AARGH...family stuff (very long rant) - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

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#61 of 208 Old 04-17-2006, 09:57 AM
 
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Um, have youpointed out that this isn't some "new-fangled" idea" Jesus was breastfed, in public, probably until he was AT LEAST 4-5 years old, probably more. I am a Christian nad have discreetly nursed my children in frotn of preachers, elders, deacons, church members, their children and families, with not a single word of rudness from anyone.

I am sorry youa re dealing with this.
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#62 of 208 Old 04-17-2006, 11:44 AM
 
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I just posted a thread in nursing beyond infancy about the SAME problem. I can't wait to get some responses because I am fed up with this problem. Good luck y'all!!!
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#63 of 208 Old 04-17-2006, 01:41 PM
 
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Here are some biblical references for you. This first one is my favorite.
Isaiah 66:11
For you will nurse and be satisfied at her comforting breasts; you will drink deeply and delight in her overflowing abundance."

Isaiah 66:12
For this is what the LORD says: "I will extend peace to her like a river, and the wealth of nations like a flooding stream; you will nurse and be carried on her arm and dandled on her knees.

I think these are used as a metaphor in this book but they are still nice references to nursing.

I took this out of context so you may wanna search and see what the whole context is before using it.
Lamentations 4:3
Even jackals offer their breasts to nurse their young, but my people have become heartless like ostriches in the desert.

Luke 11:27
As Jesus was saying these things, a woman in the crowd called out, "Blessed is the mother who gave you birth and nursed you."

Here's a reference to NIP.
Joel 2:16
Gather the people, consecrate the assembly; bring together the elders, gather the children, those nursing at the breast. Let the bridegroom leave his room and the bride her chamber.

And a verse that I think connects breasts and their proper use.
Genesis 49:25
because of your father's God, who helps you, because of the Almighty, who blesses you with blessings of the heavens above, blessings of the deep that lies below, blessings of the breast and womb.

Biblegateway.com is a great reference if you need more. There are many, mayn references to nursing in the Bible like it's commonplace. They don't say much about nursing as the subject but as it's just the thing to do. Which obviously at the time it was. If a womoan couldn't nurse, they had someone else do it. There was no option but the breast. There is nothing specific in scripture about the age a child is weaned but a historical search of the time period will show that extended nursing was the norm. Be wary, though, there are many scriptures in the Bible on breasts as sexual objects. So your FIL may rerference some of those so you may want to be prepared. The way I look at it. God is very efficient. He gives things multiple purposes. Breasts were designed for feeding our children. And even if you have several children and nurse them into school-age, the breastfeeding use of breasts is pretty short. And your dh has to look at them anyway. So I think God just decided to make them desirable as well as functional. Just my take on things. Hope this helps.

Jessica, mama to Emma, 7, Mattie, 5.5 and Lilly, 3 and someone new this Halloween-ish.

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#64 of 208 Old 04-17-2006, 02:27 PM
 
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Originally Posted by blessed
How sad.

I can't imagine but that an emotional and physical separation between your family and your child's grandparents can be anything other than harmful for everyone involved.

To be honest, the part that made me feel the most hurt and sad for your family was the 'gross' comment made in response to your FILs obviously heartfelt attempt to re-establish trust and connection. I sensed his discomfort and his very human need to try to defend the proposal he'd made, but with regards to the members of the family, I heard only love and a desire to make amends.

How much nicer if your family had been able to simply respond "I'm sorry. This is an important choice for us and we feel very strongly about upholding it. Naturally, it would make M feel very sad and isolated if we asked her to leave the family gathering each time we needed to provide nourishment for your grandchild.

Breastfeeding is a beautiful, natural and necessary act, and we feel saddened and confused about your discomfort. We would like to talk to you about this more, but in the meantime you should know that I would never ask my wife and daughter to exit our company in order for M to attend to K as any loving mother would. Please let us know if you feel that this is an arrangement which the two of you can be reasonably comfortable with."

It's a shame all that displaced anger about the drinking ended up in this discussion. Now there are multiple issues and affronts going on simultaneously. It will be very difficult to get back to a place where people trust each other with their feelings again.

