Breastfeeding is Such Crap You Guys

I want to start off with a few things I don’t want to deal with when writing this post.

For one, if you are one of those people that reads anything about breastfeeding and then feels an uncontrollable urge to comment well formula feeders have to deal with all that and more– move along, and keep it to yourself while doing so.

For another, if your panties crawl up your back hole when you hear words like breast or boob or nipple or whatever; if it makes you even feel awkward and somewhat sexual to hear or read them – move along, as well.

And for a third thing, if you are a formula feeding mother who is going to get offended because I am now going to go on complaining about breastfeeding, because you couldn’t or didn’t have the time or whatever; I’m sorry, but you need to stop here too. I don’t have the mental capacity right now, when I feel like shit as a mother about everything as is, to feel even more like shit because I feel like shit about something that I should totally feel hashtag-blessed to be able to do.

I don’t have time for any of that nonsense.

Breastfeeding is just such crap you guys.

Like it really is best – that’s another thing, please don’t at me with your no, fed is best happy horse shit. No, it’s not. I mean if it’s a choice between letting your baby die and feeding them formula, OF COURSE feeding them formula is the right choice. But isolated in terms of empirical and scientific evidence alone, breastmilk is actually the best thing for baby. If – and this is a big if – it’s possible.

There are a lot of things that make it impossible. A mom’s health. A mom’s supply. A mom’s lifestyle. Baby’s lifestyle. Baby’s health. Baby’s immune system. And so on. There are a lot of instances in which women end up feeding their babies formula, some of which are just because they wanted to. And that’s perfectly fine. It’s great! Baby is fed, that’s cool.

But if you are in the camp of us that did end up breastfeeding – either by choice, necessity, guilt, or whatever – it fucking sucks.

I am currently experiencing a trifecta of health problems: 1) severe allergies; 2) chronic sinusitis; and, 3) what I am assuming is an undiagnosed but long standing case of TMJ. It only occurred to me recently when the dentist suggested that I probably have TMJ to look into it. There’re like 40 symptoms of it, of which I have 39. Anyway, I’ve had these problems for pretty much forever, especially the allergies and sinus problems; and I had them pretty under control.

That is until I had my third deliciously chunky kid, in the 2010s – what I like to call the post-Michael Jackson-death opioid epidemic era – when ain’t nobody wants to treat a pregnant or lactating mother for shit because they’re afraid they’ll get sued or, worse, go to jail lest something bad happens. Because bad things are happening to every day people all the time now, and mothers are always the ones yelling that they want to speak to the manager – so obviously they’ll be the most likely to sue.

What a time to be alive, amiright?

So my baby is 18 months old now. I’m trying to not actually be one of those mothers that counts things out by the month, but then when I say something like well he’s a little over a year people glaze. The really blunt ones will sarcastically ask me do you …know… how old your child is? – to which I have to answer with a laugh, all-the-while resisting the urge to slap a bitch.

So anyway, a little over a year ago, before he was six months old, our family doctor and I had this plan to treat my allergies and sinusitis as needed to get through until I was done breastfeeding and could go gung-ho on my previous treatment of the problems. Of course, the way it was handled before wasn’t an option while I was pregnant or now, while I am breastfeeding; so this seemed a tenable solution.

Then my kid turned six months and suddenly the family doctor seemed to be on a crusade to get me to stop breastfeeding.

Well she stopped at six months, why wouldn’t I?

He’s eight months old now, he should be entirely on solid foods.

A year! Well that’s all is standard in America, we really need to push him to stop.

And as time drudged on, she began to push back on treating me – her patient – because of her disagreement with my choice to breastfeed.

He’s now a year and a half and still going strong. He eats regular meals as well, but still gets his milkies whenever he wants them (which he signifies by walking up to me and putting his hand down my shirt, shouting BOB! BOB!).

So flash forward to today, I’ve had a really really bad flare up of my allergies and chronic sinusitis; and I went to refill the prescription that is OK to take while lactating – the thing that we had as our plan to make things work while I continued to breastfeed.

No refills.

So the pharmacy called the doctor, as did I. Several days and phone calls went by before they finally got back to me today – while, of course, I was in the shower.

No refills. Doctor wants to see you first because she says you shouldn’t be breastfeeding anymore so just give the front desk a call to make an appointment.

I called and said “no, I’m still breastfeeding, do you still want me to make the appointment?”

