Boss/friend asked me to cover up at work... *gasp*! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 11 Old 10-13-2011, 10:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I work at an awesome indie, local mom-owned, kid-friendly coffee shop. The owner/my boss is a relatively new, yet very supportive and wonderful, friend of mine. I can bring baby to work with me. Awesome, right?

 

I've been nursing at the coffee shop for months. At first it was covered, but as I got more comfortable with nursing in public, and seeing that I was actually breaking some ground in our city by exposing people to NIP, I've started NIP uncovered. 

 

I never asked her how she felt about it/if she'd be ok with me doing it in the shop while at work. I just did it. Been working there for a month.

 

The other day I was in there hanging out, drinking green tea and eating a scone. I wasn't on the clock. There was a group of kids with an extracurricular activity meeting, and their parent chaperones. One of the 2 chaperones was a mother who breastfed both her children, a girl and a boy - she informed me of this before:

 

I started nursing DD. My friend/boss came up to me and asked me in a low voice to please cover up, and mumbled something about some parents looking over here or something to that effect (I didn't hear it clearly). I was stunned and didn't know what to say or do.

 

I've been so proud of myself and so involved about my new-found mission in life: to pave the way for other moms to be able to NIP in this city where I feel bottle-feeding is prevalent. I'd never been asked to cover before - but now I was being asked, and not by a cop or a bus driver or a restaurant manager - by my friend with the kid-friendly coffee shop! 

 

I went ahead and covered because I didn't want her to lose business. A bit later I asked her discreetly if one of the parents had been offended by my NIP. She said she wasn't sure. She said one of the little boys hanging out was looking at me out of curiosity, which caused the parents to look at what he was looking at. And she said, "you know how little boys can be". Then she said something like, "it's not so much that I care, but more that I'm just not even sure how I feel about it myself". 

 

She has a 5-year-old boy who hangs out at the coffeeshop when not in school. We're right by a school, so kids come in there all the time.

 

Could this be a lactivism opportunity?

 

I don't want to lose my job or the friendship that I have with her. 

 

I know that nursing should be about the baby and me and not anyone else's comfort and convenience, but I feel my activism is being challenged because I don't want to hurt her feelings or be pushy about mine.

 

At the same time, if she can come around to see the awesomeness and righteousness of NIP, wouldn't it be great? Also, if it's a kid-friendly coffee shop... it seems like it should really be BF supportive, right?

 

In our state, we have the right to BF in public and private, anywhere that a woman can be, public or private. How does NIP uncovered play into this?

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#2 of 11 Old 10-13-2011, 11:18 PM
 
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I don't know the answer but if it was me and i had a chance to bring my baby to work i would nurse happily covered in this instance.


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#3 of 11 Old 10-14-2011, 10:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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well, yes, i'm very grateful i get to bring dd to work with me, and i think my boss is awesome for allowing it. i have thought about your suggestion. but then i wonder if i would do a disservice to the need for more acceptance of BF and NIP by accepting that it's not my place to NIP uncovered while at my workplace. and for the time being, i probably will acquiesce until i have a better plan.

 

also, if anyone knows more about the law concerning this, i would love to read your info. there's no way i would take my friend to court or anything like that, but i feel i need to be informed if i want to continue lactivating (lol).
 

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Originally Posted by Emilie2 View Post

I don't know the answer but if it was me and i had a chance to bring my baby to work i would nurse happily covered in this instance.



 

 

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#4 of 11 Old 10-15-2011, 12:53 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Emilie2 View Post

I don't know the answer but if it was me and i had a chance to bring my baby to work i would nurse happily covered in this instance.



I agree.
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#5 of 11 Old 10-15-2011, 07:11 AM
 
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playing devil's advocate... but it's possible that the owner IS supportive of NIP, etc.  but is not supportive of just you alone doing it...  because you're an employee and people can complain about you specifically and since she's your boss, she can "control" your behavior (making her responsible for you if you make someone "uncomfortable").  if it had been a random customer, it's really possible that she would not have asked that that person cover up, you know. 

(not that it makes it right..  but i've had friends be asked to do some pretty strange things by a boss.  like, not hug a spouse or something like that.  things that are super normal, but just not "work environment and employee doing them" kinds of stuff.) 

as to how to approach it... i personally would be so overjoyed to have my kid at work, i probably would cover up or go "discreetly" away if that's what was required to be able to have my kid at work-- but in any other context i'd be pretty unhappy and mouthy about it.


