Why does LLL have such a bad rep? - Page 5 - Mothering Forums
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#121 of 134 Old 06-27-2003, 11:15 AM
 
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Originally posted by NadineG
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I don't imply that any woman is garbage - if you read the original post you will see that I implied the LLL philosophy "would" be garbage if it was forced to comply with societies changes.

This quote I have to disagree with. Any organization that exists for years and is meant to help people does have to change with society. How can an organization be helpful to breastfeeding moms when so many of them do go back to work. I'm really glad that LLL exists because I personally have no support from friends in my daily life.

I'm Russian and while my family is extremely supportive of breastfeeding and has been shocked by the negativity I received here when I mentioned breastfeeding they are 10 hours away. So my parents will support me after birth while they are visiting but I know I'll need more than that later. It really was a shock to them that cultural push towards breastfeeding didn't carry over here.

My husband's family simply doesn't understand breastfeeding, they don't understand why I value it so much and what I need to do to be succesful at it. Case in point why I'm willing to pump for work but not give the baby pumped bottles any other time or leave him for extended periods of time because I want to nurse him if I'm pumping for work anyways. They don't get that it will reduce my supply and that I'm heartbroken over the time I'll lose nursing him when I go back to work. Honestly I always knew I'd breastfeed, everyone in my family did I never dreamed it would be battle to do so. (Not with my husband who is extremely supportive, just with friends and family out here)

Anyways I've done more research on LLL and talked to some people who attend the meeting I will be going to and have felt comfortable enough that I plan to attend. But I do have to say that if the main goal of LLL is to help women continue to breastfeed they do have to change with the times and accept other factors such as the women that are forced to work as myself or even choose to work. Its a siginificant number of women many of whom are in my situation and need the support they are not getting from their friends and family or even in the work place in some cases (luckily that doesn't apply to me) I don't think anyone here would argue that if a woman goes back to work for whatever reason her baby is better of to be breastfed and to get pumped milk. Well thats a large number of people through out the country and I'd hate to see the majority of them not get the proper support that they need because an organization that was set up to help them can not change with the times.
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#122 of 134 Old 06-27-2003, 12:10 PM
 
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But I do have to say that if the main goal of LLL is to help women continue to breastfeed they do have to change with the times and accept other factors such as the women that are forced to work as myself or even choose to work.
I agree with this statement. I have had mostly positive experiences and support with LLL, although I work outside the home and I do think that LLL is supportive of working women who choose to breastfeed even though it IS exclusive of those same women in leadership positions. We even have a monthly Saturday am meeting that has many working moms in my area. I do feel that if LLL is going to place importance on the philosophy that moms and babies belong together (which I mostly agree with and sometimes wish I didn't have to work outside the home, but I'm also the primary breadwinner in our family and DH stays with dd during the week), it needs to either modify the philosophy slightly to be more inclusive of working moms who already receive little support in breastfeeding (far less than SAHMs in my opinion) or push for laws that would allow women to stay at home with their babies for a longer period of time. It's offensive to be made to feel it's all MY fault as the mother that there is a separation when I'm doing what I have to do to provide for my baby, which is what that philosophy, along with the idea that it's how the mother handles that separation or minimizes it that affects whether the almighty LLL will let her be a leader.
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#123 of 134 Old 06-27-2003, 07:18 PM
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There are a few issues of concern here so for the sake of the thread's continuation please:

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Members, let's refrain from implying trollism. If you have a concern about a new member's postings please report it to the moderator so she may examin the situation and see if any intervention is necessary.

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#124 of 134 Old 06-27-2003, 07:52 PM
 
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#125 of 134 Old 06-27-2003, 08:14 PM
 