I feel like I just witnessed the dissolution of a family.
Blessed I think kidspiration and her family brought up the drinking grandma to show that there are things going on in the family that make them uncomfortable but in the interest of family harmony have kept it to themselves. so to prove this point that their family needs to mind their own business,brought it up as an analogy. I think they were very respectful and put it in writing very eloquently. If you were in this very situation perhaps you would just go into another room, but they are standing up for themselves, which if we want to change nip views needs to happen more often or else they wll never change kwim?
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#65 of 208 Old 04-17-2006, 02:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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blessed-it would have been nice if our family could have resolved all of this in the way that you describe. we are so on edge right now, as we have yet to hear from il's.

i agree it is unfortunate that so many other issues got tangled up in this debate, but the take home message from our perspectives is that a lot of other family members are doing truly horrible, cruel things, and they're going to get up on their high horse and give us a hard time about the way that i nourish my child? and make me responsible for other people's comfort, when truly my singular and utmost responsibility should be to take care of my child. we felt attacked and they persisted in trying to coerce me to do something that is very much against my principles. i should mention that fil had called dh first before this email exchange ensued, and during their discussion, dh was very clear with fil that this would become a hot issue and to broach the subject very carefully with me. basically, he didn't heed this advice and came after us like gangbusters...what else were we to do? honestly, i think we conducted ourselves with class, considering the way that we were immediately placed on the defensive.

sapphire-chan...yes, i have been a very discreet nip'er if the few times we've seen them, even though this is the first we had heard of their discomfort, i think that i sensed it on an instinctive level before and was very very very careful around them. if they only knew the way i usually nip, i mean, i don't flash (not that there's anything wrong with that ) but i'm just really matter of fact about it, and depending upon circumstances i might use a blanket momentarily during latch-on.

pjlioness and joyofbirth...thanks for the biblical references. it's a great start though i know i've got a lot of research to do on the subject.

eastonsmom...i checked out your posts, sorry you're going through similar things.
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#66 of 208 Old 04-17-2006, 02:44 PM
 
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You're completely within your rights and being reasonable to let them know that you will not be abiding by the suggestion to leave the room to nurse. I thought the discussion that both you and your husband had with regards to this topic were very fair.

At some point though the talk degenerated into a little bit of slinging blows - things brought up just to hurt. That stuff is so hard for people to get past later on, after the storm has blown over.

Do you think you could be assertive without being defensive or angry, I wonder? Sometimes that's not possible because hurt feelings run too deep, I know.

I hate to see you and your daughter at the center of a family dispute that - it seems to me - has more to do with past hurts and longtime grudges than with the actual issue of breastfeeding.
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#67 of 208 Old 04-18-2006, 01:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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blessed-this family debate has ended up the way it has primarily because of the way it was presented to us. we were very much put on the defensive by the rest of the family, and with emotions running high and very little time to respond, i really felt we did our best to not sling mud too much. i wish i can be 'zen' as much as possible, but i am human. not only that, i am a human MAMA, and my protective instincts definitely reared up for me, and for that i have no regrets.

we have yet to receive a response, and poor dh has been very much on edge about all of this, so this morning he sent this:
~~~~~~~~~~
By your silence, it would be probably be fair to say some of what M and I wrote was difficult for you to read. We figure you are either processing our e-mails and deciding how to respond, or you are severing your relationships with us. We sincerely hope it is the former, and believe we have the right to know either way.

You both have the right to disagree with what we wrote and even how we might have phrased it. Our discussion on breastfeeding triggered some necessary discussions regarding our family that have been on our minds for a long time. If this family is going to heal and move on, these topics need to be dealt with.

M and I honestly believe that if we continue to communicate, we can get through these family issues in a manner which is acceptable to all four of us. You are both very important to us, and it makes us sad that the communication has completely ceased - especially when we see solutions to our concerns. We hope to hear from you soon.

Love, M, M and K

~~~~~~~~

we feel we are being 'punished'. it's too ironic that i happen to be reading Alfie Kohn's "Unconditional Parenting" and their way of dealing with this is very much in keeping with an authoritarian parenting style. i was reading it last night and was appalled to come to the realization that they were trying to control us without giving us a good reason besides "we're your elders, you must respect us". it smacks of "do it because i'm the mommy/daddy and because i say so". and then they are witholding their love due to our noncompliance.

we might have to move this thread to gentle discipline .

the other thing is that this whole issue has actually made me incredibly committed to lactivism. i mean, i was before but it has kicked into a much higher level for me. so not only did i not comply with their unreasonable demands, but they've made me even more resolute in standing up for my, and every other nursing mother's rights.
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#68 of 208 Old 04-18-2006, 02:30 PM
 
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That's a nice letter. Good job, you two .

People are pains in the butt, aren't they? I don't think the IL's are trying to punish. I imagine they're just emotionally reeling from everything that's gone on. I can picture your FIL looking at the email link from your dh, afraid to click on it and open it up. Afraid of what it might say .

