda: SO GOOD!
  • Monique: My heart just skipped a beat.

And that was it. United over common ground, even through different experiences of the same situation: feeding our babies.

As women and mothers we have different perspectives, philosophies, opinions, and ideas. They have been formed by our upbringing, our experiences, and our personalities. We have a lot in common, and we’ve done a lot of things differently, and that is fantastic. We are all in this motherhood business together, and doing our best to be competition-free and brimming with love and support for our fellow mama warriors.

~Jaclyn

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