I have no idea how the conversation went from books and plane tickets to breastfeeding in the office one day, but it did. Back when I worked for a different site, I was the only parent there so everyone used to ask me weird parenting questions.
Being a young mum, and currently having everyone around me popping babies out at the minute, has put me in an odd position where everyone wants to talk about their boobs and breastfeeding. I’ll be honest, I hate breastfeeding with a passion. Those are strong words to utter, even silently under your breathe, for fear of the ‘mommy bloggers’ raining down a torrent of abuse at the mere thought of you not hanging a small person off a body part that is freaking sore enough already! Now, don’t get this twisted, if you want to breastfeed, that’s your choice. It’s just not for me.
The rise of mommy bloggers has seen some pretty strange things being discussed with complete strangers. From live-tweeting births to their followers, to discussing the aftermath of their births, it gets pretty gross sometimes. And when I say “aftermath of their births”, I don’t mean general discussion about what can happen, I mean every little detail from the birthing experience. Seriously guys, I’ve been there three times, I know what it is like. And calling your blog post “Miracle of Birth” only to destroy my expectations of you describing a beautiful and emotional experience with stories of blood, stitches, and stuff that I wouldn’t want anyone to be witness to, that’s just mean. Mommy bloggers take everything to the next level. Yeah, it’s nice to know that I am not the only one that suffered from difficult labours, but that is where I draw the line. Bloggers are not the fountain of knowledge that we like to think that we are. I’m not sure if it’s the amount of honesty or the amount followers but these women get it into their heads that they are the utmost authority on everything parenting. News flash- they aren’t. And if you dare have a different opinion or experience than some of these women then be prepared for a verbal assault.
When trying to discuss something with a mommy blogger, if you dare have your own opinion on something that opposes them….oh my freaking bejaysus! Run! Run for cover! How dare you think for yourself and have an opinion! I’m not sure if it’s strong views on parenting or the fact that these women spend 95% surrounded by demanding children, but any view that contradicts their own view is met with scorn and verbal abuse. One issue that keeps coming up is breastfeeding and how women are fighting to feed their children in public. This is something that is tip-toed around by everyone in case they unleash the wrath of the mommy bloggers. Men can find it very difficult to cope when faced with a breastfeeding mother. After being told for years not to stare at a woman’s breasts, only to have them pulled out in the street for all to see, it can make them uncomfortable. My hubby-to-be was serving a woman at his butcher’s counter one day, and in the middle of cutting up some chicken for her, she pulled the boobs out and tried to get her child to latch on. Not only did the shock nearly kill him, he could have lost a finger. And when she realised that he was shocked and embarrassed by it, she began throwing abuse at him, just because he was caught off guard by a woman casually pulling a boob out in public. And it was a full boob. I was there and nearly peed myself with shock with a boob being thrown about like a sack of potatoes in a butchers shop.
I have three children and I breastfed all of them for a short time. A very short time. And I’m not ashamed to say that I hated it. It was sore, my boobs hurt, my boobs leaked through every good shirt I owned. If someone accidentally bumped into while I was out, my boobs would start leaking. Plus, I had three very hungry babies and my own milk didn’t fill them. I could give you a million different stories about it but this isn’t a mommy blog. But I hated breastfeeding, with a passion. If you want to do it, fine, knock yourself out. But don’t shove it in my face. I don’t want to see a woman whipping out a massive tit in the coffee shop while I’ll sipping on my latte. And if that statement annoys you, well, do one. I’m not saying don’t feed your child but for crying out loud, do it with a bit of discretion. There is no need to make everyone around you feel uncomfortable by forcing us to watch your display of womanhood. To prove my point, a quick story. My mother was out shopping one day and kept walking past the same woman in the aisles, she had a wrap/sling with a baby in it. After a while, the woman reached into the sling, fiddled a bit, and pulled out a little girl who was probably a year old. There was not a tit in sight. That woman fed her baby in public and no-one knew a damn thing. The only reason my mother noticed the woman was because she was going to ask her where she had got the sling, not because she was making a big deal about feeding in public. On the flip side of this is the women who do breastfeed but don’t like doing it in public (people like myself) and we get nothing but crap for not “embracing what is natural”. It has nothing to do with people staring, we just prefer to do it in the comfort of our own homes.
I’m sure that I am going to get a lot of hate for saying all this but I don’t care. I’m fed up with the mommy bloggers forcing their opinions down everyone’s throat. You are not the be all and end all of parenting. And frankly, some of the stuff that you force on other people is stupid. Unless you are a qualified doctor, nurse, psychologist, or any specialist in early years development, your opinion is neither required or desired. You want to breastfeed, fine. You do you. But don’t shove your opinions about feeding down peoples throats. They might say breast is best, but fed is best.