Boobs

As in, you are all acting like a bunch of boobs.

Recently a woman from my hometown uploaded this photo on Facebook:

Image

This is pretty amazing and got a lot of attention, and not just from the hundreds of people saying, “Wait, what is a crab rangoon pizza? Where can I get this amazing delicacy?”  A crab rangoon pizza has a crab rangoon base, surimi, green onion, asiago and mozzarella cheeses, and is topped with crispy egg roll strips and sweet chili sauce. You can purchase one in Des Moines, Iowa at Fong’s Pizza. Some day I’d like to write you a whole blog about how very cool Des Moines really is compared to what you have been told, but that will have to wait. If you look beyond the delicious purchases you will see that one was paid for by a staff member at Fong’s to thank the mother for breastfeeding. Neat, right? It was such a happy story that it made the news in other cities and right here in Des Moines.

http://whotv.com/2013/07/18/free-pizza-nursing-mothers-receipt-goes-viral/

Again, neat story. It should really end there. But no. People have to go and be grossed out and offended by it. I’m grossed out and offended by a lot of things but I keep most of it to myself because the world doesn’t revolve around me and my likes and dislikes. I want to go to every single news site about this wonderful story and just “educate” every single moron like this woman *Ellen that just compared her breast to her butthole. (Don’t worry, I’ll get to that.) But I don’t have the time or the patience so I’m just going to write my responses to the standard comments here and hope some of the boobs out there read them.

I don’t mind breastfeeding in public as long as they cover up.

1. Why? What about a woman’s breast is offensive? The size? Because some women have smaller breasts than some men, do these men also need to cover up? Please? I’ve heard some people say “hot” breasts are okay but not flabby, ugly ones. Fair enough. Put your flabby, ugly chins away and your flabby, ugly thighs and all the rest of you, too. It offends me. Actually, your face offends me, cover it up.

2. It’s hot, people. It’s 90 or more degrees in Iowa right now, more with humidity. The baby is already nestled up against Mom’s body heat and you want a blanket on his or head, too? That’s child abuse. If breasts offend you that much then you go in the bathroom and eat or you eat dinner with a blanket on your head.

I’m tired of people saying breastfeeding is natural, so is masturbation but I don’t do it at the table.

If you can’t tell the difference between masturbation and breastfeeding then you have some deep psychological issues to explore.

I’m tired of people saying breastfeeding is natural, so is taking a dump maybe I should show you my butthole.

That is paraphrasing *Ellen, I think she deleted her original comment before I could cut and paste. Ellen has some serious issues if she is truly comparing her breasts to her butthole. I don’t even know where to start.

A lot of people try to compare breastfeeding to using the restroom when the “natural” debate comes up. Let’s just end that now. Breastmilk is a source of nourishment and more. Anything you do in the restroom is not. I feel like I shouldn’t even need to explain this. The last time I had to say, “we don’t eat poop,” I was talking to a 6 month old.

bfing

Breasts are not offensive but they are a private part. Are you going to tell me that if you have a daughter you’ll be okay with her walking around topless?

Um, yeah. It’s her body. Once she is an adult I won’t “let” her do anything because her body does not belong to me.

But again, this comparison is dumb. Walking around topless and breastfeeding are not the same thing. There is less breast exposed during breastfeeding than there is in bra advertisements at the mall. I don’t see anyone draping blankets over those.

I don’t want my children exposed to that.

The little flash of sideboob they might glance during breastfeeding? Don’t let them near the internet! They might see Miley Cyrus on the Huffington Post. Don’t take them to the mall, they might have to walk past Victoria’s Secret. And definitely keep them home from the beach. Because I’d hate for them to be exposed to a human breast. <—That last link is all marvelous man boobs and I suggest you check it out for some comic relief.

