My Milkshake Brings all the Glares to the Park.

This week is World Breastfeeding Week AND the beginning of National Breastfeeding Month. I guess it makes sense to double down on this one. 

Ahhh, breastfeeding. The sweet nourishment of mother’s milk to the quietly nursing angelic baby barely visible from underneath the stylish and tasteful blanket draped gently over the modest lady’s shoulder.

FUCK THAT NOISE.

I am nursing a two year old ToddlerMonster. Well, not currently, because there is no way I could type and nurse a toddler. Or a baby. Or a newborn. Well, maybe I could type and nurse a newborn, if I was typing on my phone. Which is a big NO-NO. 

(Never look at your phone while feeding your baby. Only look at your baby. In fact, never look at your phone or anything other than your baby ever or your baby will grow up to hate you. But don’t spoil your baby. But also, it is impossible to spoil your baby.)

When I was breastfeeding my newborn, a small number of horrible people glared at me for not covering myself. The baby was small and I was not. Her head was still smaller than ONE of my breasts. But it was summer and newborns like to eat constantly. And like most people, my newborn baby did not like anything covering her face while she ate. Even if she did, I had to hold her and hold her neck so she didn’t die and how on earth would I have kept a cover on a wiggly newborn baby? Plus, I was postnatal and hormonal and BURNING UP and I didn’t want any more layers on myself, either. 

Luckily I was mostly too tired to care about the glares. And what would I have done about it, anyway? In hindsight, I maybe should have carried around World Health Organization brochures or something, but honestly, it’s not like I was going to stop feeding my baby and walk over to someone to confront them for giving me a nasty look. But it did make me feel awful, so thanks, jerks.

Ok, to be fair, MOST of the people I encountered either averted their eyes or gave me a knowing smile or even told me that I was doing a great thing. 

At least, that was true while the little nurseling was still a LITTLE nurseling.

Last year, my older baby was still nursing frequently, and we were out in the world much more often. Strangers often asked her age and told me that I would stop nursing once she got teeth.

EVEN THOUGH OUR DOCTORS TELL US THAT BABIES SHOULD NOT HAVE COW’S MILK UNTIL AT LEAST AGE ONE. Was I supposed to switch my ten month old to formula so strangers could feel more comfortable being around us?

Next came the jokes about how I should stop before she could ask for it. First of all, that doesn’t even make sense. I was so HAPPY when she could ask me for milk. I taught her the sign for milk so that she could tell me what she needed even before she could say the word. Because do you know what sucks? Trying to figure out why a crying baby is crying TOTALLY SUCKS.

Now that my toddler is two, she not only asks for milk but demands it. Sometimes (often) while simultaneously trying to pull my shirt up, because she knows where mommy keeps the milk. I usually tell her that she can have milk when we get home, but if she has fallen on the playground or been trampled in the soft play room, she gets her milk right away. Because I am her mother and mama’s milk comforts her. She gets hugs and kisses and sometimes milk and that is fine so stop glaring at us or shielding your four-year-old son’s eyes because that makes YOU the weird one, by the way. 

Last spring, as I nursed my almost two-year-old in the Lobby of Somewhere, a mother that I had never met before told me that I was doing a good job. She said my toddler looked so natural straddling my lap and nursing and she could tell that we were old pros. And then she called me a good mom. I know that the other judgmental strangers shouldn’t bother me but they do, so I am very thankful for that woman. I think of her whenever I face negativity for nursing my toddler; I think of her often.

I have heard and read that I am selfish and narcissistic, that I am ruining my toddler emotionally, and even that I am confusing her sexually.

SERIOUSLY?

I have some questions for the Haters: How would you like it if I made disgusting faces at your child when he was sucking his thumb? How about if I said very loudly, right next to your child, ‘little girls shouldn’t eat apples because only babies eat apples’? Or maybe I should use my sweetest voice to directly tell your two year old that he is too big to wear diapers and he should be a big boy and leave mommy alone. 

It’s the same thing.

RAISING BABYSTAR: $20,361.20 (imagine if I was also buying formula!)

HEY BREASTFEEDING MAMAS: Have you encountered any static for nursing your little one? If so, how do you handle it? I don’t really want to be confrontational; I just want to feel comfortable feeding my child in the world.

35 thoughts on “My Milkshake Brings all the Glares to the Park.

