BGH Breastfeeding Gaffe

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An author at Better Homes and Gardens has recently sparked internet outrage by publishing The Ten Commandments of Dining With Little Kids.  Thanks to the vehement backlash of the internet, the article has since been updated to the 9 Commandments, removing the most heinous and offensive one.

So what did the internet find so horrible?  Several things were apparently deeply offensive, including the suggestions to keep your stroller in the car and keep flash photography and loud toys to a minimum.  But the biggest issue was the author’s suggestion that tableside breastfeeding is inappropriate in an upscale restaurant.

So here’s where I make enemies…..

I think she’s right.

I know… I know breastfeeding is natural.  So is poop, and I don’t change diapers at the table.  Okay, well actually I have, but only in restaurants with no changing table.  I don’t think a breastfeeding mother has anything to be ashamed of. I don’t think the general concept of breastfeeding in public is problematic.  (Caveat: cover up.  I don’t want to see your boob any more than you want to see mine.)  However, in an upscale restaurant where people are payin a lot of money to enjoy not only the food but a particular ambiance… I do think they deserve the right to a certain atmosphere.

I have a daughter, one who I breastfed.  I wasn’t ashamed to do it, but I also didn’t do it at the table.  I do try to keep camera flashes to a minimum, and we don’t bring her super loud musical toys to dinner.  Even now that I have a child to bring with me, I still don’t want to be subjected to someone else’s loud toys, incessant flash bulbs, or boobs.  Again, if I’m paying top dollar to dine in an upscale restaurant, I want more than good food.  I want the experience, the whole deal.  I want to enjoy alone time with my husband, or my family, and not have to deal with YOUR family.

I’m not saying parents can’t bring their children to fancy dinners, and I’m not saying you should have to go to the bathroom to breastfeed…. although, I also have to say that it KILLS me when people say things like “why should my son have to eat in the bathroom?  How would you like to eat in the bathroom?”  Guess what?  Your kid?  DOESN’T CARE.  Your son/daughter would happily eat in the bathroom, at a truck stop, in a mud pit, on a plane, on a train, with a duck…  Breastfeeding children do not care.  But there are other options.  Go to the parking lot.  Go across the street.  Plan your dinner for a time when your child won’t need to eat.  Request a secluded booth/table.

I’m nearly positive you don’t agree with me.  I know I’m supposed to be pro public breastfeeding.  I’m supposed to support the constant inundation of children into every aspect of my life because family is so important.  Well yes, family IS important.  And if I want to be the best possible mother?  I need some “adult time.”  I need the opportunity to be away from my daughter for small windows of time here and there, and by bringing my ten foot wide stroller, never ending photography, and tableside breastfeeding to an upscale restaurant, I may well be invading someone else’s precious time.  You don’t need time away?  You don’t think it’s a problem for any of this to happen next to your table at a $200 steak dinner?  Good.  I’m glad, and you’re clearly more evolved than I am.  I’ll just be over here, dragging my knuckles on the ground and hoping you and your invasive child rearing stay away from my expensive night out.

9 Responses to “BGH Breastfeeding Gaffe”
  1. Personally, I found the BHG comment offensive and I am WAY past the breast feeding years. I wouldn’t go into the bathroom to nurse my child, but then again, I wouldn’t take my child to a restaurant were my dinner will be expensive, but that’s just me. When I was nursing, I became a pro at the one arm hold with a blanket over me and baby, I could walk through the grocery store or sit at a table and do it. But I also think it’s up to YOU if you feel comfortable with breast feeding in public. I do think one should be discreet, not because breastfeeding is offensive, but because nobody wants to see your breasts unless your at a strip club or a bar. And if you’re at either of those places, you BETTER not have a baby attached to them…just saying ;o)

    I think we should all agree to disagree on this and many other subjects. I do like your point of view on it, though!

  2. Jessica says:

    Well said! I honestly think that we get so caught up sometimes in not wanting to be told what we can and can’t do that we forget that there’s a spectrum of both appropriateness and consideration to be aware of as well.

  3. Hailerstar says:

    I don’t find anything wrong with what you said. If I pay good money for a meal out then I expect the people around me to be considerate of everyone in their vicinity. (that includes the fact that I don’t think breast feeding at a restaurant is an appropriate thing … because I know it’s natural and all of that but I don’t want to see someone else’s boobs in public …) I think you should should show a certain amount of decorum when you’re out and about (and this goes too for the people who bring their kids to restaurants when they KNOW their kids will not behave there … I’m not talking about the random moment when your child has a meltdown or issues but instead the people who indulge and reinforce their child’s rude public behavior … like the parents that laugh or think it’s cute when the child makes a mess at the restaurant).
    Back from the tangent, I agree with what you said. I think adults have a right to their time, especially if you’re shelling out the cash for someplace upscale.

  4. H says:

    I’m hesitant to ever pile on breastfeeding moms, because despite a (very) vocal minority, in general it is not at all well-supported. If it were, more than 22% of moms would be nursing through the first year, as recommended. And personally, I’m overjoyed when I see a mom nursing. It doesn’t offend me.

    That being said, I actually think the point is moot because babies don’t really belong in upscale restaurants. I’m shocked that folks bring them so often. Everytime DH and I have gotten a babysitter to go out in the last year, we’ve ended up sitting next to a table with young children. The world does need adult spaces; having them benefits kids and adults.

    • Skinny Sushi says:

      I absolutely agree there. More support of breastfeeding might have changed things for me… although in the end my girl is healthy and happy, which is all I wanted anyway. But you’re right. I absolutely don’t want to come down on moms for breastfeeding. I’m glad they do. The point is more, as you said, that there really should be places where you do not bring your young children, for all of our sanity.

  5. jhywill says:

    I 100% agree with everything else on the list EXCEPT breastfeeding, but that’s because if you’re doing it discreetly enough, no one should know it’s happening unless they are staring at your table. But I think, as has been mentioned a couple times, the broader point is that unless you can guarantee that your bundle of joy is not going to start wailing in the middle of appetizers, you shouldn’t have an infant in an upscale restaurant to begin with. My husband and I are still months away from actually having to put our money where we’d usually put our high-end sushi, but we’ve already come to terms with the fact that we’re going to be spending a lot more nights out at places that feature crayons and kids’ menus for the next several years, because we refuse to be THAT FAMILY.

    Ask me how that’s going in six months…

    • Skinny Sushi says:

      Believe me, you just won’t feel like getting out for a while, and when you do you’ll be glad to have a babysitter and a break! Also, mmm…. sushi….

  6. I agree with your post. I’m all for breastfeeding…except in a few places.

  7. christy says:

    I agree wtih you! I am a mother of 5 and have breastfed all of them. I am not disagreeing that breastfeeding is not natural…it is! In our culture people are comfortable looking over and seeing women feeding their babies! Some of my friends are very good and hiding it and being discreet, but I just feel ackward. I normally don’t go to the bathroom to feed my baby, I go to the car. I try to feed the baby BEFORE we go in and then the whole problem never occurs!

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