Your kids will always be exposed to things you wish they didn’t have to see. Use ach experience as a learning opportunity. Tell them how you feel about it and educate them about the situation. Especially breastfeeding! This is the moment where you get to shape and change our future society, the society your children will be feeding their own children in. Tell them now, “breastfeeding is the healthiest, most natural way to feed your baby.” You can elaborate for more advanced learners but make sure you send that message. Then say, “but if it makes you uncomfortable, look away.” It’s important they learn now some things will make them uncomfortable, that doesn’t mean those things are wrong or that they can be rude about it.

 I hate the moms that feel like they have something to prove and make a big production of it. It’s natural and awesome for baby and mom so don’t ruin it by making a scene.

They don’t like you, either. You’re the one that made breastfeeding weird and obscene. You, and others like you, that bought into the notion that somehow a woman’s breast was more offensive than a man’s or that anyone ever had the right to judge whose breast was attractive enough to be seen, you are the ones who made it a big deal, not the mothers that are trying to take back the natural act of feeding their child when he is hungry.

*whew* I typed all this with Sharkboy and Little S fighting beside me, singing in my lap and threatening to pee on me, so I hope it makes sense. I swear they’re not neglected, it was less than 20 minutes of a day that was entirely devoted to their good times. They will survive.

I am not trying to shame anyone that is not comfortable whipping it out in public. Our society is obsessed with breasts in an unnatural way and it has caused people to be uncomfortable with their own bodies. Or maybe you’re just shy. That’s okay.

And ya know what, it’s okay to be uncomfortable with other people’s breasts, too, it’s just not okay to expect them to make themselves and their child uncomfortable for your sake.

I’m done with my soapbox, but I bet you’re not. Go ahead. That’s what the comments are for. 😉

 

*names changed to protect the  innocent

Advertisements

Breastfeeding On The Battlefield (Literally?)

I said I wasn’t going to blog about breastfeeding. It’s the proverbial dead horse, drug out in the street being beaten with sticks. Then, right after I posted that Time magazine came out with their ridiculous cover an article on extended breast feeding and attachment parenting. The cover was ridiculous, not the article, I didn’t read it. And the cover was only absurd because it was so obviously staged to be as dramatic and shocking as possible. The mother looked angry, the boy looked bored. I still managed to get away with simply reposting a few clever blogs about other opinions on the subject. Then this.

These women are breastfeeding their babies while wearing a uniform, in case, like me, you are wondering what you are looking at that is supposed to be such a big damn deal. It’s the uniform.

I wanted to leave this one alone, too, but the comments are everywhere and they are beyond misguided and insulting. The Time article featured something a little harder for me to grasp, extended breast feeding, so it was easier to ignore. I don’t know the “right” age to stop breastfeeding and I am glad it’s not up to me to decide. I know I would have quit before my kids went to school but that is me and my family, I don’t know when anyone else should quit. My thoughts on extended breast feeding begin and end with, “I don’t care what anyone else does with their breasts as long as they aren’t doing it with my family.” Show ’em off for money, whip ’em out at parties, reserve them for mealtime until your kid is 10, none of it matters to me as long as you don’t breastfeed my kid or stick them in my boyfriend’s face.

This “controversy” though, annoys the hell out of me. I don’t know a more eloquent way to say it. Above is a photo of two women feeding three babies. We should all be commenting on the fact that she is feeding two babies at once, because I find that pretty cool, or that they look amazing even with very young children and careers. I mean in general, not their breasts, but I’m not going to claim I didn’t notice. There is a lot to be said about this picture and none of it has anything to do with what they are wearing. It has a lot more to do with what they are not wearing. They are not draping blankets over their babies or hiding in a restroom stall to feed them. To quote my wonderful sister in law:

“As I understand this article, the women were part of a larger group and were doing and wearing what they normally do and wear when nursing their children. The controversy can be distracting but it can also illustrate just how much more work needs to be done for this society to understand that the function of breasts is to feed a baby, no matter when, where or how, there is no reason to hide or be ashamed.”

So, suck it, haters. <— That’s all me, that’s really not her style.

I read several articles, forums and Facebook conversations about this photo last night. People are comparing breastfeeding in a military uniform to urinating or defecating in it. These would probably be the same people that think mothers should breastfeed in the bathroom.  Others suggest it is a disgrace to the country. I can handle these haters, not because I agree, but because I think they are morons and I have no reason to respond.

