9.23.2010

Kindly get your hand off my boob, please.

The following Guest Post (Yay! Yay! Yay!) from Alana broke my heart. I've grown to know and love this girl recently and if anyone came NEAR her to bother her or offend her or grab her boob I would be first in line to go all berserker on them and they better watch out! But then it also had me laughing while I cringed (which kinda hurt my face) and then nodding and mumbling, "yeah, yeah, yup!" to myself and then laughing again. I love Alana (you may know her as @Mamainlalaland on Twitter and if you don't already, go follow this mama, stat!) she is the yang to my yang, we only disagree about 2 things: olives and cats, and I am so excited to share her awesomeness with you now!
- Lindsey

Let me first say a big *muah* and thank you to Lindsey for asking me to be a guest blogger. I am new to this blog world so this is a huge honor for me. I adore Lindsey on so many levels so I am beyond happy that she asked me to come into her space!

Becoming a mama has been more than I have ever expected on so many levels. The pure and utter joy and happiness on a daily basis is indescribable. That little face of his trying to take it all in. The world is so new to them. So pure and so kind. Becoming a mom is one of the best things I have ever done. The trust my Baby D has for me is beyond what I would ever have for someone. The smiles, laughs, babbling and now the almost crawling is amazing. Every single milestone is better than the next. I am working on convincing the hubs we need another! Baby fever is in the air and I only have an 8 month old. I am nuts, I know.


Along with all the fantastic moments are the not so fantastic (hello sleepless nights and major poop). I have read so many posts lately about the constant barrage of advice, on and off Twitter, to moms. I am all for advice, unsolicited or not, to an extent. I have never done this mom thing before. Now whether I choose to take your advice and run with it, OR thank you politely and think in my head you are effing crazy is my business, not yours. You don't live in my house. You don't get up in the middle of the night with my baby when he is teething or not feeling well. <----- (This blows) You don't make all of his food for him and worry over allergies to things. You don't take him to the doctor for his shots and leave in tears because you are afraid he will remember that visit and hold it against you. (I can be a bit neurotic. I am working on this!) So while the advice is often appreciated, it sometimes is so bizarre, off the wall, straight up crazy and in those cases I can only think of what my mom always said, "if you don't have something nice to say, don't say it at all."

Exhibit A: While taking my then 4 month old to the post office in April while it was 70 degrees and sunny in Los Angeles, I was told by an older woman that it was too cold for a baby to be outside. I smiled as if to say "Um ok! Thanks for that!" and went on my way. She followed me and continued with the whack advice saying I "really should have a jacket on the baby! He could get sick!" Word to your mother, you can't get sick from being cold. You get sick from germs which in this case could have very well happened considering she was all up in my baby's grill. So take your face outta my kid's and kindly mind your own business. It is 70 freakin degrees outside. It is not cold. It might be COOL, but it is NOT COLD. YOU, dear, have 3 layers of clothing on and are old. Maybe it is cold for you but not for us! Now get!

Exhibit B: I had a VERY hard time nursing my baby. This brought so much depression and tears to my life. It was so, so tough and those that can breastfeed and produce enough milk are my heroes. Seriously! I hope with the second baby I can do it and not have so many issues. Latching on was a huge problem and I got all the help I could. I had more lactation specialists handling my boobs in the first 2 weeks than I care to count. I did everything I could to help us both out. Eventually we had to supplement with formula because I wasn't producing enough milk and I have a baby that can EAT. He is big and can eat! We are saving pennies now for the teen years! I am sure he will be eating us out of house and home. (I am raising a future NBA star here) While at a certain clothing department store that happens to rhythm with Bordstom, I was in the mom's nursing area feeding my baby. Now I was already hesitant to go in there because I knew I was going to eventually feed him a bottle that I had with me. It had kind of become the trend with us. I was afraid of the looks I was going to get. I strategically placed myself away from others so I wouldn't feel uncomfortable if I had to do so. Sure enough he fussed over eating. He wasn't happy, he was crying, I was freaking, it got really hot in the room, and I was sweating. It was all too much! I pulled out the bottle. I wanted him to eat and stop crying and being unhappy so I could get the hell outta there. I was feeling trapped. The other moms were looking at me with sympathy all except for one. That one that has to ruin it for all the others. The one that feels as though she knows more than you about YOU and YOUR baby and she is going to make sure you know this. The one that probably took every single class out there before she had her baby so she could be prepared and dole our advice when she felt so inclined. (I took zero classes by the way!) Well here comes that mom making a beeline towards me. I smiled, she smiled, she gave me that look, and I knew what was coming.

