There’s no doubt that being a parent is tough. There are so many decisions to make – like whether or not to breast-feed. For some women, like me, the decision is easy. I wasn’t able to produce enough milk and my son wouldn’t latch, so after a few weeks of pumping, I threw in the towel.
But many women are lucky enough to be able to nourish their children through breast-feeding, and while there are many benefits to breast-feeding, doing so is still something seen as weird or inappropriate. And people continue to shame moms for their decision to breast-feed in public.
But it’s worse when that judgment comes from your own family, like this mom who was recently shamed by – and ended up leaving the home of – her mother for breast-feeding her child without a cover.
This anonymous mom shared her story on the Breastfeeding Mama Talk’s Facebook page, Cafe Mom reports.
Mom writes, “I took her in the living room, got her to latch and sat back down at the table to finish my meal while it was still warm. My mom didn’t say anything at first but when my stepdad came in from mowing the lawn, she threw me a dirty look and asked me to get my blanket and cover her.”
When mom declined, grandma said her daughter was “in her house” and she wanted her to cover up. When mom explained that her 3-week-old daughter doesn’t like having anything covering her face when she eats because she gets sweaty and uncomfortable, grandma still wasn’t having it. So mom said if she grandma was going to make an issue of it, she and her children would leave.
“Fine, leave,” came the reply.
“So I started to get my kids ready to go and she said, ‘You’re really going to leave because you’re in MY house and I want you to cover up? I don’t care how you nurse in your own home, but at my house you need to cover up. No one wants to see that,'” the mom wrote on her Facebook post.
Grandma then told this mom’s older kids that they were leaving because their mom was mad at her – and she apologized that they couldn’t stay until the end of the movie they were watching.
Really? Is there a need to involve the kids in your disagreement?
Well, that sent this mom over, so she snapped a photo of how she looked breast-feeding her daughter – something that was clearly causing her mom so much stress. “She decided to share the snapshot as well as her story as proof that even moms who have no visible skin exposed still get harassed for breastfeeding and that there are haters everywhere – even potentially in your family’s home,” Cafe Mom wrote.
You should feel comfortable in your family’s home – especially in front of your mom who birthed you.
The idea that I wanted to breast-feed sort of threw my mom off. I think it’s a generational thing, honestly. But when I was my pumping and constantly whipping my boobs out in front of her – and almost every visitor I had in those early weeks – she didn’t seem phased. I am her daughter, after all, and I was just trying to do my part to feed my child. In a totally natural way! And while my mom is a bit more modest, she rolled with it.
And that’s really how it should be. You don’t have to agree with, or understand, your child’s choices. But you should support them.
What do you think of this incident? Was grandma right or are you on this mom’s side? Tell us in comments.