Yes, she wants to have a serious discussion about your continued breastfeeding in the office before any medications are dispensed.

Are. You. Fucking. Kidding. Me?!

And this – in my opinion – is why ultimately so many women that want to breastfeed do not. A lack of support. I can see a number of circumstances in which a woman wanted to breastfeed for the two years the WHO or UNICEF recommends (or even just breastfeed at all), and then got discouraged for any number of reasons revolving around a lack of community support, so gave up.

I can even see instances in which a woman thought she couldn’t breastfeed when really all she needed was a good doctor or lactation consultant to help her make it work.

This is why breastfeeding is total crap – everyone acknowledges that it is without a doubt – from an evidence-based, empirical standpoint – what is healthiest for baby, but no one actually wants you to do it.

And if you breastfeed beyond a year in America – well watch out! Everyone is coming at you left and right to tell you about what they read or heard is actually the case about the composition of your milk at a year. Or, less eloquently, with phrases like “if the kid can chew a steak, he shouldn’t be chewing on your tit.”

Classy, Cletus.

A few months ago, I had my annual visit with my allergist. They’re just as bad about the prescribing of things, and have deferred to the family physician until I’m done nursing as well. But what they do continue to do is treat my asthma. Anyway, so it’s been five years since I had allergy testing, and I had received the letter that it was time to get that done again; so I booked my appointment. At some point I will begin treating my allergies (with allergy shots) again, so why wouldn’t I…right?

As I waited in the waiting room with the paper robe on my front, I heard a baby crying in the next exam room over and my milk let down, soaking the paper smock. The nurse walked in, took one look at me, and walked out saying just a sec. Like five minutes later, the doctor – an allergist I had actually never met before, not my usual allergist in the practice – came in the room and said I should reschedule when I am feeling better.

Feeling better?! The fuck does that mean? Nursing isn’t an ailment!

That’s what I said in my head, really I just clarified that I was still breastfeeding and sorry, I’ll put on a new smock.

They refused to perform the allergy test.

I see stories all the time on the Internet and hear them from people about the ugly side of being a nursing mother; and yet I never really believed it until recently. It is the most natural and biologically normal thing for a mother to do, and yet – for whatever reason – society is totally and completely aghast in the face of it.

Breastfeeding fucking sucks. But so does saying No to that perfect, little face that I have kept alive for a year and a half, as he shouts like a terrorist BOB! BOB! BOB!

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Losing Touch With the World

Today was Day 1 of Week 2 in “My Kid Is Better Than Yours Hell.” For those of you that don’t know what I am talking about because you haven’t been keeping up on my blog lately, every summer there is this crunch time in which all of the extra-curricular and other community activities we want to do fall at the same, damn time. Every day is a long and arduous march of activities – shuttling from one thing to the next until the end of the day where I collapse in utter exhaustion.

Today, though, I took it a little more easy through the death march and took a look around, as well as at myself. In doing so, I realized that we all seem to be losing touch with the world.

#1 Facebook Bullying

I’ve said it once before and I’m going to say it again: I am so sick and goddamned tired of people that are Facebook bullying it makes me, well … sick. You know what I’m talking about: that person that posts a status update or an eCard they thought they were so clever to make:  it’s Facebook, not your diary. People that make fun of or put down other people are bullying. They’re judging. And they’re saying “I am the standard by which other people should judge their actions.” All of this is just a little out of touch with the way the world really is.

Yesterday I saw a friend had taken it even further when she posted a picture of two people she saw on the beach – a man and a woman, both of which were a little frumpy. She included a pithy comment “nothing but eye candy here today…” and I immediately lost every ounce of respect I had for this woman. She is so out of touch with the world it is astounding. To think a woman in her 30s is still sitting around judging the way people look – and then talking about it – is a little sickening.

#2 Motherfucking Octomom

I saw some people talking on Twitter last week, and then again on Facebook, about how Octomom is now turning to stripping to make some money. Or was it porn? Who cares what it was, what is out of touch with the world were people’s responses. People are saying she is a bad mother because she is stripping. People are saying that child services needs to get involved.

To begin, Octomom stripping to pay the bills is a good thing. The very people that are criticizing her for using the system to pay for her many children are also the ones complaining now that she is trying to support them. Even if she uses some of that money for herself – whatever the case may be, if she is working, she is working.

