Why do strangers care how I feed my kid?

PixieCurlPixieCurl Posts: 5,656Registered Users
I was at Sam's Club yesterday, and there were a couple of older gentlemen behind me in line. They were commenting on how Solomon was so cute, asked how old he was, and were telling me about their grandchildren. I was buying 4 gallons of milk and 2 of chocolate milk and made a joke to the cashier about how it's scary that all that is just for me and my husband. As I was finishing up, one of the gentlemen asked me if he drinks formula or milk. I was caught a little off guard because I didn't know people really give formula past a year... I said "Just milk". He asked "1%?" and I was REALLY caught off guard. I said "Breastmilk, so... whole!" (with a smile) and the guy totally didn't know what to say. At least he didn't say anything nasty, but I could tell he thought it was crazy.

Then I went to David's Bridal to try on a dress for my sister's wedding... and I won't even get into what she said when I mentioned Sol might still be nursing when she gets married (he'll be just under 2). That's a whole 'nother thread.

I just can't figure out why people give a damn how I feed my kid. It's not like I'm asking them to breastfeed him. And he's only 16 months, so it's not even like he's really that old to still be nursing (although even if he were 4, it still wouldn't be their business).
Faith, 3Aish redhead
Mama to two wild superheroes and a curly-headed baby boy :love5:

Comments

  • KaiaKaia Posts: 8,815Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    We're giving formula past a year because I don't have any breastmilk and Dylan's consumption of solids is just abysmal. He gets some cow milk, but cow's milk doesn't have the same breakdown of nutrients since it's meant for a huge animal that grows very quickly.

    But yeah, I don't know why people care. I get weird stares if I ever mention I want to un-wean Dylan when the baby is born and I have milk again. I never bring it up myself either, I only say anything when they ask when I plan on taking away the bottle and formula, to which my answer is when I can replace it with breastmilk again. People are just shocked that I'm wanting to ruin a good thing (having him weaned already). Whatever. Their babies aren't as cool as mine. :tongue6:
    *Poster formerly known as Bailey422*

    Here's all you have to know about men and women: women are crazy, men are stupid. And the main reason women are crazy is that men are stupid. ~ George Carlin
  • CynaminbearCynaminbear Posts: 4,476Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    My sister told me to just start saying, "Then it's a good thing you aren't me." Or something to that effect. I'm not sure why people feel that need to interfere with other people's lives, especially strangers. What does it matter to them? Maybe that's a great question to ask them, if you feel like engaging them. It's also a good opportunity to educate them. Too bad if they don't want to hear it, they opened the door with their intrusive questions.
    There's no such thing as global warming. Chuck Norris was cold so he turned up the sun.
  • PixieCurlPixieCurl Posts: 5,656Registered Users
    Kaia, that totally makes sense. Sol's appetite for solids isn't much either so I definitely wouldn't be giving him JUST cow's milk if he wasn't nursing. And I think it's awesome that you want to try nursing him again once #2 is born.

    What my sister actually said to me was "He's going to be almost 2 years old! If you nurse him until he's 2 I'm going to totally make fun of you." I just said "Well, he might be" but I always think of the better thing to say after the fact. I should have just said "Why?" (and if she says because it's weird, then just say "Why?" etc. etc. She's the type to fumble over her words if she gets put on the spot.) Cyn, I also like the idea of just asking why it matters to them. I should have just said "Why do you care? I'm not asking you to nurse him until he's 2." I've also made a huge effort to never act judgemental toward her about her own parenting choices, which are very different from my own. She's usually good about doing the same for me, but I think she was kind of shocked at the thought of a 2-year-old breastfeeding.
    Faith, 3Aish redhead
    Mama to two wild superheroes and a curly-headed baby boy :love5:
  • iris427iris427 Posts: 6,002Registered Users
    Ugh, Pixie, how frustrating. I haven't gotten too many breastfeeding comments yet but I plan to nurse for a while too. People in our society seem very ignorant about the benefits of long-term breastfeeding and the fact that it is normal in much of the world and has been for all of human history. Just remember that they aren't as knowledgeable about breastfeeding as you. In our society where breasts are so sexualized, they probably think it is harmful to breastfeed that long and in their heart probably just want what is best for Sol.