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Originally posted by Hannah's Mom
I agree with this statement. I have had mostly positive experiences and support with LLL, although I work outside the home and I do think that LLL is supportive of working women who choose to breastfeed even though it IS exclusive of those same women in leadership positions. We even have a monthly Saturday am meeting that has many working moms in my area. I do feel that if LLL is going to place importance on the philosophy that moms and babies belong together (which I mostly agree with and sometimes wish I didn't have to work outside the home, but I'm also the primary breadwinner in our family and DH stays with dd during the week), it needs to either modify the philosophy slightly to be more inclusive of working moms who already receive little support in breastfeeding (far less than SAHMs in my opinion) or push for laws that would allow women to stay at home with their babies for a longer period of time. It's offensive to be made to feel it's all MY fault as the mother that there is a separation when I'm doing what I have to do to provide for my baby, which is what that philosophy, along with the idea that it's how the mother handles that separation or minimizes it that affects whether the almighty LLL will let her be a leader.
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LLL Philosophy is what it is. Any private organization has the right to list what it believes. If everything was based on poplular opinion- my goodness- could you imagine? Would those of the Jewish faith *have * to feel that Jesus is now their "savior"? because popular opinion says so? Shoot- the US would not even EXIST- we'd still be Brits. Popular opinion/society dictates that the British are *in*. LLL believes what it believes. I can appreciate that. When I find things that I don't necessarily agree 100% with, I ask myself, "Does it serve MY purpose? Can I get want I want/need from it?" If yes, great! If no, I move on. I am not offended everytime I find somthing that does not agree with me. That is the nature of diversity.

LLL Philosophy is there for those that *LLL* chooses to have represent it. Who am I to decide? I didn't make the philosophy. It's the up to the organization to determine who best suits its needs for the purpose of representing it to the public. It would be hipocritical otherwise. It's not my place to make that kind of determination. Do I know the organization and what it represents as well as those who have been involved for years? It's self-righteous to think that I, me, myself, alone, am the only one who is "capable" of making that decision. Do the Boy Scouts allow women to be Scout Masters? (not talking about Den Mothers) What about the Girl Scouts? Do they allow men to be troop leaders? (I have no idea, but I would be leary of sending my dds to a tropp with a man in charge of taking them camping) Take a look at any other private organization. They all have their beliefs and their regulations for leaders within the organization. And that is what LLL philosophy IS- a belief. Do babies need their mothers less just becuase society sets mothers up to have to work? LLL doesn't ask everyone to belive it's philosophy. Only those who represent it. Does the Catholic church allow priests to marry? Popular opinion would dictate that it would. Yet, it stands firm in it's convicions. And that's the thing with LLL philosophy- it is a belief. Either you agree or you don't. It doesn't make anyone better or worse because of how that person feels about the belief/philosophy. Mpthering/breastfeeding is not a contest.

As Lil'bearsmama pointed out, the LLL website has a TON of stuff just for working mothers. Someone else mentioned the New Beginings magazine for memebers having the "Making it Work" section. LLL does not discriminate against working mothers, and it is unfortuante if anyone has been offended and ended up feeling like *less* of a mother from a Leader. It is SO unfortunate, Hannah's mama, if you ended up feeling like this. ((((HUGS))))

LLL IS pro-breastfeeding. This does not mean it is *anti* bottlefeeding, ect. Formula has it's place, as any Leader will tell you. LLL is singular in it's purpose. I agree- that can be confusing- how to be "pro" without being "anti". The things LLL Leaders say revolve around a NURSING baby- not a bottlefeeding one. You know, you can say something *nice* to someone without saying something nasty. Lots of things in life ARE onesided. Bottlefeeding, artificial nipples, ect, are refered to in the context as it involves breastfeeding. A Leader might say something trying to acertain why the *situation* is the way it is. A mother may hear, however, "this that and the other are bad". Part of communicating is actually *listening * to what is being said. What words were used? How were those words said? It is really easy to project one own's preconcieved idea of an *expected* resonse onto the Leader's reply.

Bottom line is.... take what works for you, and leave the rest. Does it serve your purpose? Are you getting the support and information you are looking for? Yes? Great! No? Keep looking until you do find what works. LLL knows that not everyone is going to agree with it's philosophy. And that is fine. That is the nature of diversity. The feeling that I have goteen from LLL is that they are glad that you ARE nursing- I have always heard from them that even a little breastmilk is better than none at all.