To continue, Octomom has been center stage for some time now. Every time I hear or read someone say “can we please have a child services intervention?” I think this person must be a complete moron; because only someone terribly moronic would not realize that child services has known about Octomom for some time now and has no problem with her.

Do you know why child services has no problem with her? Because there are a lot of mothers in this world with that many children. Single mothers, no less! Single mothers that strip to pay the bills!! Gasp!! Because she is not actually harming the children – she doesn’t do drugs, she isn’t abusing them. She’s stripping – something probably millions of mothers before her have done. This has been going on for decades in this country, alone. Why everyone acts as though Octomom is any different than your average, uneducated, middle-aged woman in an unfortunate position is beyond me.

#3 Breastfeeding in a swimming pool

And then today I saw that one of my friends had commented on some article about some lady that got kicked out of a public wading pool for whopping out her tit and squirting her boob juice at her 10 month old kid.

The article begins “It’s never a good sign for society when a breastfeeding mom is told she has to stop nursing in public because some prude has their panties in a twist.” The writer of this article, the publisher of this website, and every idiot that agrees with this sentiment and the plight of the woman who breastfed in a public swimming pool have clearly lost touch with the world.

That’s right, I did say “every idiot.”

I am all for breastfeeding if a woman decides this is the best course for her and her baby. I’m all for public breastfeeding, as long as it doesn’t get on me. I do not believe that a woman should be forced to go in a bathroom, or in the car.

But I also know that it’s never a good sign for society when we have forgotten the very real dangers of disease. HIV and AIDS are transmitted through breast milk, as well as a number of other bacterial, viral, and fungal agents. If that mother had spilled some of her milk into that pool, while the chlorine may have killed it, it also may have not. The people that asked her to get out of the pool to do the feeding were doing nothing other than exerting their right to protect themselves from someone else’s bodily fluid. This is a matter of basic hygiene, and I’d have to argue that it’s never a good sign for society when such things are being overlooked for the sake of proving a point.

 #4 “My Kid Is Better Than Yours Hell” Tennis Dads

Remember last week when the tennis dads (I called them SOAPS – Summertime OverAchieving Parents) almost got into a fight over whose daughter was more into watching Wimbledon? Well, this week one of the dads did not return; the other brought his daughter 15 minutes late. When they walked up he said “sorry we’re late, but I think we all know Katelyn doesn’t need lessons.”

Are you kidding me? This guy’s arrogance is off the fucking charts.

A little later it was revealed that he had spent an assload of money on a new, adult-sized tennis racket for his six year old daughter. The coach gave her a kid’s-sized one to borrow since the big one kept falling out of her hands and the dad started screaming about it.

I realized at this moment that the only one in touch with the world at these tennis courts was Coach Harvey, because he said something so wonderful and amazing I am still grinning from ear-to-ear: “perhaps if you worried less about your daughter becoming a pro and more about helping her learn to actually hit the ball things would go a little smoother here.”

Fuck yes.

#5 The B(itch) is losing touch with the world

And last, but certainly not least, it appears that I am even losing touch with the world. No, I am not posting as a bully on Facebook, and I’m certainly not breastfeeding in a swimming pool.

But I am losing touch with everything I love. Since I got home from vacation in April, life has been something of a downward swing. I’m homesick. I miss my family. And a lot of my hobbies and interests seem to be dwindling.

Even my blog is losing its fanfare. Last week I posted about an upcoming video blog series I want to do, and an unprecedented number of people – people I called friends – said they were not interested. Really? REALLY? That’s the last fucking time I ‘like’ their pages, or share or support their causes. A lot of people said they were interested too, and I plan on doing it in the future … but not until I figure out just how and why I have lost touch with the world a little myself.

My general readership is dwindling too, which seems odd since nothing in my blog has changed, save for a little design changing here and there. The most popular thing people seem to come to my site for now is donkey pornography. I haven’t ever been able to get more than a small amount of Facebook fans.  Contrary to popular belief, I’ve done everything the so-called experts say you should do: I published an eBook for my blog, utilized my personal network, I hosted a giveaway. And yet, the more I try the more I seem to lose touch with the world (the blog world, that is). I Googled it. I asked around a little. So far, I can’t seem to get a straight answer.

Although while I have retreated into my shell just a little bit more than I was before – both in my online life, as well as my in-person life – I at least have comfort in knowing I haven’t lost touch with the world like tennis dad or the people that rail on about Octomom. I’m not popping out my boob in a swimming pool to leak my bodily fluid everywhere. At least I haven’t lost it as much as them. I don’t think I ever could.