Be kind to each other. Don't lose months or years of precious time that you'll never be able to get back. The ILs won't be around for a ton more years, but you, dh and K will be living with the memories of your relationship for the rest of your lives. Don't let yourselves get stuck with years of guilt and regret because you wished you'd been able to generate more tolerance of their sometimes unfair and selfish ways.

They're old, funky people with lots more problems than we realize, I bet. Stand by your guns - you've got every right to watch out for yourself and K - but don't let it degenerate into something bigger than it ought to be. I know that you can take care of you and K and still protect the love that you have with your family.

You guys are doing a good job with this. Good for you .
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#69 of 208 Old 04-18-2006, 03:11 PM
 
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Wow. Wonderful letters.

It is sad that there has been no response. At the minimum, even a response like

"I received your letters. I need time to process and respond to them"

Sad.

Tammy
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#70 of 208 Old 04-18-2006, 04:15 PM
 
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kidspiration, the emails you and your dh sent were beautifully worded. I thought you both showed a great deal of restraint and made the right decision.

It make take your fil awhile to lick his wounds. It sounds like he isn't used to having people stand up to him. Hopefully, he'll come around.
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#71 of 208 Old 04-18-2006, 04:18 PM
 
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I loved your letters! You are incredibly articulate and respectful. Nothing concrete regarding CLW in the Bible, but Psalm 131 describes the peace of a child (not baby) who has weaned. Also, Samuel went to live with Eli once he weaned. It is doubtful that Eli was babysitting, and Samuel apparently was old enough to serve Eli.

Do unto children as you would have them do unto you ::
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#72 of 208 Old 04-18-2006, 04:49 PM
 
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I hope everything turns out well. I feel so bad for you guys, hopefully you'll get a pleasant response soon.
Michelle
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#73 of 208 Old 04-18-2006, 04:53 PM
 
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Ok the Playboy comment............ Pornography is ok by this man, but not bf'ing........ interesting.
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#74 of 208 Old 04-18-2006, 05:02 PM
 
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yeah, would he not mind seeing your breasts if they were in playboy?
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#75 of 208 Old 04-18-2006, 05:25 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kidspiration
As you can deduce from what I’ve written here, I am very passionate about my somewhat hard-won breastfeeding relationship with K. Nursing is not easy, and contrary to popular belief, it does not come naturally to all women, myself very much included. After our difficult, traumatic birth and my subsequent complications and surgery, my breastfeeding relationship with my incredible daughter has been my calm in the storm, and is one of the few things that have gone right for me in the first months of being a mother. I cherish each moment that I have the opportunity to nourish and nurture my little one, as breastfeeding, besides being the superior form of nutrition for her little growing body and brain, is so much more than about food. I know this closeness and love that we share will follow us for the rest of our lives and for this I feel blessed.
this is so beautifully written that i feel blessed just to have seen this post. if this exchange with your family allowed you to verbalize such deep emotion then good has come of a bad situation. you go mama bear, keep on growing.
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#76 of 208 Old 04-18-2006, 05:31 PM
 
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Sorry that you haven't heard anything back from them, yet.

Good for you for reaching out to them instead of waiting for them to respond.

Hopefully, they'll respond in some way shortly, then you won't be feeling so anxious anymore.

Hang in there!
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#77 of 208 Old 04-18-2006, 05:32 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aileen
this is so beautifully written that i feel blessed just to have seen this post. if this exchange with your family allowed you to verbalize such deep emotion then good has come of a bad situation. you go mama bear, keep on growing.
:
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#78 of 208 Old 04-18-2006, 06:11 PM
 
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Beautifully articulate responses. Saddened that they so far seem to be choosing separation.

If the dialogue should happen to continue, ask they when eating became something to be done only in private. I've never understood that concept. None of them expect to have to leave the company of others in order to consume food, why should babies?

"What will you do once you know?"
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#79 of 208 Old 04-18-2006, 07:58 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Meiri
Beautifully articulate responses. Saddened that they so far seem to be choosing separation.

If the dialogue should happen to continue, ask they when eating became something to be done only in private. I've never understood that concept. None of them expect to have to leave the company of others in order to consume food, why should babies?
: And I also ask- would they ask her to leave the room or house to bottle feed the baby? I mean, really!
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#80 of 208 Old 04-18-2006, 08:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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if this exchange with your family allowed you to verbalize such deep emotion then good has come of a bad situation. you go mama bear, keep on growing.
thank you, all of you wise mamas and your words of wisdom and support bring tears to my eyes. despite being on edge, this entire experience has been a reminder of how much i love nursing and how much i cherish my breastfeeding relationship.

