My Milkshake Brings All the Boys to the Yard
Which means, when I'm out and about, on occasion, one of the girls has to make an appearance (usually the left one, if you must know, as per #3's preference).
This being the case, you'd think I'd have strong opinions on the whole nursing debate. And you'd think you could guess where I fall on the issue. Well, jokes on you. Because, actually, I am both pro-nursing in public and anti-nursing in public.
I've just blown your mind, haven't I? Let me explain.
The pro-nursing argument goes like this: breastfeeding a baby is a beautiful and natural thing. It's not something we should be ashamed of and when you have women walking around with crazy cleavage and THAT'S perfectly acceptable, then why is a nursing baby so taboo?
And I agree. I don't think of my breasts as sexual objects anymore. They're just self-sustaining bottles. And trying to nurse in public is a PAIN! Finding a comfortable place to do it, getting yourself all covered up, getting the boob out and where it's supposed to be (baby's mouth), all while handling a fussy and hungry baby who would also like to look around while she eats so let's pull down that blanket, thankyouverymuch. It's kind of a nightmare. And the popular "solutions" (ie those covers you put around your neck) don't work all that great if you've got a kid that doesn't want to be in the dark. So would I love to live in a society where plush rocking chairs are positioned every 50 feet like handicap ramps and no one bats an eye when I settle in one and pull my shirt down? Oh the luxury! It would be glorious!
The anti-nursing argument goes like this: Boobs is sexy. People like to stare at them. If women start pulling boobs out willy-nilly, it won't matter that a baby's attached to one end - it will cause MAYHAM. I'm talking car crashes; people walking into poles; modest grandmothers shrieking in horror; five year old boys demanding the "birds and bees talk" right then and there.
And I agree. I'm sorry, but even though *I* don't think of my breasts as sexual objects, a wide swath of society still does. So I know that without the cover-up, if I pull down my shirt in public, I will get an audience. And I don't know what everyone would be thinking as they walked by and glanced over, but I'm willing to bet at least 50 percent of those thoughts would make me gag in disgust. And another 30 percent of those walking by would gag in disgust when they saw me. Because as much as I don't mind pulling my boob out to feed my child, I don't want to see YOU do it.
What a hypocrite, right?
The thing about being human is we, as a species, are unique in that we can hold two contradictory beliefs without our brains exploding.
What's funny is when pro-nursing moms talk to me, a nursing mom, about the issue they make the grand assumption that I agree with them. And that I'm just as angry about the stigma as they are. And that WOMEN SHOULD WALK BARE-BREASTED ACROSS THE PLAINS IN PROTEST OF THIS GREAT INJUSTICE!
But those who know my discomfort with seeing other women breastfeed assume I'm with THEM. And that I agree breasts are for recreation only and yes, I know they do produce milk and provide life's essence for the newborn child but mostly they're for fun so let's just keep them put away unless we're all having fun, okay? Because if we start pulling them out then we'll have to talk to our children about their bodies and have uncomfortable conversations and heaven forbid a teenage boy comes across a nursing mother and loses his sh*t right then and there.
But as this post has revealed, I'm with both and I'm with neither. That whole contradictory beliefs thing. What a mess.
So my solution is: there really isn't a solution. Not at this current time in this current society. So let's all be a little less hysterical about it, okay?
If you happen upon a mother who is nursing without the cover, *gasp*, respect her enough to avert your eyes and honor her decision. She is rare and not a harbinger of things to come (namely, people walking around naked because once women breastfeed without covers, that's the next logical step, right?)
And if you're a business that sees a lot of women with children coming through (looking at you, Walmart), maybe create a nursing room? A comfortable, quite space with a few chairs (and maybe some soft music and mood lighting) where a mom who is out running errands can have a quiet moment to nurse in peace. Oh man, would you get a whole lot more business, I tell ya what.