------------------------------------------------------------------------

To the lady from Russia... (sorry I don't remember your name)

It is fantastic that you are sticking to your guns!!! Good for you! You sound So determined to do what is you feel is right for your babie(s)! Do try and find a LLL Group near you- that is the benefit of being around other like-minded women. It can give you a chance to meet moms who have the same feelings as you do, and a chance to see what worked for those who had similar situations with the lack of support. Here is a link from the LLLI website: How do I respond to and avoid criticism about breastfeeding? http://www.lalecheleague.org/FAQ/criticism.html . And in the meantime, as Lilbear'smama pointed out, you can always try to get to an online chat- they have a lot of them! Hang in there- it will get easier! You are not alone in your battle with the in-laws. (wink)

T
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#126 of 134 Old 06-27-2003, 08:30 PM
 
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tj,
the OP asked why LLL had a "bad rep". I answered why i felt it did based on my experience.

Certainly every "private" organization has a right to do things the way they do, to have a certain philosphy, to have their very own mission statement. *But* they and other members and leaders shouldnt scratch their head wondering why folks outside give them a bad rep when they seem to exclude rather than include, judge rather than embrace.

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#127 of 134 Old 06-27-2003, 08:57 PM
 
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Originally posted by sweetbaby3


Certainly every "private" organization has a right to do things the way they do, to have a certain philosphy, to have their very own mission statement. *But* they and other members and leaders shouldnt scratch their head wondering why folks outside give them a bad rep when they seem to exclude rather than include, judge rather than embrace.
I would like to comment on this. I think the point many different posters have tried to make is that LLL DOES include and DOES embrace.
And like other posters have said,not every mom can be a Leader,and I would venture to say that as many SAHM as WOHM are turned down for Leadership since it appears to be based on alot of different critera,and separation from baby is only *one* of them. AND the separation criteria would be based on *how* the separation was handled,not that it happened at all. Just thought that could use a little clarification.
The point that I feel very strongly that is not getting across is that WOHM *can* be Leaders. As other posters have stated,it is on a case by case basis.
On the point of older Leaders,I think they are great! What wonderful examples.

Hannahs Mom,
LLL IS helping in the push for legislation to help working moms. If you go to the breastfeeding and the law pages on the LLL website,you will see all this information. In fact,you can help,too,by contacting your senators. Legislation will NOT pass without the help of mothers like you!
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#128 of 134 Old 06-28-2003, 10:41 PM
 
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Hey lady from Russia - now in Indy! Greetings from MI!

Sorry, off topic, but Lil I didn't know you were here!

-Marlene
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#129 of 134 Old 06-28-2003, 10:49 PM
 
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Originally posted by MommyT
Hey lady from Russia - now in Indy! Greetings from MI!

Sorry, off topic, but Lil I didn't know you were here!

-Marlene
Hi Marlene... Great to see you!!



TJ24 -- Thank you for your kind words. I will definatelly check out their website more closely. I am planning on going to the July meeting no matter what. I want to make it to atleast 1 before my baby is born.
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#130 of 134 Old 06-29-2003, 09:32 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by Lilg127

Anyways I've done more research on LLL and talked to some people who attend the meeting I will be going to and have felt comfortable enough that I plan to attend. But I do have to say that if the main goal of LLL is to help women continue to breastfeed they do have to change with the times and accept other factors such as the women that are forced to work as myself or even choose to work. Its a siginificant number of women many of whom are in my situation and need the support they are not getting from their friends and family or even in the work place in some cases (luckily that doesn't apply to me) I don't think anyone here would argue that if a woman goes back to work for whatever reason her baby is better of to be breastfed and to get pumped milk. Well thats a large number of people through out the country and I'd hate to see the majority of them not get the proper support that they need because an organization that was set up to help them can not change with the times.
LLL provides support to ALL moms. They do not have to change their criteria for Leadership because the moms have changed. They don't have to change their belief that a "baby's need for it's mother is as basic as it's need for food" - that is their organization philosophy and belief. Leaders help working moms equally. The organization doesn't need to change. Their goal is to help moms breastfeed. What does need to change the belief that simply because "we" desire something we are entitled to it. Some working moms desire to be Leaders and if they don't meet the criteria they can't be Leaders. Simple really.
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#131 of 134 Old 06-29-2003, 10:21 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by Cynthia Mosher
There are a few issues of concern here so for the sake of the thread's continuation please:

New members, take the time to introduce yourself to the community. Jumping into a debate is not a very friendly way to walk into a community and may not be met with a welcome.