The statements that spurred a response were from intelligent, well spoken women, many were advocates of breastfeeding. The following are all real quotes from women that I had conversations with on Facebook in the last 24 hours.

“Women in the military have unique situations and positions we are put into. If we let the whole world see our boobs guess what the men will be thinking about instead of following orders or working together in combat.”

I am not suggesting you should breastfeed during combat.  If your breasts are so sexy that they are still distracting men from combat days, weeks, or even months later, then yes, please keep them covered. And seriously, if you know any men that see you breastfeeding and are suddenly too horny to follow orders there should be someone you can report them to. That is their problem and they may need help.

“And as far as men being distracted by breast feeding it’s different in the military world versus civilian.”

No. I was a married to a man in the military and even though I am a mere civilian, I have known a few others. They are all pretty equally fascinated, indifferent or disgusted about breastfeeding and it varies more by their maturity level and general feelings about children and women than it does by career.

If anything, men in the military should be more disciplined and better able to show restraint.

“And men by nature are always going to see boobs and think sex. Unfortunately it’s the world we live in and I don’t see that changing anytime soon. “

Not as long as we keep saying it’s okay for them to decided when and where we breastfeed because they can’t handle watching us nourish our babies without all the blood flowing to their wieners and subsequently losing the war.

“You can’t expect a man to see boobs and not get distracted from battle.”

What are all these babies doing on the battlefield?!?

“The military is no place for breastfeeding mothers, though. They should be at home.”

… making me a sandwich.

Why are we constantly lowering the bar for men? Why do we set the standard so low and how do we expect them to improve if we just assume they can’t even handle a little flesh? I remember when Stepson was about 4 and wouldn’t flush the toilet. A friend said, “Oh, boys do that, even grown up boys.”  The hell they do, not in my house. In my house everyone flushes the toilet, even if they have a penis. If you hold the opinion, “boys do that so it’s ok” then boys will think it is okay and continue to do it. I hold this in the same reguard as, “She had it coming, did you see how she was dressed?” It is the basic idea that men are not responsible for their actions, we are.

I have never been rendered useless at my job by a shirtless man, even if he was attempting to be sexy and not just feeding a baby. (I would probably find a hot, shirtless guy bottle feeding a baby way sexier than just posing, but that might just be me… I’d still get my job done.) It’s time we start sending that message, too. Men do actually have the same capacity for self control as women. Men, we expect you to protect eachother in battle, even if you did glance a little side boob yesterday.

And since we are on the topic of breast feeding… I think we can all agree breast is best. You already know the facts or you can Google it yourself. The controversy over public breastfeeding will probably take quite some time to die down but I’d like to see the breastfeeding controversy evaporate for one simple reason. I didn’t breastfeed and I’m tired of hearing how my children are somehow less than children who were breastfed. I have two teenage daughters that are not obese. They are gifted. They never get sick. the only reason they ever miss school is because I let them take a “mental health day” when they need one. I expect the boys to follow a similar pattern, or if not I expect it will have little to do with how they are fed. Breastfeeding didn’t work for our family but my formula fed babies are perfect.

There ya go, everything I never wanted to have to say about breast feeding. Be kind to eachother in the inevitable debate. May the odds be ever in your favor.

And GO:

What We Really Want For Mother’s Day: Batsmoke

I can’t speak for all mothers but I feel confident speaking for most stay at home or work at home (with children present) mothers on the subject of “Oh my god, I need a lifetime supply of Batsmoke.” Thank you Pregnant Chicken for giving it a clever, male friendly name.

