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#1 of 146 Old 01-15-2008, 02:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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This is the only place I know to vent and find support and suggestions. My brother is engaged to a woman that our family is not particularly fond of. I only say that because the story I'm about to explain is the icing on the cake for me. I have tried and tried to give her the benefit of the doubt, but now she has attacked me.

My DH and I went over to my brother's house (she lives there) for dinner fr the first time. We arrived before the fiance got home from work. While there I nursed my LO in the living room. Nothing was said to me, apparently my brother deliberatly left the room then, but I didn't notice. Later when the fiance arrived home from work we had dinner and went back into the living room for conversation. I began to nurse baby again and the fiance politely offered me a blanket. I politely said no thank you, thinking she was just being nice. Well, she responded by saying "Yes, you do" with a facial expression that showed exactly what she meant. I said "No, I'm already covered" (because I was, my large t-shirt and sweater hid everything from view. My sweater was already hanging in my baby's face. So she continues to say that as long as we're in the same room then i need to cover her. So I said "what, you need her body covered?" And she insisted yes. I immediately decided to leave because I was not going to let some woman tell me how to feed my child and I was obviously angry.

The next day I emailed my brother to explain to him why I had to leave abruptly and why this was such an important matter to me. I wanted to share with him how I felt without getting angry. He then called me and proceeds to yell at me insisting that "breastfeeding is inappropriate" and they did nothing wrong. I was the one that was so rude for leaving.

I just got another email from his fiance insisting that covering up is "common courtesy" - still nothing even close to sympathy or an apology from her. She wants to "drop it"and move on because she's "said her peace".

I know it's hard to retell whole events like this but I don't feel like i can drop it so easily. As far as their concerned I should cover up everytime I'm in their house. I believe that this is a much bigger issue than their opinion that it's "inappropriate"....i just don't understand that word. As a Christian, I want to forgive, but they weren't even willing to listen to my feelings. Am I supposed to tiptoe around my family everytime we have a get together because she doesn't like it. I think our family should be the one group that we feel comfortable breastfeeding around.
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#2 of 146 Old 01-15-2008, 03:02 PM
 
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I would email my brother and tell him he could stuff it. That we'll see him in a couple of years when I'm done having babies, and he can enjoy his "common courtesy" without my company.
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#3 of 146 Old 01-15-2008, 03:05 PM
 
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You need to tell her that covering up doesn't mean covering up the entire baby; it means trying to reveal as little boob as possible, which can be done quite well with a baggy shirt. Tell her that you need to straighten this out if you are going to be in the same family. Tell her that you have no intention of hiding in a backroom when your baby wants to eat or covering your entire baby with a blanket at every meal. If that's not ok with her tell her you won't be coming over until your baby is done nursing, but that she is very welcome at YOUR house--where no one can tell you how to feed your baby. Tell her you respect her "piece," but you disagree and are not going to obey her orders. It may be her house but it was rude for her to talk to you that way and tell you what you need to do. Common courtesy would be to leave you alone so you can feed your baby in peace

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#4 of 146 Old 01-15-2008, 03:09 PM
 
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lame.



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#5 of 146 Old 01-15-2008, 03:21 PM
 
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your brother and his fiancee (i have choice words to describe her but won't due to the ua) need a lesson in etiquette.

it is entirely inappropriate for anyone to tell a mother (whether nursing or not), how/when/where to feed her child. and i would tell them just that.

if they still have a problem with it, you may have to limit contact for your own sanity. some people are just so hung up for what ever reason, and it's not your job to help them get over their issues. your job is to nurture your baby in the best way you know how, that's it.

we went through something similar with our family and we didn't see people for over a year. you know what? those family members have now expressed major regret in having missed an entire year of our dd's development. now as a 2 year old, weaning is not even a blip on our radar, and dh and i only see these people in 'neutral' territory (ie: restaurants, parks etc.), and it's probably going to be this way for as long as dd is nursing. of course if we have another baby, this will have to continue until that baby weans, so we're talking about possibly not stepping foot in their house for 6+ years.

their loss. truly.
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#6 of 146 Old 01-15-2008, 04:17 PM
 
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i simply would not see them again until they apologized.
i know that family is family and all but they insulted you and they will continue to do so it seems... i am very sorry but this is their problem not yours. they are the ones with the issues, not you.