Members, let's refrain from implying trollism. If you have a concern about a new member's postings please report it to the moderator so she may examin the situation and see if any intervention is necessary.

And finally, let's please keep this discussion respectful or we'll have to close it.



~Cynthia

To follow this request, let me introduce myself. I have six children and am mostly a sahm. Somewhere in my career as a mother I have also wore the wohm hat with my youngest in a sling or at my feet for the first 2 years of his life, with only minimal separation for the next several years. I am now wearing other hats that let me work on such a part time basis they barely qualify and it is for my own company so I decide how and when and if I work. I could probably do more, be more and we could certainly have more if I pursued my other work more than my mother work, but hey, these years never return and the work will. So I choose the mother work. But, I do so hate the housework! Haha.

I am also going to post a reply to this thread specifially regarding working mothers and LLL Leaders separately due to its length. But wanted to just answer the original post question first...Why does LLL have a bad reputation? Because LLL has chosen to remain true to its beliefs regardless of societal changes and for now, they are clashing. And, sometimes it is because people speak without knowing. And sometimes it is because LLL is full of mothers with their own beliefs that sometimes slip in where they don't belong, and those get confused with LLL itself. A problem all volunteer organizations probably have when/if the volunteer brings her own passions to the organization and it is her passions that drive her to volunteer. And sometimes, moms hear things at a meeting that another mother said and she repeats it as "LLL says" when in fact LLL never said it.
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#132 of 134 Old 06-29-2003, 10:37 PM
 
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This is about the issue of LLL and working mothers and the idea that WOHM moms have not been welcomed as Leaders (an idea that is not true by the way) and that LLL should change and let more mothers with separation become Leaders.

LLL is not the problem society is. Instead of arguing and thinking LLL needs to change,why not put the energy where it needs to be and push for society to really let women have the true choice to stay home with their babies. This attitude that times have changed is truly annoying to me since babies have not changed. Instead of arguing about WOHM vs SAHM and being LLL Leaders, I think LLL can stay true to the truth...Baby NEEDS mother and regardless of the rest of the societal change that pushes women to believe otherwise or pushes them to have to choose otherwise to make ends meet, the problem is not that LLL won't catch up with the times, it is that the times are a mess and we should be working to give women the power to choose their children and not have to choose between a baby who needs them and a job they love or a paycheck they need. The truth is, our society is suffering greatly because women have allowed themselves to accept that they must choose, that children are not the priority, that motherhood is less than careerhood, and then worse that their self worth is based on their income. Sad, really really sad.

It is not LLL who will not accept that women work, it is that society won't make it so women can work without leaving their babies. Women have ALWAYS worked, but have not always had to leave their children to be raised by others to do so.

I don't see "work" as the issue. It is about separation. Has always been about separation. You can be a "sahm" and never be with your children, so lets stop pitting the wohm vs sahm and make it about separation and being available. I worked when my children were small, I just did not leave them to do it. I know many women who have made huge changes in their lives to be there when their children were young and continue to work their lives around their families. For that matter, I know many men who have done the same thing. As long as we continue to battle sahm vs wohm the children continue to lose out. When we accept the babies' needs for mothers, when we stop arguing about who is a better mom, and start valuing the role of caring for children, then maybe this will end. To start with, I would like to see all child care providers paid top dollar and the cost of child care to be so high that it is unreasonable to expect a person to choose to leave their children for more money at a job. If the cost of child care was high, then we would value the job of mothers. It is because we have and push for "affordable child care" (not necessarily quality) we think hey, for 100 bucks a week I can leave my baby and make 300 and be left with 200 so it is worth it....But, if it were 400 a week, wow, maybe I am worth something if I stay home and take care of my own children. I never do understand the whole concept of affordable child care...you get what you pay for and if you are paying child care workers min. wage, you don't expect to get college grads for the work. This social system is insane and it is not LLL who has the problem with the reality, it is the reality that rots and as long as we keep saying catch up and accept it you can forget about it ever changing.

