Being a mom is F-ING hard. And society doesn’t make it any easier. In a country where there is zero required maternity leave by companies, formula and baby clothes cost more than a weekend getaway – in FRANCE, and people shun you for breastfeeding in public, it’s a wonder how we have any family values left! Ok – if many of you didn’t see all the posts and hoopla over last week’s BreastFeeding week – I thought I would give it one more. I never really wrote about when i was actually breastfeeding because back then I had like, zero time to sit in front of a computer. Now that I have perfected motherhood to the best of my abilities, I feel like I should share a few secrets I learned along the way. And to help future moms out there to feel a little better about it, and those who AREN’T moms – have a little heart and a look inside the life of a mom.
Why BreastFeeding is Pulitzer-Prize Worthy
1. Breastfeeding is F-ING Hard. And it’s a choice. Some moms choose it, some moms choose not to – and some moms just can’t do it and the choice is made for them. Being a mom is REALLY F-ING HARD on them. I was lucky enough to be able to breastfeed, but some of my friends weren’t and it was sad to watch how much they were plagued with guilt of being less of a mom because they weren’t able to do it. I myself didn’t even realize how hard it was for them to watch me be able to do it with so much ease in front of them. I took for granted how lucky I was that I was able to provide Maximo with the natural nourishment he needed. So next time you see a lady breastfeeding in public – THINK a minute before you judge her. Or you might see a lady with a bottle? Don’t assume she doesn’t WANT to breastfeed.
The best moms are the moms who are TRYING to be the best moms they can be – but they don’t think they are.
So lay off making them feel worse. If you can look at titties bouncing on the football field cheerleaders on Sunday Night Football, I don’t want to hear all this crap about how it’s offensive to see a mom feeding in public. GET. OVER. IT. Look the other way, or go home and TiVO the Victoria’s Secret Holiday Fashion Show, since, you know, you won’t see ANY boobs there.
2. Did I mention Breastfeeding is F-ING HARD? It’s a full-time-job. It’s a job I am glad I did, but was also the HARDEST job I ever did. You are on demand
every 2 hours – so forget about sleep, going out to dinner, or even jetting off to the grocery store without your little person in store. So you wonder why you see all these women breastfeeding in public? IT”S BECAUSE THEY F-ING DESERVE IT. That woman hasn’t seen daylight in two weeks, and she finally was able to squeeze in a shower and have lunch with a friend so FOR THE LOVE OF GOD let the poor woman eat (and her baby too).
3. Breastfeeding is Embarrassing Ok – so you decide to skip out for lunch WITHOUT the little guy. Maybe you just weren’t ready to feed in public or maybe you just really want to get out for a few hours without the mini me, or maybe you’re heading somewhere that kids aren’t welcome. Regardless, I GUARANTEE there isn’t a nice quiet space for you to pump. Oh yeah – if you DON’T have a kid, you have a pump. And pumps are loud. There is NOTHING MORE AWESOME than a machine squeezing my boob while standing up next to an old woman doing her business in a small smelly bathroom in NYC.
Oh yes there is – being in Heinz Stadium at the Steelers game with 50 gamillion drunks running around going – what is that SOUND?!?! As I pump and hold up the bathroom line before kickoff. Not to mention the huge manly bouncer telling you your purse is too big to take in, so you have to announce, LOUDLY, that is it, yes indeed, a breast pump.
4. Breastfeeding Takes Courage. The next time you judge a woman feeding in public – think about how SHE feels. You really think she wants you trying to catch a peek at her doing something that she would rather be private between her and her baby? Do you know how HARD it was for her to WANT to do it in public? I remember how hard it was for me. I just couldn’t do it – I would wait for Maximo to fall asleep and literally RUN out the door to eat somewhere, fingers crossed, that he didn’t wake until I was done eating. If not – I would run out to the car for privacy. Then Jamie came up to visit – and said, what are you going to do for the next 6 months? a YEAR? Fuck. She was right. So, right on schedule, Maximo woke up, and I had my first experience right then and there. And guess what? NO ONE EVEN LOOKED UP. No one cared. This is NYC, right, but I mean, choose your locations – if you know it won’t be as scary to attempt it in the middle of Manhattan, so be it.
5. There is a Positive Side! As I mentioned – after that first time – I started to feed anywhere. It was liberating! I could finally get out and about again – and guess what – if Max was hungry – we could just stop right there! No trying to find a restaurant to eat, or find something healthy for the kiddies – no, breastfeeding is so convenient because it’s right there with you everywhere you go.
– I breastfed in Central Park
– I breastfed in Lincoln Square ( I even had a lady come up to me and thank me for breastfeeding in public here! That made me feel so much better! So don’t be afraid to tell a mom – HEY! GOOD FOR YOU! Unless you look really creepy while doing it….)
– I breastfed at a business meeting with Senior Vice Presidents of a Fortune 500 Company on Park Avenue. Yep. And they were both men.
– I pumped in the Steeler Stadium
– I pumped in between meetings at clients offices
– I breastfed at clients offices.
– And I even breastfed at Christmas dinner, Thanksgiving, birthday parties, brunch with the girls AND with all my Zetas at Race for the Cure in Central Park with millions of people. Guess what – they were all there to support boobs too.
Am I crazy?! At some of these situations, yes, but as a sleep-deprived mom, my only concern was to make sure Maximo was happy. And healthy. I sacrificed my pride, my shame, my anxiety and fears, possibly a job, to be able to be – A MOM. And guess what – I am still here to talk about it. I wasn’t shunned, jailed or fired.
So – to sum it all up. Ladies – stop judging other ladies for their choices. We need to support each other to be strong and survive. If you’re afraid – yes you can. If you can’t – don’t beat yourself up about it. Just living today is hard enough without others trying to remind us how hard it is – so Moms – just so you know – if you’re reading this and you’re scared to feed in public, or your upset that you can’t breastfeed, just know that you feeling like that MAKES YOU THE BEST MOM. Take it from one who knows. And seriously, if you’re in NYC and you need someone to come with you to hold-your-hand – Maximo and I are always up for a luncheon!