I would go to family functions where the whole family is gathered obviously but not to their home ever again and if they wanted to come to mine they would have to adhere to my rules... and my rules are that boobs that feed babies are free to be as exposed as they want anywhere that they need to be.

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#7 of 146 Old 01-15-2008, 04:21 PM
 
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Invite her and brother to YOUR house. Make sure the event includes food. When she starts to eat, offer her a blanket and then insist that she have her ENTIRE body covered (especially her head). You might offer one to brother as well.

OK, I'm in an evil mood. But it would be perfectly reciprocal to her actions. And would make for lots of laughs later.

Even if you don't actually do this, just thinking about it may make you feel better.

I wouldn't visit them at their house again. Meet them elsewhere and nurse as usual. At least until all your children are weaned. Or if they apologize.

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#8 of 146 Old 01-15-2008, 04:37 PM
 
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um, yeah that to EVERYTHING said before my post. Seriously.I couldn't have said it better.

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#9 of 146 Old 01-15-2008, 04:39 PM
 
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I would email my brother and tell him he could stuff it. That we'll see him in a couple of years when I'm done having babies, and he can enjoy his "common courtesy" without my company.
I would tell him that this was the icing on the cake as far as your attempts to like the unlikeable. You didn't like her before, but now you want nothing to do with her and that if he wants to see your family he can do so alone and that you will not be adjusting your care for your child for anyone--least of all his prudish ignorant sexually hung up bride to be. Common courtesy is to not insult or make a guest in your home feel uncomfortable or unwelcome. What a UAV!
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#10 of 146 Old 01-15-2008, 04:47 PM
 
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Common courtesy is to not insult or make a guest in your home feel uncomfortable or unwelcome.
:

when dh's family pulled that "my house my rules" crap, our response was basically "ok then...we're not coming."

they did not like that one bit, and then pulled the whole "respect your elders" crap.

so don't be surprised if you start getting pressure from all sides along the lines of "in the interest of family harmony, can't you just use a blanket?". which will pull at your heart strings especially if you're the peacemaker type.

but then we get back to the fundamental issue that NO ONE has the right to tell a mama how to feed her baby, and how rude it is to do so.

i'm all for forgiving and turning the other cheek, but there should be a special place in hell for people who dare mess with a mama bear.
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#11 of 146 Old 01-15-2008, 04:48 PM
 
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proceeds to yell at me insisting that "breastfeeding is inappropriate" and they did nothing wrong. I was the one that was so rude for leaving.

See, that side always says its about "discretion" but when they get angry you see that its really about breastfeeding. The act itself is unacceptable to them and not the amount or lack of skin showing. Its their own personal ick factor and sexual hangups and body image issues. There is nothing rude about leaving a place where you have been made to feel unwelcome. Your brother is as guilty as his fiancee. I would not see them again until they apologized or my child was weaned. Let them miss out on the joys of your child growing and developing. My inlaws were never breastfeeding supportive, but I never once hid or left any setting we were in. My FIL left the room many times until he realized being relegated to the kitchen meant he was missing out on visiting his grandkids for most of the visit. Then he gave up and got used to it. My MIL still has a pinched look on her face all the time, but after 7+ years of it she has ceased to make "formula is just as good" comments any more. Since I would laugh in her face and say things like, "oh yeah, cheap oils and fats and sugars that set up host of potential health issues is so much better than God's perfect food for babies and antibody protections." Once I said, "if you son made more money maybe I could afford it. This is free and we are broke." Not nice to my dh either (we had an issue of his underemployment at that time and lack of motivation to change that at the time and I had had it UP TO THERE with her comments and they did shut her up for a while).
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#12 of 146 Old 01-15-2008, 04:53 PM
 
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many of us find that as we gain clarity in our parenting practices, we give up or cool off on numerous friends and family relationships.

i know how hard it is to feel family divided over these things. but people who want to dictate to you like this aren't going to be much support over the next few years. my assumption is that if they're rude enough to pull this stunt, then they'll be rude enough to question/debate/rebuke you about other parenting decisions, since they'll probably FF, CIO etc. there won't be much to talk about over dinner, anyway.