http://www.pregnantchicken.com

My kids are pretty good kids. I mean, obviously, I think they’re awesome. Sharkboy put two triangle blocks together and called it a rhombus and I took about 20 pictures and sent them to various friends and family members. Little S has enough video footage to start his own YouTube channel. I dig my kids. I’m just saying, you know, behavior wise, they are pretty good. Little S likes to pull the cats’ tails and shriek a lot and pull all of the wipes out of the wipey box. Sharboy sometimes says, “I want milk,” followed quickly by, “No, I can’t want milk!” I sometimes feel like I’m taking part in a secret psychological exam. I’ve been blessed with unusual teenagers that are mostly compliant and that don’t sneak out of the house or steal things or if they do they are good enough at it not to get caught which sometimes is good enough, but even good teenagers can be exhausting. They “forget” important things. They procrastinate. Just, you know, stuff, that has to be dealt with.  I should probably mention at some point, we only have one vehicle. This is one of the choices we make to make our stay at home parent situation work. Maybe when this one is paid off we can afford insurance on a second one, but until then we prefer to spend any extra money on driving somewhere fun together instead of driving two seperate cars.  So, I spend all day with five little bitties and all evening with two little ones and two teens who generally disappear into their rooms and only come out to inform me they forgot something extremely important that needs dealt with immediately or to ask if we have any eggs because, “Oh yeah, my egg drop project is due at 6am tomorrow so can you drop me off at school around the same time you normally roll out of bed… and help me do my whole project?”

Sometimes my boyfriend comes home and I have an immediate need to buy… Chapstick, for the diaper bag. I like to have some everywhere, the moisturizing kind with SPF 15. Hand soap. We go through a lot. I need something, anything to get me out of the house. Toilet paper. Still trying to set the standard. So, I make my excuse, which I’m sure reeks of the very bullshit it is made of, but I don’t care and inevitably Sharkboy hears the word “go” and begins the hunt for the two year old holy grail, which is a matching pair of socks. There is no doubt in his mind that he is going because I am a sucker. He’s trapped in the same house with me, he needs out, too. This is a prime example of when a mother needs Batsmoke. I want to disappear into a cloud of smoke, no explanation, and come home tipsy and go to bed for a week, or for the evening at the very least.

Batsmoke would come in handy when I need a new bra, too. I can’t just look at the size and go buy a new one in this size. I don’t know if this problem is unique to me because I have a lot to work with, or if all women need to try on a dozen bras in a dozen sizes to find the right one, but either way, this is not a kid friendly activity. I would like to just get up in the morning, realize my need for a bra, and go purchase one. I have been a mother my entire adult life and I do not remember what it feels like to get up and do what I want without first making sure everyone else has what they need.  Teenagers need rides. So many rides. Infants and toddlers need supervision. Men have needs. Not those needs. There is ductwork to be done on the addition and paperwork at the bar and a hundred other things that are also not kid friendly. Sometimes just getting people to commit to a time frame makes me want a nap… that I can’t take because everyone else needs something first. This is when I want to disappear into a cloud of smoke, no explanation, and come home tipsy and go to bed for a week, or for the evening at the very least. In a new bra.

My Batsmoke wish has conditions, though. First of all, I want it all guilt free. No one, not even the bitsy baby, is ever allowed to give me any amount of grief for needing a break. Next, no reciprocation should be expected. Everyone else has Batsmoke already, its called, “a life outside the house.” Last, but definitely not least, I expect to return from my sabbatical to find the house and children in at least as decent of a condition as I left them in. Diapers changed, meals on time, dinner somewhere other than on the floors and counter, that kind of stuff.

I had intended to write a list of things women really want for Mother’s Day but I feel Batsmoke covers it. I’d like to take a shower whenever I want. I wash the towels, after all. Six people, one bathroom, you do the math. I used to look forward to the weekends because I had the idea that I would get to be the first person to take a shower on Saturday. I would get up early with Sharkboy, who was just a Sharkbaby then, (or more likely we would startle awake after a restless night on the couch when a demon hellcat pounced on us in search of his morning meal) and feed him and change him and get him ready for the day. I was generally covered in baby sweat and spit up because Sharkbaby had an upset tummy for the first year of his life. There is no greater feeling than a long hot shower after spending the evening insane. I’d hear my boyfriend coming up the stairs and get ready to hand Sharkbaby over, only to have him breeze past with a freshly washed towel over his shoulder and say, “I’m going to take a quick shower…”

I’m just saying, if the judge were a mother, I wouldn’t get jail time.

