This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month we’re writing letters to ask our readers for help with a current parenting issue. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.
Recently I stopped by my good friend’s place to hang out for a bit and naturally I brought along Tristan, my 6 month old son who (of course) is breastfed.
Overall the visit was fine but there was some moments that made me feel uncomfortable. She has an almost 19yr old son who was in the living room with us and naturally the baby (since it was past midnight) needed to nurse.
Her son never said anything negative or stared, he was busy playing on his computer! We conversed normally, he even asked if the baby was eating or sleeping.
During my 5 hour visit, the baby nursed many times and during a couple of his marathon nursing sessions, my friend gestured and whispered that I should try to hide my breast because her son was in the room.
The next day we talked on the phone and she made it a point to inform me that she “discussed the breastfeeding” with her son, that she asked him how it made him feel (apparently he said he was just not prepared for me to “whip it out and just do it”), and overall made a really BIG DEAL (in my opinion).
I was a bit surprised, granted she formula fed her kids but from what I recall nursed her son until he was 3 months old (she quit because she thought at his 3 month growth spurt that he was “starving”). Also we’ve been friends since before I got pregnant with Daniel and she is MORE than aware of my style of parenting.
I have other similar situations, for example a few weeks ago at the local grocery store, we were about to pack up and go home when my brother surprised us in the parking lot. I was in the backseat of my car, breastfeeding the baby in his carseat (mad skills yo!), when after 10 minutes of conversation my brother realized the baby was nursing and told me I should cover up with a quilt.
After telling him he was out of line, he got irate, tried to get my 8yr old son (who self-weaned at 4yrs old), to “agree” that “mom should cover that up”. My son was confused, a bit freaked out, and now has little to no interest in contact with my brother. He told me later that he didn’t even know what his uncle was trying to SAY.
In both situations, I have NO idea how MY feeding MY son had a damn thing to do with anyone but ME and MY SON.
I won’t even go into the recent facebook drama!
So Natural Parenting Community, my question is this, how do you handle your family and friends when they attack you or create a “situation” out of YOU breastfeeding YOUR child?
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:
- Replace hitting with…?
Acacia at Be Present Mama is at a loss on how to handle her three year old’s hitting.
- Two Questions
Alexandra at Breastfeeding Momma would like some ideas on how to strengthen her bond with her 8-month-old daughter; she’s also looking for input on an emotional topic: vaccines.
- Balancing Needs When Baby Trumps Mama
Alison at BluebirdMama wonders how her child’s need for noise and energy balances out against her need for quiet and space.
- The McDilemma
Annie at PhD in Parenting is on the arches of a McDilemma.
- Where is the mutually agreeable solution? When parenting calls for blood draws
Arwyn at Raising My Boychick has a child who needs regular blood tests that are torment for him. How does a parent honor a child when his health is on the line?
- When To Wait To Nurse
Cave Mother wonders what age toddlers can be asked to wait to nurse.
- I don’t love you Mama!
CurlyMonkey wonders what to do with her daughter’s intense feelings.
- Help a Mama Out
Danielle at Born.in.Japan isn’t getting much sleep with her cosleeping, night nursing, cranky little guy and hopes you can help with some suggestions for shuteye.
- Dear Abby: My daughter really misses her Daddy
Darcel at The Mahogany Way needs to know how to help her daddy’s girl get the connection with her father she needs
and not feel left out in the process.
- What’s Going on at School?
Deb at Science@home is in a quandary: how can she find out what really goes on at school without stepping on the teacher’s toes?
- April Carnival of Natural Parenting: Parenting Advice
Dionna at Code Name: Mama wants to find volunteer work that includes her toddler.
- How do you deal?
Erin at Beatnik Momma does not want to engage in “mommy wars.” She’d like your input on how (and how much) to discuss her natural parenting choices with curious friends and family who parent differently.
- Dear Abby
The Grumbles at Grumbles and Grunts gave her son a banana…and no solid food since. What’s the next step in baby-led weaning?
- Excuse me, I have a poop question
Jessica at This is Worthwhile has a question for you about toddler tinkling.
- Peer Pressure
Kate at Momopoly worries what message her daughter’s new friend is sending
but how to break up such an infatuation?
- When I Fall Down
Katherine at Momioso.com needs your wisdom on how to be more gentle and at peace with herself.
- A question of sleep and sanity
KeepingMumSane needs your toddler cosleeping advice in order to, well, keep mum sane!
- April Carnival of Natural Parenting: Parenting advice
Lauren at Hobo Mama needs a chiropractor … or help getting her 36 lb toddler to walk up the stairs.
- Driver’s Ed for Mommies
Maman A Droit is a self-confessed terrible driver and is scared to drive with her baby in the car.
- Solo Parenting
Mammapie at Downside Up and Outside In needs tips for being a single working mother while her partner’s away.
- Itsy Bitsy Biter
Mamapoekie at Authentic Parenting needs your advice about her daughter, otherwise known as the pitbull.
- How Can I Avoid Beauty Obsession?
Melodie at Breastfeeding Moms Unite! is at a loss ever since her tomboys turned into wannabe princesses.
- Seeking Stability in Chaos
Michelle at Seeking Mother is in a heart-wrenching position. She needs your input on how to make a toddler feel secure during a time of transition, the illness of a parent, and multiple (new) caregivers.
- Mama, That’s Too, Too Boring!
Michelle at The Parent Vortex started out asking how to encourage her preschooler to get dressed
and four days later, she began to without prompting!
- Dear Lovey Hart, I am Desperate.
Mommy Soup from Cream of Mommy Soup has several questions for you, from how you play favorites when no one’s your favorite to how to tell off strangers curious about the ample size of your family.
- Diaper Duty Dilemma
Paige at Baby Dust Diaries has a simple request: talk to her about cloth!
- What Do You Need My Son
pchanner at A Mom’s Fresh Start wishes her calm four-month-old hadn’t turned into an inquisitive and dramatic six-month-old. How do you handle changes in baby’s personality?
- Dear Natural Parenting Community
Sarah at OneStarryNight wants to know how to respond to criticism from family and friends over breastfeeding.
- Natural Parenting Carnival
Sarah at Consider Eden feels like either her to-do list or her parenting is suffering, because she can’t do both!
- To potty learn or not to potty learn – that is the question
Sheryl at Little Snowflakes wants to know whether it’s time to start potty training.
- Seeking Patience
Starr at Earth Mama looks to the collective tribal wisdom of this community to learn how to teach patience to children.
- A Dirty Girl Comes Clean
Tashmica at Mother Flippin’ is struggling. How do parents deal with their inability to keep their children protected from danger?
- Uli and the Pussy Cats
Thomasin at Propson Palingenesis has a toddler who likes to put kitties in headlocks and ride them like horsies. How best to separate the little beasties?
- Perceptions of Discipline
Zoey at Good Goog doesn’t use conventional discipline with her child
and doesn’t know how to respond around people who do.