  1. I saw a comic the other day that portrayed a bunch of cows wearing nursing covers while feeding their calves … I thought it was a great portrayal of how ridiculous breastfeeding shame is! People see that cartoon and laugh at what a ridiculous sight that is, when that is what we expect of women in our culture, to cover up as they provide nourishment in a completely normal and natural way to their babies!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes exactly! I get if mothers WANT to cover up but we should absolutely not be expected to cover up. We only have two hands! Plus, you know, breastfeeding is one of the most normal natural things ever.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Your aside… bahahahahaha! Love it!
    I nursed Wallace anywhere and anytime and he nursed until a few months shy of 3. I nursed him in a carrier in the grocery store, sitting on benches at parks or stools in furniture stores, and in the back of the car. I nursed him all over Chicago on public transit and if he fell asleep and unlatched I dared not adjust my breast and cover my nipple or else he’d wake up.
    The only person to outwardly condemn me was my mother. At 5 weeks old. In a restaurant. While he was thoroughly wrapped and covered and I had an up-down layered shirt system. Go f-ing figure.
    My advice is, don’t look around for other people’s responses. Just play on your phone or stare into her eyes, or feet.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. It was straight up necessity. I didn’t have a letdown until he was 6 months old and that was only because I ignored the idiots I had as medical professionals and nursed him around the clock and tried any freaking thing I could to make more milk.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I nurse in the carrier almost exclusively during the day! And I nursed my older daughter until 2.5 and my baby is 16 months and going strong. It’s such a special and incredible thing we can do for and with our babies!

          Liked by 2 people

  3. SUCH a great post about breastfeeding!! You said all the right things, and such great humor about all the BS contrary advice parents get! I too hate the covers – and the kids absolutely suffocate under them, during summer or otherwise. I just faced the corner of a room and tried to pull the least amount of shirt/bra off my boob as possible – for my second child. I was too embarrassed to nurse in public with baby #1, for the most part. I was worried about what other people thought, but I shouldn’t have given 2 effs. It took my second baby to have that confidence, which is a shame.
    Both my girls stopped nursing fully at 15/16m, and they really only going strong up to 12m. I had supply issues by around 10m, sadly. I never had the experience of nursing a toddler. I wonder if I’d have the guts to!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you! I’m sure you would have ‘had the guts’! And yeah, I think it helps that this was number three. I can’t remember nursing the first two even in front of family…but that was so long ago. I am 100% sure I nursed my middle in front of my then toddler, because he used to nurse his stuffed animals on the couch next to me! ❤️

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  4. So true, I have nursed my kid everywhere in public, in every transport and I don’t care a penny of what people have to say or look. I just felt happy that my baby’s tummy was being filled and that made me just fine.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I nursed until 18 months. For the most part it was covered but then there where days that uncovered had to do. Besides after a certain age she would grab the cover. There will always be someone judging so I beat you own drum.

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  6. This was such a good post. When I was breastfeeding, I personally used a cover in public just because I felt uncomfortable without one, but my son also loved the cover over him. But, we also have lived in German for the last 4 years where breastfeeding is generally more accepted and more common. It’s been really interesting to see how the world views breastfeeding in different countries versus the United States.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I must admit that I had a giggle at the title of this post! When I was trying to feed both my children as babies, I was glared at on numerous occasions. Glares really didn’t help me feeling any better considering how little milk I was producing. Both my children weaned themselves before their first birthdays. I say each to your own, if your kids are happy to keep feeding, then why not!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks! And yeah, what is up with people? Are we supposed to stay home with the children until they are weaned? Feed them in the bathroom stalls? A part of me wants to construct an elaborate fort when nursing in public then the jerks win (but so do I because awesome fort) but mostly I’m lazy. 🙃

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  8. I nursed my son for 2 yrs 2 months. The most comments I received were from family and friends. I used a nursing cover for about 3 months, it’s freaken hot here is AZ and my son would literally come out dripping sweat so I tossed the cover and never looked back. Plus he kept pulling it off. No one could ever tell I was nursing until they came up to hug me (family) or they saw me position him (public). I brush things off so I hardly get offended for anything, it’s not their business to tell me.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I dont have any advice for you, because (as much as I hate it sometimes) I am very confrontational when someone is rude or just not minding their own business. I’m working on it, but it does make for some interesting stories! Haha. Keep on feeding that baby and being unapologetic, mama.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! I have know to have some words for people, but something about being slightly physically exposed leaves me one thousand percent emotionally exposed. Or something. Anyway, I get all tongue tied and stammery, which is less than ideal.

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  10. If I were to ever teach a class on Finding Your Voice In Writing (which I highly doubt I ever will), THIS POST will be required reading! You and Babystar always make me smile anyway, but OMG I can just imagine you ranting this post to me while we’re enjoying a sip of something grown-up 🙂 Nicely written; this is one of my all-time faves.

    Liked by 1 person

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