We keep talking about family values, family first, children first, child development, the importance of the first three years, etc etc. But every thing this society does says the kids are insignificant in the scheme of things. It floors me to think that women have tolerated this and embraced it. That we have let a social structure evolve that strips of us the real choices we were supposedly trying to achieve. It was never that motherhood and homemaking are not as good as men's work, or that women could not achieve as much as men. It was and should have been that EVERY THING A WOMAN DOES is as important as EVERYTHING A MAN DOES and that value includes her role as a mother, a homemaker, or the CEO of a Fortune 500 company or the judge, lawyer, doctor, etc. When we were told we could have it all, it was true. We can have it all, but to have it all we have to do it differently and the social structure and job structure needs to be flexible so it is possible for mothers to be there to care for their children. And for those who want to be mothers but also want to keep the career they worked hard for or the job that feeds their family, that needs to be respected and the work environment needs to make it possible without needing to leave their babies behind to do it. And for those who want to be mothers but also want to keep the career they worked hard for or the job that feeds their family, that needs to be respected and the environment needs to make it possible without leaving their babies behind to do it. And so that those who choose to have motherhood as their career should get as much respect as those who think they are too good to waste their lives being mothers or that what they do is so much more important than changing a diaper and rocking a baby. That attitude was the attitude of men about their wives and that attitude is why women felt so disheartened and helpless in the first place, and now here we are as women doing it to each other. Ah, this is the saddest part of all - in our quest for equality, we took on what was the worst of what we were fighting against and instead of making the work place more open to family needs, we pitted ourselves against each other and continued the attitude that was there since the beginning....no pay check, no value.

Okay, off my soap box and back to scrubbing toilets, folding laundry, and nursing my toddler....but I know I am more than this....
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#133 of 134 Old 06-29-2003, 11:05 PM
 
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Some more information:

LLL has more than one philosophy that helps determine if women can be Leaders or not. There are also issues of nutrition and discipline. Some women cannot be Leaders because they have strong beliefs in the importance of spanking their toddlers or think a well balanced nutritious meal is a can of Speghetti Os. It is sad that the issue that gets discussed the most is working vs staying home. It is such a limited view of what it means to be involved in LLL and what it means to live and mother your family based on LLL's philosophies. How would this discussion be going if the argument was that LLL will not allow a mom to be a Leader because she spanks them all soundly and puts them to bed? After all, she has a strong desire to do so, and she is breastfeeding her baby, and she should be accepted too. The mother who eats Spagetti O's for dinner is as welcome as the mother who hits her toddler. Both will be hearing a new way of mothering from other mothers there and from the Leaders. It may not be their way, and they may disagree with it, but it is the way LLL Leaders will present mothering.

LLL is not "only" about breastfeeding. And maybe that is where the problem comes from. While LLL has a mission, they also have philosophies that govern what they do. LLL is about mothering through breastfeeding and feeding our families nutritious meals and being alert for childbirth helping breastfeeding go more smoothly and respecting the unique role of fathers and delaying solids unil the baby shows signs or about the first half of the baby's first year and baby should nurse until the need is outgrown. All the philosophies work together to provide a framework for mothering. It is not for everyone, just like other parenting organizations are not for everyone. The nice thing about LLL is you can choose to be there or not. No one forces you to come no one forces you to believe their philosophies, and even if you don't agree with them they will still support your choices and offer you the information you need to make breastfeeding work for you. I think that is a really amazing thing to do. For me, it meets my needs as it is, and I would not want to see it change or water down their beliefs to suit the masses. If that means it is not for everyone, so be it. In my area, there are many groups that support breastfeeding and others that are for mothers of various types. LLL is only one, but it is the one that values what I value and validates what I believe to be true. Why should it change to suit others, when changing will mean it won't suit me. Don't my needs count?
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#134 of 134 Old 06-30-2003, 02:02 PM
 
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Mother to six~

You have stated exactly what my friends and I have been saying to each other when I brought up this discussion. I agree with you 100%. Thank you for taking the time to write this all out. La Leche League has been there to support me and help me learn this mothering through breastfeeding and I applaud all of the leaders who spend their free time helping ALL mothers who want help with breastfeeding and mothering. I hope LLL never changes the fact that they speak somehow for the innocent babies needs and wants. While also supporting the mother ( in breastfeeding)where she is at , whether that be SAHM or WAHM.

Sarah
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