New Years Countdown Series, Day 2: a Resolution You SHOULD Make

Actually there are really TWO resolutions you should make, the first and very real being more generosity to the poor. The world economy is in a shit-tank, with over 80% of the world’s population living on far less than $10 a day. Only 20% of homeless people in the United States are actually mentally ill or suffering from alcoholism, so get your head out of your ass and stop justifying your stinginess by saying “they’ll just use my money at the liquor store anyway.” Just one day next year (hopefully more), resolve to give up your Starbucks and pass the $5 over to someone with an In Need sign. And if you really and truly believe they are all a bunch of degenerate and ungrateful hobos, rather than give money just get a few extra nonperishable grocery items next time you are at the store and drop them off on your way out. I promise you, they will be grateful.

Off my soap box, let’s get to the one resolution you really SHOULD actually make this year. I know this makes me a total hypocrite, because for the last few days I have done nothing but rip New Years Resolutions and their makers up one side and down the other, but while out to lunch today I realized what everyone should resolve to this next year FOR REALS:

You piggish mother fuckers should resolve to be less slovenly and sloppy while out to eat in the coming year.

I don’t know if it’s that a lot of people are off work and out and about this week, or that I’m going to the wrong places … but today was an all-star day in terms of people that made me lose my appetite while eating in a public venue. To be specific, there were four.

#1 Smell man and his noseless girlfriend were the first to make my gag reflex go – and it was only in the beginning while we were ordering our drinks. Sitting in the booth right next to us (directly behind my father, who is just as bitchy and blunt as I am) sat a man and his girlfriend who appeared to have a nose, but I’m fairly certain was just wearing a prosthetic implant. For if she had a nose she could have smelled this guy and been repulsed, rather than what she was doing – which was sucking face with him in such a way that I saw saliva dribble onto the booth below them. At one point, I thought that the smell man was trying to swallow the girl without a nose whole, but then they eventually stopped and got up to leave only for me to get a good waft of the fact that he clearly had not showered in days.

Now, I’m not one to judge people for unscently body odor. I myself have forgotten to put on deodorant on occasion, or not had time to brush my teeth so resorted to gum. But at some point, you have to ask yourself: am I offending others with my stench? Should I get this checked out by a physician? Would just carrying some stick deodorant in my car help out?

#2 Snotdude brought in the waitress to take our orders and to bring the cup of chicken soup that came with my meal. This is actually one of my pet peeves that I have thought about blogging on before – when people do that horrible inhaling of their snot so loudly and moistly that you know a huge loogey is either about to fly out their mouth or trickle down the back of their throat. In case you aren’t sure what I’m talking about, here’s a 23 second video of an Asian broad sucking it in like this fucking morbidly obese asshole did for a good portion of the time we were eating today:

Again, I can be understanding of someone that has a cold or allergies. But I’m allergic to everything and have a constant faucet of phlegm dribbling from my body – I think I might even be allergic to myself at this point and I don’t even do this. It’s horrifying – absolutely horrifying – to eat your chicken soup with a side of snot.

#3 Some old guy belching his name repeatedly came along just in time for one of the cooks to bring out our food. At this point you are probably thinking to yourself – what the fuck, was she eating at an Arby’s in the deep South? No, no… I was eating in what is generally considered to be a descent place (best pancakes in the country says Esquire magazine) and further someplace my dad and I meet at for lunch often.

At first I thought I was hearing things because the guy was sitting with what appeared to be his grandson and it just sounded like an accidental burp in which the man said the word “burp” while doing it. But a few minutes later, as I was biting into my BLT and thanking God that Smell Man and Snotdude had vacated the premises, an excessively audible belch was emitted from the same old guy, this time the word “Daryl” clearly included. He did it six more times before we left.

#4 And as if the experience could not have been any more revolting, as we walked out a Breastfeeder had popped out her tit to feed her screaming infant. Now before you get all crazy on me and start commenting in fury about how breastfeeding is a woman’s right and a beautiful thing, and how nothing but passionate flowers and exotic dairy come out of the lady’s tits, let me say a few things. First, shut the fuck up. Nothing is more annoying than one of these “breastfeeding is the most beautiful thing and a woman’s right in public”-people. Shut the fuck up. SHUT IT! Second, I don’t actually see anything wrong with breastfeeding in public, as long as it is done discreetly under a blanket or a breastfeeding bib. Third, if you choose not to use a blanket or bib, all bets are off.