Then of course, teenagers have plans so they need showers and rides and there is paperwork at the bar and eventually I have to throw a tantrum to get in the damn shower. This is when I need Batsmoke. I want to disappear into a cloud of smoke, no explanation, and come home tipsy and go to bed for a week, or for the evening at the very least. Clean.

If you are thinking right now that you want or need something other than Batsmoke for Mother’s Day, might I suggest a nice gift basket from Bath And Body Works? That is, after all, what you get the woman who already has it all.

Macaroni For Dinner

I always say I don’t like to cook but that’s a lie. I enjoy cooking and I absoluely love it when I create something that my kids like eating. It’s cooking dinner on time either before or after a 45 minute commute with two young children hanging on the baby gate sobbing for food and attention and two teenagers needing papers signed and tape for a project and permission to log on to Facebook that makes me want to order Dominos every single day. And night. And do they have breakfast pizza?

Worse than cooking in a house full of kids, though, is cleaning up the mess made from cooking. So many dishes. Pots and pans and spatulas and serving spoons and plates and seriously, can’t you just eat with your fingers? We’re out of forks. At the end of the day you could eat off of my floor, not because it’s so clean but because there is enough food down there to create a meal. Don’t worry, I’ll clean it up… eventually.

So, it’s easier just to say I don’t like cooking. It’s even easier to heat up some chicken nuggets, steam a bag of broccoli and cut up a banana and call it done. It takes less than 10 minutes to make and less than 10 minutes to clean up if you don’t count banana goo removal from the baby’s hair.

I’m at peace with this. When The Barkeep is home he really does enjoy cooking and I’m here to entertain the kids and field any questions about where to find paper or watching Mighty Machines. They’re getting a variety of different foods and I always cover all the food groups. Sure, better meals are being served somewhere but next door to them a parent is serving McDonald’s. I don’t consider myself above the McDonald’s mom, though, she probably has immaculate floors.

Some time after dinner is served and the teenagers are forced to load the dishwasher and I find the broom, I like to get back online and search the internet for advice on potty training and smart mouth teenagers. The internet is full of amazing advice and information and useful tips. You could spend days reading about just one topic, like potty training or healthy meal ideas. I like to pin these things to Pinterest so the next time I come home tipsy and don’t feel like sleeping yet I have something to read. The internet is also full of other moms looking for information and tips. We sometimes like to gather in communities, like message boards or Facebook groups.

A weird thing happens when people gather online. If you put a mostly polite and sensible group of mothers together in a real life situation there will be mostly polite and sensible conversation. There may be some passive aggressive cattiness or raised eyebrows, but it generally stays civil. Put that same group of women on an internet message board and suddenly you have the world’s most renowned expert on potty training and breast feeding, her sister Dr. Google and their BFF Snarky McSnarkbritches. If you have kids over 6 months old and you’ve spent any time online you have met them, sometimes entire groups of them.

I’m sure by now they have told you you are poisoning your precious child with Kraft Macaroni and Cheese. That’s why I’m here, to set the record straight. My parents occaisionally served me macaroni and cheese throughout my childhood and I am still here to tell you about it. It was delicious and I survived. I also drank kool-aid and ate potato chips and *gasp* hot dogs. There are worse things you can feed your kids. My baby eats carpet fuzz and he’s made it all the way to 10 months old.

I plan to blog about a lot of different stuff, not just parenting and kids, but I wanted to start with a theme that is on my mind a lot. Mom shaming? The Mommy Wars? Call it what you want, I call it a bunch of insecure women trying to make other women just as insecure in some pointless attempt to bolster their own self esteem. You know what actually bolsters your self esteem? Helping. Try it.

Nap is over. I’m going to give the kids a special treat. Cake! Not only cake, but yesterday it was a boob cake. Mmm boobies. And that is as close as I’m ever going to get to talking about the breastfeeding debate.