Oh, I’m sorry. Does this offend you?
It has recently been brought to my attention that one of my facebook “friends” has an issue with the picture posted above. I think her exact words were, “Why does [the gnome's mom] have to put it all out there like that?” I’m going to answer that question in a moment, but first I need to say a couple of things.
I am not one of those people with 600+ facebook “friends.” I personally know and communicate with every single one of my friends on facebook. About a month before I had the gnome I went through my friends list and whittled it down to the people I trust. Because I share so much of myself online, I knew that I would be sharing a lot of my son. And I wanted to make sure that I protected him as much as possible.
This picture was not my profile picture. It was uploaded in a batch of 85 pictures that my husband and I took while hiking. To get to it, you would have to click through several of my pictures to reach it. That said, I am assuming that this is the picture in question because it is the most revealing one out of the bunch. And because this person never mentioned anything to me about it.
Now, I am drawing the conclusion that they asked this question seriously and wanted an actual answer. I refuse to think that it was a rhetorical question and they were just being mean. Hopefully this will also answer other people’s questions as to why I talk about breastfeeding a lot.
My answer: Because of people like you. Because breastfeeding shouldn’t be something that gives you pause. It should be as natural to you as a picture of me eating a hamburger or a baby drinking from a bottle. Because the more I talk about it and do it and post pictures of me doing it, the more normal it becomes to people like you.
Now, I’d like you to know, when I say people like you, I don’t mean that in a negative way. I mean people without kids, people who haven’t breastfed, and people who haven’t been exposed to breastfeeding. You see, what you don’t know is how hard it is for new mommies. We’re told that breast is best but then once we overcome the pain and struggles of starting breastfeeding we then have to stay trapped in our homes, back rooms, and bathrooms in order to feed our children.
I could blather on about this for hours but realistically, since it doesn’t affect you, you probably don’t care. So what it comes down to is that I “let it all hang out,” because I am proud. Breastfeeding is hard. And, I know that while 75% of women in the US start out breastfeeding, only 13.3% are still exclusively breastfeeding at 6 months of age. So I am proud to be in the 13.3% of women that are able to stick it out.
I don’t rag on you when you post pictures and status updates about something you’re proud of accomplishing. Think twice before you do it again, please.
Have you ever had issues with a friend having a problem with when/where/why/how long you breastfeed?