If you choose to breastfeed in public but don’t use a blanket or bib, you are a fucking asshole and a public nudist. I’m not sure if I have told you all this story before, but quite a few months ago a woman sprayed me with her boob juice in a restaurant – a little drop of a complete stranger’s bodily fluids landing on my hand, forced to rest there until I was able to get it off in the bathroom. I get that a lot of people believe breastfeeding to be an awesome, beautiful, and natural thing – but there are a lot of things that others think are awesome, beautiful, and natural yet don’t do so openly in public out of respect for others (and in some cases, the law).

But if a woman breastfeeds publicly and in such a way that the entire world is now familiar with every crevice, crease, and montgomery gland on the woman’s nipple, why does she not get cited for public nudity like I would were I to – say – just take off my shirt and sit there with my boobs hanging out? Today I wouldn’t have minded doing that – it was a little warm in the booth and sometimes it’s nice to let my upper body breath. The biggest proponents of breastfeeding argue that “feeding your baby is vital for your baby’s survival.” Okay, sure – but there are bottles that your pumped milk can go into or breastfeeding bibs that can cover that shit up to be respectful of the eyesight and feelings of others, and to avoid any of your boob juice squirting on them as they walk by.

As with everything, there is a happy medium. Here’s a counterexample: allowing one’s bowels to move in a timely manner is also “… vital for … survival” but that doesn’t mean anyone and everyone can just pull down their pants and take a squat anywhere they want – right in the middle of public, where it can be seen and gotten all over everyone that passes by! And if I can rant one more second – the bull shit that women not breastfeeding because of the public’s view of doing it in public is just complete nonsense. There are so many options out there – most importantly, pumping and bottle-feeding in a public setting. There are plenty of times families use a bottle at home, why the fuck can’t they do it when they go out too? Oh I know, because it’s about proving a point and exposing your titties for the world to see.

But I digress…

The bottom line in all of this is that these people are all slobs – slovenly, lazy slobs. Smell man is too lazy to shower or use deodorant. Snotdude is too busy porking down his extra side of home fries to get up and blow his nose in the bathroom. Belching grandpa was just a pig, and breastfeeding tittie lady just didn’t want to be bothered with covering the kid with a blanket. If you have to go the incorrigible route and make a New Years Resolution this year, faithful blog followers, resolve to be less of a lazy fuck of a slob. Please … my appetite will thank you!

Birthers Gone Wild

My first post on this new blog site was called Birthers, and I have blogged on the topic many times since.  Ultimately, I think that people today have taken having babies (something done for millions of years) to whole new levels of narcissism and stupidity.  It isn’t just the tendency of parents to be obsessive compulsive, and as a result completely uneducated in the decisions they make for their children.  It also isn’t only the breastfeeding dads or the pictures of dirty diapers on Facebook.  The truth is that I think the Birthers have gone wild – in the entire process of birthing; from conception to high school graduation.

It seems as if these Birthers – the narcissistic newbie parents that truly believe they are the first people ever to have children – actually get some rise out of being so pompous and obsessed with their job as parents.  You can see it in the way they judge others for parenting in a different style than theirs, or in the way their lives become 100% focused on their child.  I used to have pregnant friends for whom pregnancy was just another thing in the day – now that baby belly is the center for which all things revolve.  You can see it in the monthly baby belly pics posted on Facebook or TwitPics.  And while I can consider that you are (literally) carrying the little tike with you 24/7, and it is a major life thing that is coming down the pipeline (so to speak), it would be a pretty major thing on your mind quite often; however, there are still things to life besides having those babies.

But I think what has happened is our entire culture has become so obsessed over almost every thing we do that these Birthers now have their non-stop talk of birthing and rearing as an outlet to truly express just how much they get off on the entire process.  Whereas before, being a parent was another thing in the list of what we did as human beings, the Birthers have let birthing define their very essence.  Of course, then, it’s no-holds-barred in a world where everything revolves around the process of conceiving, delivering, and raising children.  Coupled with the redefinition (read: loss) of privacy and we are now all inundated with the things put out there by the people for whom babies are the center of the universe.