"Let me help you out!" she says. "Let me help you with latching on."

Um...WHAT???? Help me out??? This is my boob thank you very much! I don't need your help and I don't need you grabbing it. Yes people, she wanted to help my Baby D latch on.

"Let me help him latch on properly because that is why he is upset. He isn't latching on the right way. I watched you struggle and want to help. This baby needs his mothers milk!" she continued.

"Um, thank you, I guess, but I'm good," I said in a quivering voice.


If I could have dropped kicked her right then and there I would have. I was mortified. I grabbed my bag, my bottle fed baby and bolted. I was so embarrassed. Everyone in that room witnessed the scene and I was in tears. I honestly felt like the most inadequate mother on the planet. I was so horrible at this mom thing that a stranger, not a lactation specialist, not my mom, not my best friend, felt the need to help me breastfeed my baby. I haven't been back to that store since. I am scarred for life and afraid I will see her again and it might get ugly!

I ran across an article after these 2 incidents and it hit home with me. CNN ran an article on the "Mom Mafia". That was it! That is who I ran into at the post office and in the bathroom at the department store. The "Mom freakin Mafia!" They were after me and out to get me. Instead of inviting me over for homemade marinara, cannolis, and Chianti, they took a hit out on me. They wanted to feed me to the fishes. They were Tony Soprano and Paulie!

Why is it that some moms can't support one another? Who made these "Mom Mafia" types the end all be all of mom advice? I just don't get the fact that we all can't be happy that we are on the amazing journey that only women (well except for that one guy who was on Oprah) get to experience. Instead of cutting each other down and making one another feel inadequate, why not share stories and HELPFUL advice. Not grab at someone's boob in a department store bathroom.

This is the hardest job on the planet and one I would never give up. I love every single second of it, good and bad. But I don't need others making me feel like I am not good at it, therefore doubting everything I do. I have an amazing mom and I try to be like her every single day. That is enough pressure I put on myself! I don't need it from strangers. Yes, I know I am in control of my own feelings and whether or not I let it get to me. I am trying really hard to get to a place where I can just take it for what it's worth and move on.

I'm sure you have been in my shoes one time or another. Hopefully not the boob part! Have you been approached by the "Mom Mafia?" Have they tried to put a hit out on you, too? How did you deal with it?

- Alana  Life On The Mom List

9 comments:

The Fearless Formula Feeder said...

OMFG. That story at "Bordstroms" is hilarious. And yet so horrific. And simultaneously unbelievable and sadly, depressingly, totally believable.

We've been talking on my blog lately about how the "mom mafia" (I love that!) is way worse in the online world than the real world, but obviously, we were wrong. I'm so sorry you had to endure that. But I'm really glad you had the wherewithal to realize how stupid this all is... I think a lot of new moms internalize things like that and are so freaked out about everything that they fail to see the idiocracy in people who get all up in their business...

Okay. By "a lot of new moms", I mean me, 22 months ago. But still. :)

Lindsay @ Just My Blog said...

I'm afraid I might have drop-kicked the woman. I am so sorry that you encountered the "mommy mafia" types so early in your motherhood. I just can't believe the audacity of some people to think it's okay to speak that way to a stranger...someone they know nothing of the trials and struggles that person has dealt with.

monkey-toes said...

Completely ridiculous! I find that everywhere - not just the mommy mafia in parenting, but in business too. Let's just support each other (figuratively, we don't need to personally support each others boobs, that's what bras are for)? Why do we get all Tonya Harding and want to take every other mama out at the knee caps? So immature. And you know what, we've gotta stop judging each other. Just because something works for one doesn't mean it works for everyone. Have more kids, then you'll see just how different they are!

You shoulda drop kicked her in the coochie. (scuse my Jersey Shore)

LOVE you ladies :)

Angie said...

**DISCLAIMER: This subject hits close to home for me, so I do apologize in advance, for the long comment and cant say preggo hormones may take over at any time.

I think this is an all too common problem. I was very young when I started my family and the advice came round the clock. I was pregnant at 19, married at 20, with a 5 year old step-daughter and a newborn. I come from a family of 5 siblings and I am the oldest.

I think people assumed because I was young that I didnt know what I was doing. Which may be true for a lot of young first time moms, but not me. I had a lot of trials in tribulations in my life growing up all of who had made me who I am today.