    But you're his mama and you know what is best, not them! :)
    3027585431_55b6195e50_s.jpg3028374752_0df4d81a1b_s.jpg3028422696_8dcef38baa_s.jpg
    TickerTicker.aspx?&TT=bdy&TT1=bdy&CL=29&CT=&CG=F&O=m_nestbirds&T=t_b14&D=20080913&M1=&D1=2009&T2=&T1=Baby+Iris&CC=0&CO=&step=5&radio=A
  • CynaminbearCynaminbear Posts: 4,476Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    iris427 wrote: »
    Ugh, Pixie, how frustrating. I haven't gotten too many breastfeeding comments yet but I plan to nurse for a while too. People in our society seem very ignorant about the benefits of long-term breastfeeding and the fact that it is normal in much of the world and has been for all of human history. Just remember that they aren't as knowledgeable about breastfeeding as you. In our society where breasts are so sexualized, they probably think it is harmful to breastfeed that long and in their heart probably just want what is best for Sol.

    But you're his mama and you know what is best, not them! :)

    Our society as a whole isn't very knowledgeable about breastfeeding because for more than half a century doctors and their opinions were worshiped. They said it was bad, so it was bad. If a mother had any kind of issue with breastfeeding, or if a baby had any problem at all, breast feeding and the mother were blamed. The mother was told to put the baby on formula; so-called science was the answer. In the 1940s my grandmother was told she didn't make enough milk, switch to formula. She thought the doctor knew best and switched. In the late 1960s and early 70s my mother was the only woman in the whole maternity ward to nurse her children, all three times she gave birth. She's the reason I breastfed all of my children (and any future children); she was the example I needed.
    Fortunately, more and more people are recognizing the benefits of breastfeeding. The challenge now is with societal dependence on dual-incomes and long commutes to work, mothers aren't able to breastfeed for long after maternity leave. If a mother is committed to pumping, and her employer provides a private place to do that, the separation and stress cause too many problems. It's still odd to see a child over 6 months breastfeeding.
    There's also the rush to put a baby on solid foods earlier and earlier, which also interrupts the breastfeeding pattern. Which in turn also contributes to babies being weaned earlier.


    What I find interesting is the mothers who choose to bottle feed their babies also are subject to the intrusive questions and judgments form strangers.
    Maybe it has nothing to do with what or how you're feeding your baby, but that we're a society of busy-bodies. We all know what's best for everyone else. :toothy8:
    There's no such thing as global warming. Chuck Norris was cold so he turned up the sun.
  • ruralcurlsruralcurls Posts: 2,574Registered Users
    Generally speaking, strangers probably don't care how you feed your kid. My hunch is they were probably just trying to make conversation, especially since they were older gentlemen. They probably had no real idea what they were talking about, just talking to talk,

    I don't know what it is, but in our case older gentlemen are the worst. They follow us around, and once, someone gave my kids money for no reason.

    With strangers, I find it best to just stick with generic, mainstream answers, I am not going to explain myself to someone I don't know. It is just easier that way. I know you said you were caught off guard, I probably would have been, too.

    Your sister, well let's save that for the "whole 'nother thread."icon12.gif

    Kaia, I am sorry. icon9.gif That stinks people are giving you a hard time. I love how people ask a question, and don't like the answer you give them. Why ask? That is a really good idea to "unwean" after the baby comes.
  • cosmicflycosmicfly Posts: 1,814Registered Users
    I'm not sure about that either. Aidan's only 7 months old and people are surprised that he's still nursing. As far as his other food intake, I do mostly baby led solids (he has cereal with formula and fruit at daycare to make sure he gets enough milk during the day but otherwise he has table food). He eats lots of solids (I have to cut him off to his dismay, I want to make sure he gets enough milk), so I think it's especially important that he gets his breastmilk of that makes sense.