Today I went on Facebook and saw that one of my friends had gone into labor.  She posted frequent updates through the course of the experience and it bothered me how extremely personal the update the comments that followed were.  While I scrolled through the comments to get to the bottom to post my simple “congratulations,” I was reminded of that episode of I Love Lucy when Lucy has the baby and you see nothing except Ricky pacing around the waiting room.  There was no detail about her epidural; no discussion about squeezing anything from Lucy’s hoo-haa – just Ricky pacing around the waiting room, I think smoking a cigarette.  I’m not suggesting that the process of giving birth is something to hide or to be ashamed of, I’m simply saying that it is an intensely personal thing that is not always a cutesy “hee hee, hoo hoo.”

To put it a little more bluntly, if someone wants to spread their vag and everything that comes out of it around for the public to see, the least they could do is consider how that makes the rest of us feel.

Another example of how the Birthers have gone wild is in their ridiculous characterization of what it is to give birth.  Halloween is just around the corner and people are going above and beyond the call of traditional pumpkin carving to come up with the most unique pumpkins they can.  Along with this obsession over birthing, the Birthers have taken to putting that obsession in their Halloween decor.  When I started seeing some of the absurd things the Birthers had come up with was when I actually accepted that the Birthers have gone completely wild.  Consider these three pumpkin sculptures – each of which appear to have gone viral on Facebook; each of which get more and more graphic as you go down the line:

It seems that the graphic sharing of the process of giving birth has transcended to an all new level with these pumpkins.  And I thought the daily updates on Facebook and personal blog posts, or the countless graphic videos on YouTube, were bad enough.  As I said, giving birth to a child is an extremely personal, (and for many people) a private thing.  Additionally, it’s a beautiful thing – absolutely astonishing.  That another human being can come of tiny specs of D.N.A. is – in itself – awe inspiring.  To devalue such a mysterious and often miraculous thing with sharing every single detail – from the fertility treatments to the end of bottle feeding – is (in a way) disrespectful of the wondrous experience of bringing life into this world.  Worse, to put it on a pumpkin – to debase an experience that is different and unique for literally every woman (or couple) out there, is a little insulting.  As a woman, I am disgusted that someone would carve a vagina with a baby coming through it onto the side of a pumpkin.  It was bad enough when the Birthers acted as though they were the first people on the planet to have a baby; and it was certainly horrific when men began trying to induce lactation to breastfeed.  I still don’t want to see photographs of your child’s dirty diapers, just as I don’t want to hear all the details of your baby moving down through your birth canal.  To the Birthers Gone Wild:  stop turning the experience of having children into such a joke.  Your antics, your stupidity, and now your pumpkins.

Breastfeeding Dads, or Birthers Strike Again

Today I came across a blog on cracked.com which discussed (satirically, I might add) some of the progressive parenting trends that are almost difficult to believe are real.  The article was originally spurred by some controversy over a video that went viral a while back on Youtube of a woman flipping her baby around, claiming it was yoga.

The video, itself, is disturbing, but the idea it brings up (which the blog addresses) is yet another notion that the birthers have struck upon us.  In the name of being progressive, and of doing everything they can to raise their child the right way, it seems they have gone off the deep end.  You all remember my first blog on this new sight.  Titled Birthers, I discussed the fact that it seems new parents today tend to think they are the only people on the planet to ever have and raise a child; as if their experience is wholly unique, even though women have been successfully having and raising babies for the entire course of human history.  After witnessing and even being involved in some vehement discussions on what is right for infants and children, on topics from breastfeeding to pacifiers, brand of diapers to the pros and cons of placing your child into daycare, today’s birthers have become unrelenting (and often ignorant) in their positions on all-things-children that they will undoubtably fight about to the death, even in the face of knowing they are wrong.

Here is one of those things that the birthers of a more “progressive parenting” generation have begun to embrace:  the breastfeeding dad.  Breastfeeding, itself, is a controversial topic.  While science has proven that breastfeeding is (in most cases) beneficial for baby, the best way to do it (nurse versus pump), how long to do it (less than one year versus up to eight years), whether to supplement with formula; not to mention the issue of nursing in public, have all become topics of bitter debate that women will break entire friendships over if everyone is not in agreement.  Breastfeeding dads are another one of those topics.