Much of the 7th grade is a blur to me. Not because I wasnt a good student ( I have always been an A+ student and honor roll!) but because it was the FIRST time my mom was diagnosised with breast cancer. I was only 12 or 13 at the time, my sister was 9 or 10 and my little brother was only 2 or 3 at the time.

I would get up and get my sister ready for school, walk her to school (lucky we lived in a nice good neighborhood) and then came home and took care of my mom and my little brother while my step-father was at work. My mom eventually got better and was in remission for a while. But taking care of my siblings prepared me to be a mom. Young or not.

5/6 years later my mom was diagnosised AGAIN with breast caner this time with a different stan and a more aggressive type of breast cancer. My freshman year of college, just met my husband at the time, and i quit school and my job to again take care of my siblings because at this time my mom was divorced from her husband. I was my moms cargiver, my younger siblings still in school and there was no none to help out.

When I had my son at 20 or even with my step-daughter I was in no wasy perfect or knew everything but I knew enough to ask for help when needed. I learned early on people are never short of giving advice even when not asked. And when you politely tell them "No Thank You" they get all bumb hurt and thier panties seems to get bunched in a place.


One of my new bff's is a young mother like I was is always asking for advice from me, which I have no problem telling her 'my experiences' and thats exactly how i leave it. I tell her what I did, how I did it or my thoughts but they are my trials and tribulations with my children and I leave her with her thoughts and to make her own decision. I dont want her to feel how I did when I had my first child. This is suppose to be a joyful occassion not one to be upset or stressed about.

***For all you Mommy Mafia members out there, there are much politer ways of asking if we need help or to offer advice rather then just tell us moms we are wrong and you know everything!

AND FOR THE RECORD:

I WOULD HAVE DROP KICKED HER IN THE COOCHIE, CUZ I AM A JERZY GIRL!!!!

Muaw!!

Angie
@Angienfred01

swank|mama said...

Wow, the nerve of that woman!! I took Lil J out 6 days after he was born and people thought I was crazy but he was content with being out and I needed to get out!

Fortunately, I haven't encountered any "mommy mafia" that's been worth remembering (my mind has been kind of out-of-whack since my pregnancy days anyways!) but I do have the odd "You should do this..." - mostly from family who probably only have the best intentions. I just smile, nod and tune them out.

Us mamas know what is best for our little ones. Nothing will ever change that! Sorry to hear that you had to endure that crazy person!

-Kristina
@swankmama

Sweet Harper said...

Okay A: 70 degrees is SOOOOO far from cold, and I speak from major experience here in MN! I will admit, I am actually tempted to tell some parents to uncover their children in Target. You see a crying and crabby baby with their full winter gear on and you know they are just steaming hot. However, I don't.

Okay B: That is just not okay and I struggled with breastfeeding my first too. He was a horrible breast feeder and many nights I was in tears by the last feeding. He was colicky and cried. A lot.

I am just so sad that this woman chose to do that to you. How about just striking up a convo and asking you about your baby...how old is he? where did you find that cute outfit? Those are just two suggestions that may have been better than the stunt she pulled. Sorry if she scarred you.

On a side rant, I mean note, Bordstrom is the ONLY place to nurse your baby at the Mall of America. Every other dept store's nursing area is just nasty. I wish there were more places that made it a priority to provide a comfortable and clean environment for women to feed and change their babies. That's all.

Great post Alana, thanks for sharing your and Baby D's stories!

Alana De Leon-Lott said...

Thank you guys so much for your comments and support! I had so much fun writing this post and telling my story! You girls are the best! xoxo

Liam's Mr. Mom said...

Great Post! We HAD a friend who was like that and all about the breastfeeding and "you should do it like this if you are smart"... It was horrible! She knew everything and drove my wife and I up the wall. We had to cut her off and we are not friends anymore. We were more friends with her husband anyways, but that is all history. Advice is great when it comes from the right people and in the right way, but this mommy mafia better leaves us real parents alone. Even so many other people ask us if my wife was breastfeeding? WTF? Why is it any of your business? My wife wasn't able to breastfeed either and it was already hard on her enough... Thanks for sharing and I'm your newest follower on your blog! Looking forward to read your next posts. Have a great day! :-)
Mr. Mom

SingleMamaAdventures said...

Loved this story, I was laughing and mad all at the same time. Unwanted parenting advice about the weather would of got ole grand'gums told off on the spot, and the woman who tried to grab your boob would still be washing her eyes out from the mace. Smh. Keep up the good work mama.