    I am no longer pumping at work- there's no type of accommodation for me and it's such a hassle. I did it while he was tiny and I felt strongly about avoiding formula if possible. The fact is though if I was not working, he'd probably not have any formula, just breastmilk.

    And I'm sure we all know this, but people will have an opinion on anything and everything to do with how you parent your child(ren). Best to take what you nee from it and ignore the rest.
  • PixieCurlPixieCurl Posts: 5,656Registered Users
    ruralcurls wrote: »
    With strangers, I find it best to just stick with generic, mainstream answers, I am not going to explain myself to someone I don't know. It is just easier that way. I know you said you were caught off guard, I probably would have been, too.

    Yeah if I'd had time to think I probably would have just said "Whole milk". It would be true, since I didn't specify whole cow's milk.
    Faith, 3Aish redhead
    Mama to two wild superheroes and a curly-headed baby boy :love5:
  • nynaeve77nynaeve77 Posts: 7,135Registered Users Curl Novice
    People are so nosy, Pixie. Sol is obviously healthy and happy, and that's all that matters!
    "Maybe Lucy's right. Of all the Charlie Browns in the world, you're the Charlie Browniest."--Linus, A Charlie Brown Christmas


    My fotki: http://public.fotki.com/nynaeve77/
    Password: orphanannie
  • sarah42sarah42 Posts: 4,034Registered Users
    Kaia wrote: »
    I get weird stares if I ever mention I want to un-wean Dylan when the baby is born and I have milk again.

    Is this possible? I thought of it when Oliver was born and Connor was about 18 months old. Connor showed zero interest in the breast, so I didn't try to nurse him. But a few times when I've had extra expressed milk, I mixed it in with his regular cow's milk in his sippy cup. I figure, it must be good for him.
    ehLB.jpg
  • KaiaKaia Posts: 8,815Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    Toddlers who wean voluntarily don't generally come back to the breast, but Dylan was cut off rather abruptly and without his "consent." This is one of the reasons we're keeping him on the bottle for now, so he doesn't forget how to suck. I also nurse him to sleep sometimes, basically with him using me as a pacifier, so I know he still knows how to do it. During the day, he bites me, but I think that's only because there's no milk. That's when our biting problem really started, because he was getting frustrated over not enough milk.
    *Poster formerly known as Bailey422*

    Here's all you have to know about men and women: women are crazy, men are stupid. And the main reason women are crazy is that men are stupid. ~ George Carlin
  • cosmicflycosmicfly Posts: 1,814Registered Users
    All of my kids have been both breast and bottle fed and neither of the older two were close to voluntary weaning at 12 months. I don't forsee Aidan being voluntarily weaned then either- I may wean him from the breast to preserve my sanity (whole other thread there), but I won't revoke the bottle as well. I'm still not sure why 12 months is supposed to be the magic weaning time.
  • deezee02deezee02 Posts: 1,509Registered Users
    For the same reason when I was bottle feeding every one gave the opinion that I should BF.

    Everyone has an opinion and everyone wants to give it.
    58eCm4.png
    SCxkm4.png

    Come swag with me!
  • mad scientistmad scientist Posts: 3,530Registered Users
    deezee02 wrote: »
    For the same reason when I was bottle feeding every one gave the opinion that I should BF.

    Everyone has an opinion and everyone wants to give it.

    Absolutely. I've think Moms FFing young babies get the most judgemental looks/comments of anyone.

    I know I've said it before, but I've never run into negative comments about breastfeeding, either from family or strangers. Or maybe I'm just don't notice. I've also run into more and more women, just randomly, who are nursing well into the 2nd year.

    Pixie - it sucks when people comment on things they have no business in. Your sis was out of line. The old guys in the store.... its sounds like they were just making conversation.
  • Yes, Still PaulaYes, Still Paula Posts: 485Registered Users
    Wow...it's really none of their business, and they simply should leave it at that YOU are your child's parent, not them.

Leave a Comment

BoldItalicStrikethroughOrdered listUnordered list
Emoji
Image
Align leftAlign centerAlign rightToggle HTML viewToggle full pageToggle lights
Drop image/file