Reportedly, a man has two options to breastfeed a baby:  (1) he can wear a handy-dandy milk-filled arm strap that simulates the mother feeding the baby; or, (2) he can actually induce lactation over time and make the milk for the baby himself.  Beyond the initial shock of this idea, alone, there is a very serious problem with breastfeeding dads:  that problem being gender confusion.  Let’s not pretend we are living in some tribal state in South America, or even in Eastern Europe, where cultural understandings of mom and dad’s roles are much different all around.  Even in the United States, where families are defined in a number of unique ways (particularly those in gay couples), there is still a general consensus that each family provide motherly and fatherly characteristics in the Western World.  Empirical science – psychological, sociological, and neurological studies – have proven that this is a necessity to children growing up in this and other Western countries.  To muddy those waters by not keeping boundaries around certain child-rearing behaviors (including breastfeeding) raises concern as to the long-term psychological and sociological affects of such an action.

Are the birthers right in the controversy over the breastfeeding dads?  As of right now, all we have is the research, which suggests to us no.  In the end, whether anyone is right or wrong is not really the issue.  The issue is the absolutely stubborn inability of birthers to accept any position other than their own.  Ignorance and refusal to look at factors other than our own opinions is perhaps the most dangerous thing we, as a society, can do for our children.  In all the time the birthers spend defending what they think is right, they really do nothing more than show just how wrong we all can be.

Dining at its Finest

Photo Credit Alice@96.5

Hey you over there!  Yeah, you!  The complete douche in this restaurant, sitting at a table on his cell phone … you!  The guy that is talking so loud I can hear the entire conversation; yeah, you know who you are.  I actually feel like we have known each other for years at this point.  I’m so sorry to hear that the merger at your all-important company fell through, but I’m elated to hear that your wife is pregnant with twins after three years of unsuccessful attempts to cool down those spermies.  Such news must be truly important if it has to occur in such a time, at such a place, and in such a manner as to ruin everyone else’s meal.  Across the restaurant there is another guy sitting on his cell phone too – although he is elderly and appears to not realize that cell phone etiquette does exist.  Is there a “who can talk on their cell phone the loudest” competition going on that I was made unaware of?  Had I known I would have certainly entered it myself by talking for thirty-plus minutes, as loudly and obnoxiously as possible, in this fine establishment, attempting to ruin everyone else’s meals.

Photocredit ChildfreeChic

Oh look!  Your friends came to let their children run wild, screaming and stamping on other people’s feet, while you continue your conversation and just use the loudness of the children as a reason to talk even louder.  And I see they’ve brought their baby as well.  I suppose this means the baby is going to scream and cry the entire time and spit food all over the place.  Maybe (if we’re lucky) its parents will talk about what kind of diaper they changed before coming in; or the mother will accidentally squirt us with her breast milk when she goes to feed the kid as she wolfs down her All-Star Grand Slam breakfast.  I tell you that the last time that happened to me (four months ago at a Souplantation), I just really enjoyed tasting my soup and salad return to my mouth at the realization that a complete stranger had squirted breast milk on my hand.

I think you all get the point by now.  I don’t know what it is, but almost every time I go out to eat I encounter either one or both of the scenarios above (which is frequent … you all know my policy on slaving in the kitchen, not to mention the sheer reality of the fact that a healthy meal, which is also tasty, is cheaper bought in a restaurant with healthy standards, rather than made at home).  Maybe it’s where I’m going, although it seems to happen everywhere.  Perhaps the real problem is that people around the country are realizing that the rising cost of groceries and healthy options at a realistic price doesn’t beat all the “kids eat free”/”happy hour” options there are available now.

Or maybe it’s just that the world is full of people that think they are the center of the world; people that feel that they are entitled to have loud cell phone conversations wherever they want.  People that really think it is acceptable to talk on the phone while having dinner with you, making you wait while they have their conversation that is so much more important than you.  I’ve got one for you, obnoxious cell phone user:  how about you have dinner with the person on the phone instead of me, if the conversation is so much more important?  Maybe the world is full of people that think the cost of their meal includes daycare, or people that think that because they talk about dirty diapers and breast milk all the time, that must mean that everyone wants to talk about dirty diapers and breast milk all the time.

Here’s the deal:  no one wants any of that.  When the majority of people go out to eat, it’s for a relaxing time.  It is not to be bothered by cell phone calls, to be treated like a cell phone call is more important than their company; it is not to babysit your children or be stepped on or disgusted.  It just isn’t any of it.  I challenge you all to consider how your dining experience affects others the next time you go out to eat – maybe you won’t let your kid run around wild, or be so quick to answer that all-important phone call.  9.5 out of 10 calls can wait for twenty minutes until you get the bill, anyway.