did you and your brother get along well BEFORE future SIL entered the picture? if so, i'd let this incident slide, but not go to their house again without a discussion and agreement that you will nurse how and where suits your babies needs. if the relationship is rocky anyway... then drop 'em.

but of course it may not be that simple. if your parents (or other sibs) are nearby, and will pressure you to go to gatherings at this bro's house, then you may want to be more proactive. most likely the story has already spread through the family grapevine, so you may want to do damage/spin control, and speak with other family members. like "i'm not sure if you heard about bro's and my disagreement, but i wanted to let you know i will not be going there again unless it is clear that we will be nursing in our customary manner without being treated so rudely." otherwise the next family event will come up and you'll get pressured to attend and "be nice" "just go along with it for family peace/harmony."

hth

ETA kidspiration, we both thought of the "family harmony" pressure tactic!

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#13 of 146 Old 01-15-2008, 05:14 PM
 
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I would add a nice jab at his obvious good choice in Mommy Material for his future progeny. That instead of giving his future children the BEST, she'll be giving them the least because she's a stuck up prude.
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#14 of 146 Old 01-15-2008, 06:32 PM
 
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I'm trying to imagine one of my Brother's trying to do that to me and its just not gonna happen. Did you sit on him enough when you guys were kids? Beat him up nearly enough? Atomic wedgies? Sorry I just had to say it as my brothers and I still have noogie fests when we get together and after two kids they've seen my boobs a lot and never complained. I know what you mean about the skeezy SIL as my poor Brother is in the process of divorcing his wife because she hated all of our family and was horribly jealous of his love for us. Not to say he didn't try, he did everything she ever wanted him to do and still treated him and us like crap. Hope he gets a clue before they actually get married. If I was you i would be extremely hurt as well, that was so crappy of them. What were her parents like that she can only handle the thought of an infant eating by putting a blanket over their entire body? Which is a suffocation hazard. Did your Brother know you breastfeed? What did he think was going to happen if he invited your family over to his house for any length of time? Just for those reasons alone I would do what PP have said and just make it clear that if you want to be part of your and your children's lives while they are nursing to get over it and apologise for their inceadibly imature stunt.

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#15 of 146 Old 01-15-2008, 06:35 PM
 
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But don't be too hurt if he doesn't seem to care about not seeing your kids. I've had some rude wake up calls in regard to the level of caring in some of my family.

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#16 of 146 Old 01-15-2008, 06:46 PM
 
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Just watch, if the FSIL has a baby, she'll end up a bigger lactivist than you! Hahaha we can pray...

Hey it happened to me! I remember asking my BFF why the heck she was breastfeeding -- it had more to do with me wanting to feed her baby and hold her then it did me actually opposed to the art of breastfeeding -- include ignorance since I hadn't my own child yet, and voila'! Dolt comments coming from yours-truly. Regardless, by the time I had my own I was a full-blown lactivist!

Everyone has given you really good advice. I agree with above poster -- your brother needs a good old atomic wedgie. Even NOW. LOL
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#17 of 146 Old 01-15-2008, 06:57 PM
 
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Whatever you do, I would leave the dislike of the fiance out of the discussion. You really can't win on that issue.

There are two ways this can go.
1) this devolves into a fight between you and your brother about not respecting his choice in a spouse. This won't get you anywhere and may permanently damage your relationship with your brother.

2)you keep it simple, you will bf your child whenever necessary. If they don't want you doing that in their home, then you will not be visiting in their home. They are welcome in your house or on neutral territory.

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#18 of 146 Old 01-15-2008, 07:25 PM
 
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HUH? She wanted the BABY covered up? That makes absolutely no sense! There's something indecent about a (presumably clothed) baby back, bottom or legs, just because the other end of the baby happens to be eating???

That's just insane. I mean, really.

