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would you attend a family event where you're not 'allowed' to nurse?

post #1 of 53
Thread Starter 
A part of my in-laws family informed me last year that I am only welcome at their evens/parties if I find a place to hide out if I need to nurse. The incident of me nursing without a cover (but with a modest undershirt and tee-shirt on top and NO boobage was shown) happened at my nephew's 2nd b-day party. We have not done anything with my brother in law and his wife's family since then. However, his 3rd birthday is this weekend. We were invited and DD is excited about it. but, I am not sure I should take DD2. She is 17 months old but is still unable to eat or drink properly so she HAS to nurse (we are working with and occupation therapist and nutritionist to fix the problems but that's a whole different thing). I don't know how long the party is but I do know it is an hour and a half away. AND I will be there with my 3 year old, my 17 month old and a 17 month old I babysit, so "hiding-out" is not an option .
So do I go and just tell DD2 no she can't nurse the whole time? Or do DD2 and I stay home?
post #2 of 53
Well, that sucks. On the one hand, I'd like to be principled, but on the other hand, the principle of family ties is more important. On the OTHER hand, your DD cannot eat or drink anything but breastmilk, right? I think what I'd do is e-mail and say, Look, I'm working on this with the doctor but baby still is not taking food, so will there be a room where I can nurse her AND watch the other toddler who's coming? Sorry to make a fuss, but that's my life right now. And then leave your 3yo with the other kids.

Is that possible?
post #3 of 53
Could you do something else fun that day with DD? I wouldn't go where I wasn't allowed to FEED my child. That is just wrong.
post #4 of 53
No way, no how. You aren't even "allowed" to feed your baby? I'm sorry but I wouldn't want to socialize in any capacity with people that feel they could dictate that. Family or not. That's just over the top, beyond rude.
post #5 of 53
I wouldn't go and I'd write them a letter explaining why you will not attend. "Rude" doesn't begin to describe the way these people are treating you and you don't deserve it, nor should you be expected to jump through any hoops to be able to feed your child.
post #6 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by EdnaMarie View Post
I think what I'd do is e-mail and say, Look, I'm working on this with the doctor but baby still is not taking food, so will there be a room where I can nurse her AND watch the other toddler who's coming? Sorry to make a fuss, but that's my life right now. And then leave your 3yo with the other kids.
so eloquent! I would have just laughed in their face when the told me I wasn't allowed" to nurse. Next time they come to your house, they are only allowed to eat on the padio, not at the table with everyone else.
post #7 of 53
No.No.No.
No. Absoutely not. If I had to hide away, starve my child, or get a babysitter to watch my child because I couldnt nurse at a TODDLERS birthday party, then NO I wouldnt go. I dont think family ties are so important that you should have to budge at all about how you feed your baby.We arent talking about a little difference in parenting methods here, we are talking about how your DD survives. Also, I would have my DH have a serious conversation with his brother about respect and the fact that if they value a relationship with you, they shouldnt make you hide to feed your child. I would not go, I would be pissed if DH went without me because I would expect his support 100%.
post #8 of 53
I wouldn't go, i would email and tell them i was surprised they accidentally invited me, since they don't welcome me and my baby in their company. But then, i am an angry lady when it comes to these things!
post #9 of 53
family ties to people that off-base just wouldn't be that important to keep, IMO. i would either go and nurse where i pleased (and have some fairly sharp words for anyone who had a problem with it i.e. why aren't all the other kids being sequestered into private rooms so no one sees cake going into their mouths?) or not go at all. i tend to be a bit more private when nursing at family events anyway, things can get loud and crowded, and my baby eats better when she has a little space, but i certainly don't go off into another room unless i'm tired too, or its convenient... i usually just find a slightly out of the way armchair. but yeah, i'd go and just pretend no one had said anything to me last time, and do my regular thing.
post #10 of 53
no. they should value family ties as well, right? My dad used to be uncomfortable with me nursing in the same room. He would always insist that I stay put, and he'd go somewhere else.
post #11 of 53
I wouldn't go unless it could be worked out. And I'd probably keep future contact with them very limited, even when I was no longer breastfeeding.
post #12 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by rainbowmoon View Post
No way, no how. You aren't even "allowed" to feed your baby? I'm sorry but I wouldn't want to socialize in any capacity with people that feel they could dictate that. Family or not. That's just over the top, beyond rude.
I completely agree with this.
post #13 of 53
No way, man. I wouldn't go. It's not even just how rude they're being to you. Basically, they're telling your poor DD she's not allowed to eat while she's there, and that's awful. I believe in family ties-- I put up with all kinds of crazy crap from my own family, in order to protect the relationships my kids have with them. But telling my kid she can't eat, because they have some kind of wacky issues, is more than I'd be willing to take.