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#6 of 11 Old 10-17-2011, 10:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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so, when you say me "alone doing it", you think if some other non-employee moms did it, it would make it "ok" for me to?

 

i did think about the fact that i'm an employee... but i wasn't working on the day that this happened, i was just hanging out there. but, it is a small, locally-owned coffee shop, so it is somewhat intimate and we have lots of regulars who are getting to know me. so i can see your point. and yeah, there's lots of places that have policies about what's work-appropriate.

 

add to that that we're located right across the street from a school, so about half the clientele are parents and kids and teachers. not that that justifies it. i think that's just the group that should be supportive about BF, but life is so ironic.

 

well, the other issue is what she said, "you know how little boys can be"... ? i'm not sure i do... not sure what she meant by that. but if she meant their natural curiosity about an activity they probably have never observed before with a part of the body they are not privy to... i think that's part of the reason NIP is important... males need to be normalized to the practice of BF if it's to succeed in this society.

 

anyway, also my friend hasn't clarified if i'm never to BF uncovered at work... maybe her comment that day was meant as a hint? i think for now i'll BF covered at work and continue my lactivism around town in other ways.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by hildare View Post

playing devil's advocate... but it's possible that the owner IS supportive of NIP, etc.  but is not supportive of just you alone doing it...  because you're an employee and people can complain about you specifically and since she's your boss, she can "control" your behavior (making her responsible for you if you make someone "uncomfortable").  if it had been a random customer, it's really possible that she would not have asked that that person cover up, you know. 

(not that it makes it right..  but i've had friends be asked to do some pretty strange things by a boss.  like, not hug a spouse or something like that.  things that are super normal, but just not "work environment and employee doing them" kinds of stuff.) 

as to how to approach it... i personally would be so overjoyed to have my kid at work, i probably would cover up or go "discreetly" away if that's what was required to be able to have my kid at work-- but in any other context i'd be pretty unhappy and mouthy about it.



 

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#7 of 11 Old 03-17-2012, 06:44 AM
 
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It sounds like you've got a really good thing going on, especially since you've only been there a month. What kind of coffee joint let's you bring a kid to work? That's amazing. This country as a whole isn't ready to see your boob though. And you shouldn't be offended by your boss whispering to you because most bosses wouldn't tolerate your kid at work, or let your breast feeding go on as long as it has, on or off the clock. She's only trying to save customers and their children an awkward moment that requires an explanation later. Take your mission elsewhere. If you're a supporter of showing nip, take it away from where you work, because that's just weird. And a little selfish, too.
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#8 of 11 Old 03-17-2012, 09:33 AM
 
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Originally Posted by magickittymama View Post

It sounds like you've got a really good thing going on, especially since you've only been there a month. What kind of coffee joint let's you bring a kid to work? That's amazing. This country as a whole isn't ready to see your boob though. And you shouldn't be offended by your boss whispering to you because most bosses wouldn't tolerate your kid at work, or let your breast feeding go on as long as it has, on or off the clock. She's only trying to save customers and their children an awkward moment that requires an explanation later. Take your mission elsewhere. If you're a supporter of showing nip, take it away from where you work, because that's just weird. And a little selfish, too.


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#9 of 11 Old 03-17-2012, 09:34 AM
 
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Originally Posted by magickittymama View Post

It sounds like you've got a really good thing going on, especially since you've only been there a month. What kind of coffee joint let's you bring a kid to work? That's amazing. This country as a whole isn't ready to see your boob though. And you shouldn't be offended by your boss whispering to you because most bosses wouldn't tolerate your kid at work, or let your breast feeding go on as long as it has, on or off the clock. She's only trying to save customers and their children an awkward moment that requires an explanation later. Take your mission elsewhere. If you're a supporter of showing nip, take it away from where you work, because that's just weird. And a little selfish, too.

Yeah, that's for sure. That's why we have to have a lactivisim forum in the first place.

What exactly do you mean by saying that most bosses, "wouldnt let your breastfeeding go on as long as it has?"

I think your post is way out of line, and it's a reply to an old post. It seems like you went out of your way to make your first post something negative.

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#10 of 11 Old 03-17-2012, 11:28 AM
 
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Personally, I don't think covering up makes it any less activist.  It's still obvious what you are doing. 

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#11 of 11 Old 03-17-2012, 06:21 PM
 
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I agree with Young Frankenstein and Adaline's Mama, MagicKittyMama. Your post sounds somewhat like a judgment, not at all what I would expect from Mothering.com... 

Also, yeah... this was an old post.

 


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