i fought for my breastfeeding relationship when i hoisted myself out of the hospital bed before the epidural wore out so that i could be wheeled into the nicu to nurse. (ot...i had to transport from homebirth and ended up with forceps ) i fought for it when i had tears streaming down my face nursing through the searing pain of thrush. i fought for it when i had to have surgery for a hole is my bladder (from the forceps ) and insisted on only a spinal so that i could nurse dd right away. i fought for it when i called the hospital administrators high up in the chain of command so that i could keep my sweet daughter with me overnight to not disrupt our nursing or mess with my supply.

and after i endured all of this...THEY'RE GOING TO ASK ME TO LEAVE THE ROOM TO NURSE MY CHILD just because they have some as yet undetermined hang ups about it? not without a fight, and not without them learning that their request is patently offensive and inappropriate!

as for busybusymamas comment on if what they would ask me to do if dd was bottle/ff...i think that this is part of the crux of the answer. they do take issue with me breastfeeding in general...i think they're smart enough not to have 'gone there' with me but i feel this could possibly be some not-so-subtle pressure for me not to nurse at all. i overheard a phone conversation between dh's mom and grandmom, and heard grandmom say..."what are we going to do about that fat, breastfed baby?" dh's mom has been awesome about nursing and nothing but supportive so she just simply answered "but she's perfect" and left it at that .

blessed-thanks for the reminder to be as kind as possible, we certainly don't want to lose our relationship over this issue. if we end up no longer on speaking terms, it won't be our doing, and we will do our best to keep things as loving as we can.
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#81 of 208 Old 04-18-2006, 08:57 PM
 
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So their asking you to leave the room was "the straw that broke the camel's back." Makes perfect sense that it pushed your buttons.

Take the time to heal from your marriage before you move on with someone else. Make a list of all the qualities you would like in a new partner and then work on growing that way yourself. ~mandib50
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#82 of 208 Old 04-18-2006, 11:55 PM
 
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..."what are we going to do about that fat, breastfed baby?"
A fat healthy happy baby is a problem that something has to be done about her???

"What will you do once you know?"
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#83 of 208 Old 04-19-2006, 05:20 AM
 
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Do not budge on this! Do NOT go anywhere else to nurse, and if they have an issue with it, they can join you under your roof instead or not at all.

I understand that the desire to smooth it over with family is overwhelming, but this is a downward slope.

I did that with one, two, and when I decided that I was tired of pumping or hiding with three, everyone fell apart. "Well, I don't know why it suddenly has to change NOW. You were so discreet before." (BTW as to the latter, you cannot see a thing on me, I'm paricular about that. Evidently discreet = in another room.)

Do NOT let this go any further. "This is how Kaia eats, deal with it or see your grandaughter when she weans." And then for fun you can answer their inquiries with "Oh we believe in CLW. Hmmm? Oh it varies greatly, but on average anywhere from 3 to 8 years."
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#84 of 208 Old 04-19-2006, 11:01 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Meiri
A fat healthy happy baby is a problem that something has to be done about her???
And yet these same people will fuss that "the baby needs 'real' food and should get some cake and soda!"
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#85 of 208 Old 04-19-2006, 11:23 AM
 
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I'm going to admit something here that will probably get me banned for life. I'm uncomfortable around women nursing babies, as is my dh. We feel awkward, no two ways about it.

However, we are adults. We have a right to be uncomfortable, but our discomfort is trumped every time by the baby's right to eat. So, we swallow our discomfort cheerfully and pretend that it doesn't exist. We entirely support a woman's right to bf and a baby's right to eat.

I know were this discomfort comes from. When we grew up, nobody we knew bf. We simply weren't exposed to it. We hope that our children don't have the same hangups.

Your inlaws are adults. The can feel as uneasy as they want to feel. That's OK. What's not OK is interfering with your right to feed your child however you want to do it.
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#86 of 208 Old 04-19-2006, 12:12 PM
 
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Originally Posted by EFmom
I'm going to admit something here that will probably get me banned for life. I'm uncomfortable around women nursing babies, as is my dh. We feel awkward, no two ways about it...


I think you speak for many (most?) people, EFmom. People are just not used to seeing public frontal nudity in women. And the act of nursing is so gutteral - putting your mouth on another person's body and sucking liquid out - it's kind of freaky.

I think it's especially weird when it's someone you know - like a relative. I don't have a single relative I can think of whom I would want to see in any degree of nudity - period. But when a nursing mom does her thing, that CAN BE the consequence for anyone present who doesn't conciously avert their eyes the entire time. The exception is if mom is careful about shielding, of course.

I've tried to discuss this on another thread but the idea was just too offensive to the die hards. These moms were going to show the world their boob, their nipple, their rolls of belly fat, whatever the hell they wanted and everyone just had to deal with it. But to many folks, that feels like being subjected to indecent exposure.