That said, if I was really wanting to not miss it, I'd go, and nurse anyway, and if they confronted me about it, I'd make a stand and refuse to stop. Let them throw me out. That may not be your style, of course, but I don't think you should have to feel like you're doing anything wrong in this situation.
post #14 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by texmati View Post
no. they should value family ties as well, right? My dad used to be uncomfortable with me nursing in the same room. He would always insist that I stay put, and he'd go somewhere else.
Your dad is AWESOME!!! Thats great that he realized it was his issue to deal with and not yours!

OP - Honestly, if your babe can only drink BM, I would email like a pp said, and ask if there is a place that you can nurse and watch the other child your dd's age.

If you only want to go if you can nurse out in the open, you might either call, or email, and explain that your dd2 has a medical need to nurse, that she can't yet eat solid foods, reassure them that you will be as discreet as possible, but that you really can't attend unless they are ok with you nursing in public. Tell them you really want to go, and if they still insist that you can't nip there, that you hope your nephew has a great party, but that you'll have to decline.

I don't see this as a reason to cut people out of your life. I just don't think NIP is that big of a deal. It's really hard to know when we'll need family support in the future, and so I'm hesitant to cut ties with family over something that I think is very small in the scheme of things. If this family is otherwise very toxic for other reasons, and they aren't people that you want to be around even without the NIP issue, then by all means cut ties. Thats your choice entirely, and only you know the whole situation.
post #15 of 53
No.

-Angela
post #16 of 53
I probably would never attend anything in their home again, if it were me. I'd be on my territory or neutral territory. You shouldn't hold a grudge, but you should also stand your own ground. They've shown that they will try to control you in their home, so don't go there. If it's not breastfeeding, it'll be something else.
post #17 of 53
I'd explain that my child was not on solids and that we are working with a therapist to get her to take solids because of issues she has. We are not babying or infantalizing her. (whether you want to explain the issues in detail to your family is up to you) And I'd nurse there anyhow. Of course my family tried bullying me into hiding three children ago. Didn't work. I do what I want anyhow. Are they skeeved at the idea of a toddler nursing because "she's too 'big' for that"?

Feed your baby before going, get there a bit "early" and give her a feed before the party (if you want to find a place to relax, fine, if not, *shrug*, feed anywhere) and she may be having so much fun it becomes a non-issue. Then again, you may enjoy having an "excuse" to take a break from the festivities. The bigger issue may be people trying to feed her cake and other goodies.
post #18 of 53
It's been a year since they said that? Then I'd go, nurse when needed and where needed, and be prepared to leave in high dudgeon if they said anything.
post #19 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by rainbowmoon View Post
No way, no how. You aren't even "allowed" to feed your baby? I'm sorry but I wouldn't want to socialize in any capacity with people that feel they could dictate that. Family or not. That's just over the top, beyond rude.
I agree. I'm all about family. I have a huge family but I just can not imagine someone that cared about us saying something like that. I guess I should be lucky my family is very pro-breastfeeding? Dh's family is *not* and absolutely abhor breastfeeding. I just have ignored them over the years and now they don't care less about it and even play with baby or will be in the room if I'm breastfeeding. If it was me, I would either not go, or show up and breastfeed and tell them to stuff it.
post #20 of 53
Yep, I'd go, and I'd nurse wherever and whenever needed. If you get "bounced" from the party, then that's the time to stop contact.
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