When it comes to breastfeeding, there is always an issue—and there really shouldn’t be. It’s really nobody’s business whether someone chooses to breastfeed or not, how long they decided to do it, and if they breastfeed in public.
But unfortunately, judgment abounds regarding how mothers decided to feed their babies and where they feed them.
On Reddit, one mom encountered a woman breastfeeding her older child on the playground and had to answer some of her toddler’s questions about the situation.
Apparently, the breastfeeding mother thought she was being judged and in turn decided to judge the OP. Guys, just feed your baby and let it go.
The OP, her husband, and her two children (ages three and two) went to the park one day. After they were there for about 35 minutes, a woman with her son (who the OP approximates at age six or seven) comes in, and the OP says it looks like her son is complaining.
“So then she sits down on the benches in the middle of the park within eyeline of everyone else at the park, and starts to breastfeed him! I made eye contact with my husband, and he widened his eyes and kind of nodded in her direction, and then I kind of grimace back to him. She didn’t see this. However my daughter ‘Molly’ who is very chatty/speaks quite loudly, immediately says to me, ‘Mummy, why has that lady got her booby out?’ to which I reply ‘I think…she is giving the boy some booby milk.’ We then have a conversation that went something like this:
Molly : Is that like when Jane (SIL) feeds booby milk to baby Harry (cousin)?
Me : Yeah
Molly: but that boy isn’t a baby. He’s a big boy, like Ruby (older cousin)
Me : yeah, I know
Molly : Why would he drink booby milk from a mummy if he is a big boy?
Me : Honestly, I dont know why.
Molly : Its a silly thing for big children to do isn’t it
Me : mhh
Molly : he could have food instead, like broccoli or eggs or jelly
Me (seeing an opportunity to get out of this convo) : or cake. Do you like cake? You’ve got a treat cake for having your vaccination and a smoothie in the car. Shall we go home soon?”
The family then got ready to leave the park. The kids were getting strapped into the car when the breastfeeding woman came over and had some words with the OP.
“The breastfeeding woman came over without her kid & said, ‘I’m disgusted about how you have shamed me for naturally feeding my child’ & that I should teach my daughter that breastfeeding is the most natural thing in the world, & I obviously don’t care for their emotional/physical wellbeing, and that they need breastmilk instead of their ‘toxic’ cake and smoothy. She had obviously heard the uncomfortable conversation I had with my daughter, which I thought I handled well!”
“I was speechless for a second, but then said to her that if she really cared for her kid then she wouldn’t leave him standing in a busy car park on his own, and that she should ‘wind her f**king neck in.’ Her son was just stood in front of her car alone, on the road. I then slammed my boot, got in the car and told my husband to drive! When I told my husband, he said I was a bit of an asshole, but honestly I don’t think I was (except swearing).”
“Granted, breastfeeding that long is unusual for most folks, but there are several cultures where it’s accepted and normal up to school ages, even in public. I wouldn’t do it, and I’d certainly do a double take on it, but it’s not my monkey, not my circus, and nothing to turn your nose up at,” explained SleeplessTaxidermist.
“You didn’t shame or complain here. You tried to answer your daughter’s questions as best you could and then distract her. The woman was obviously eavesdropping and felt that it was her place to guilt you for not handling it the way she would have. There is stigma in feeding an older child absolutely so I get that it may not have been nice to overhear such an awkward convo but that doesn’t give her the right to tell you how to parent your child in such a situation. Had you actually been saying anything to her directly then you would have been the AH but you weren’t,” said nessa_ac.
“NTA. You fielded a teaching moment. Your transcript doesn’t indicate that you stated it was weird. You maybe could have been more neutral, but I don’t think it was bad. The other lady was far ruder than you were for just coming up and confronting you,” said ADawg28.
“She was eavesdropping on a conversation you had with your daughter in which you explained everything without once shaming her. You didn’t say it was wrong or unhealthy, just that you weren’t sure why. I do want to point out that breastfeeding until 4 or 5 is normal in many cultures and I would’ve looked 6/7 at that age because I was really tall. But she was out of line for coming up to you when you were just honestly (and not rudely) answering your daughters questions. Honestly she shamed you more than you shamed her,” said aurakershaw.
“Personally I think it’s a bit weird. But I think judging someone else’s parenting and shaming them for it is a bit grim too. She sucks because it was your daughter asking the questions and you were just trying to change the subject. She can’t tell you how to handle your daughters questions as much as you shouldn’t comment on how she feeds her kid. Can parents just leave parents alone to parent in peace and not tear each other down constantly,” said CJBG9491.
Featured Image: Pexels