I think if everyone just nurses in public long enough and openly enough most people will acclimate to it, and that this is what moms are trying to accomplish. That's fair. But in the meantime we're all still stuck with the reality that unsolicited viewing of breasts in public tends to freak out a lot of people (whether they say it or not).
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#87 of 208 Old 04-19-2006, 12:25 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Victorian
personally, if someone insulted me so vastly (and to compare your breasts to playboy is insulting IMO), I would respond "see you when she weans".

V.
Frankly, if my own family didn't want me to feed my child in their presence then I wouldn't even want to see them after the child weans. Its so beyond outrageous to me that I would write them off until they came to their senses and have no problem whatsoever doing it.
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#88 of 208 Old 04-19-2006, 12:57 PM
 
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Kidspiration, I am coming in very late to this discussion, but I read every post. I had tears in my eyes as I read your heartfelt e-mails to FIL. Your love for your precious DD shines through your posts so clearly - it was wonderful to read. Good for you for taking a stance on this important issue. Would you think I was goofy if I said I view your responses and the stance you took as heroic?

I was amazed and moved to hear how your lovely, supportive DH described your discomfort post-surgery and how gamely you endured your pain to bring DD to his family. Wonderful, articulate messages you both sent to his family. I am so saddened you are going through this and angered that his family would take this close-minded stance. It amazes me further that you have received no response from them (even, as a PP suggested, a terse "need to process; will respond later.") Please do keep us posted on what happens. In the meantime, enjoy your sweet, sweet DD!

Mama to 2 mopheaded rascals
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#89 of 208 Old 04-19-2006, 01:35 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeeEast
Frankly, if my own family didn't want me to feed my child in their presence then I wouldn't even want to see them after the child weans. Its so beyond outrageous to me that I would write them off until they came to their senses and have no problem whatsoever doing it.
It feels like some of you all just aren't going to rest until M is alone, cut off from everyone she loves because she's offended by everyone who doesn't percieve the world exactly the same way she does.

Good grief. My FIL would probably fall over in a dead faint if I lifted my shirt in front of him. In the world that he lives in, no one would ever, ever do that. Can we not be a little bit tolerant of people who - very late in life - are finding themselves struggling to come to terms with things they never even imagined? Especially if these are people whom we love and cherish and whose feelings matter to us?

The ILs asked if M could nurse privately in order to help with the discomfort they are feeling. In their era, that would be an absolutely reasonable thing to request. For lactivists, it's not. They don't KNOW that, however. They're navigating off of the only rules that they know.

M has made the most raw and real and genuine case for openly breastfeeding K that can ever be made. It IS heroic - and beautiful. She has perfectly, eloquently, splendidly captured everything wonderful about her decision to breast feed.

Give the ILs a chance. They're people. They love M and K. Do you think these beautiful words that brought tears to all of our eyes are going to be lost on them? No way.

I'm confident if the discussion had not unfortunately degenerated into a that bit of mud slinging, that they'd have responded with 'of COURSE you should not hide away when you bf K. Please forgive us our ignorance'.
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#90 of 208 Old 04-19-2006, 02:11 PM
 
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Originally Posted by blessed
It feels like some of you all just aren't going to rest until M is alone, cut off from everyone she loves because she's offended by everyone who doesn't percieve the world exactly the same way she does.

Good grief. My FIL would probably fall over in a dead faint if I lifted my shirt in front of him. In the world that he lives in, no one would ever, ever do that. Can we not be a little bit tolerant of people who - very late in life - are finding themselves struggling to come to terms with things they never even imagined? Especially if these are people whom we love and cherish and whose feelings matter to us?

The ILs asked if M could nurse privately in order to help with the discomfort they are feeling. In their era, that would be an absolutely reasonable thing to request. For lactivists, it's not. They don't KNOW that, however. They're navigating off of the only rules that they know.

M has made the most raw and real and genuine case for openly breastfeeding K that can ever be made. It IS heroic - and beautiful. She has perfectly, eloquently, splendidly captured everything wonderful about her decision to breast feed.

Give the ILs a chance. They're people. They love M and K. Do you think these beautiful words that brought tears to all of our eyes are going to be lost on them? No way.

I'm confident if the discussion had not unfortunately degenerated into a that bit of mud slinging, that they'd have responded with 'of COURSE you should not hide away when you bf K. Please forgive us our ignorance'.
Yeah, you're right. I'm on a crusade to keep a woman I've never met from in-laws I've never met. Thanks for pointing that out.
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