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#19 of 146 Old 01-15-2008, 07:34 PM
 
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Whatever you do, I would leave the dislike of the fiance out of the discussion. You really can't win on that issue.
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#20 of 146 Old 01-15-2008, 07:47 PM
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I would of squirted her
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#21 of 146 Old 01-15-2008, 08:07 PM
 
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Whatever you do, I would leave the dislike of the fiance out of the discussion. You really can't win on that issue.

There are two ways this can go.
1) this devolves into a fight between you and your brother about not respecting his choice in a spouse. This won't get you anywhere and may permanently damage your relationship with your brother.

2)you keep it simple, you will bf your child whenever necessary. If they don't want you doing that in their home, then you will not be visiting in their home. They are welcome in your house or on neutral territory.

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#22 of 146 Old 01-15-2008, 08:25 PM
 
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I would of squirted her
:

So sorry you have to deal with that. I don't get people sometimes, I really don't. So it's unacceptable to see the baby while nursing? What? So, you're supposed to sit in the room with your head sticking out of a tent or something? I used to throw a light sarong over my shoulder to NIP when I didn't have the hang of it yet and had to hold my boob. It's been a long time since that was even a possibility...DS now throws off everything and lifts up my shirt as if to show the entire world what he's got. Your brother and FSIL would fall out if they saw it.

They need to apologize and get over it.
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#23 of 146 Old 01-15-2008, 10:15 PM
 
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I would of squirted her

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#24 of 146 Old 01-15-2008, 10:20 PM
 
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There is nothing rude about leaving a place where you have been made to feel unwelcome.
This is it in a nutshell. They have a problem with breastfeeding, felt uncomfortable and chose to be disrespectful and hospitable. I don't think there is anything wrong with your leaving, and this is the explanation I would give.
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#25 of 146 Old 01-15-2008, 10:47 PM
 
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HUH? She wanted the BABY covered up? That makes absolutely no sense! There's something indecent about a (presumably clothed) baby back, bottom or legs, just because the other end of the baby happens to be eating???
Indeed. By that logic, she should've had quilts at every seat for the descreet covering of those eating bodies.

I like the blanket suggestion, for her to wear. I mean, if eating is something to be done only in private, why did you all sit around the same table? How suggestively crude! not...

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#26 of 146 Old 01-15-2008, 10:59 PM
 
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so don't be surprised if you start getting pressure from all sides along the lines of "in the interest of family harmony, can't you just use a blanket?". which will pull at your heart strings especially if you're the peacemaker type.

"In the interests of harmony, can't she myob?" would be the polite version of my response.
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#27 of 146 Old 01-15-2008, 11:30 PM
 
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i simply would not see them again until they apologized.
i know that family is family and all but they insulted you and they will continue to do so it seems... i am very sorry but this is their problem not yours. they are the ones with the issues, not you.

I would go to family functions where the whole family is gathered obviously but not to their home ever again and if they wanted to come to mine they would have to adhere to my rules... and my rules are that boobs that feed babies are free to be as exposed as they want anywhere that they need to be.
: Don't make their hangups YOUR issue.

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#28 of 146 Old 01-15-2008, 11:38 PM
 
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Forgiveness is a good thing. I think in your heart you can look at her with generosity and realize how wounded they both are from a culture that is anti-mother and anti-child. She is clearly a hurting person who can not relax and is holding a lot in, probably some self-hatred as well. Responding with fear and discomfort to loving mothering is a sign that something is deeply wrong.

BUT, at the same time, while forgiving, you should absolutely not go somewhere where mothers and children are not treated with respect. It is not good for your soul to be in that environment and it is not good for you child's soul. Responding not out of anger, but out of commitment to keeping yourself and you baby in a safe and loving space, I would actually just let them know that you need to not see them until you have their full love and support which includes not shaming or alienating you for feeding your baby.
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#29 of 146 Old 01-15-2008, 11:59 PM
 
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Sorry that happened to you...It's amazing that someone could even go there
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#30 of 146 Old 01-16-2008, 01:07 AM
 
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I'm so sorry they treated you that way!

Personally, I would forgive them, but tell them that you felt unwelcomed in their home and won't be visiting again unless you are permitted to breastfeed where and how you would like to. If that is unacceptable to them, meet in neutral territory or in your home.

Mama to DD (5) DD (3) and DS (2 months)
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