Could you be friends with someone who works for a formula company? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 175 Old 07-21-2008, 11:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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A new neighbor moved in a few condos over from us, and we have gotten together several times and really hit it off.

Then I found out, she works for a formula company. I was so shocked that I didn't know what to say! I think I choked out a, "We breastfeed, but of course it's good that formula exists for when it's needed"....I wish I had said something that shows that I feel much more strongly about it then that!

I am so passionate about breastfeeding that I don't know how I can be friends with someone who is so complacent about it to the point that they would work for a formula company!! But I really like her and would like to be friends aside from that...

How should I handle this in conversation?
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#2 of 175 Old 07-21-2008, 11:09 PM
 
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Yes I could. I guess it wouldn't even cross my mind not to be friend w/her because of who she works for. I have plenty of friend who work for the government....and i have a lot more issues w/our government than i do formula companies.

who you work for does not define who you are.
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#3 of 175 Old 07-21-2008, 11:17 PM
 
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yes, i have a friend who is the total oppposite of me. she formula fed, had her children cry it out at two weeks, etc.

she gave me some good advice about my giant son though, as she also has a son who grew really fast. If I had closed my mind to her, i would not have gotten the good advice.


I just have to listen and not complain to her about being so tired staying up all night and nursing my baby.
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#4 of 175 Old 07-21-2008, 11:18 PM
 
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I tried but we were two completely different people esp after we had kids. We say hi at parties but we arent close friends.

We had babies a couple months apart and even though they had pumping rooms for moms at her work ( lucky!) she FF from day one because the company gave it(formula) out free, and she helps develop it so I was "told" it was equal in every way to breastmilk you know because she wondered what brand we used....
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#5 of 175 Old 07-21-2008, 11:23 PM
 
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I could be friends. some people just don't have as much info on breastfeeding and some just don't care as much. I do have a harder time relating to moms that FF because BFing is such a HUGE part of my relationship with DS and I'm so passionate about it, but I just try to positively offer information when it's appropriate and try not to be directly negative about my FF friends'/family members' parenting choices (for all of them it has been a matter of choice or lack of info, not NEED for formula)
I also have a friend who works for Kimberly-Clark who rolls her eyes when I talk about our cloth diapers. I just try to gently educate. I've found that people are more receptive that way and sometimes it's bystanders, not just the person you're trying to educate
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#6 of 175 Old 07-21-2008, 11:31 PM
 
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I am a chemical engineer, really, who used to work in a plastics factory, making the plastic that clogs up our trash cans. and I am trying hard to be natural!
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#7 of 175 Old 07-21-2008, 11:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh wow that is awful...they gave out formula for free!! hmmm, I'm interested to know what this woman's formula employer has for breastfeeding support for their employees....
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#8 of 175 Old 07-22-2008, 12:21 AM
 
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I honestly could not be cool with something like that. I could be 'friends', but she would hear about all the time. I guess it would depend a lot on what exactly she does and what she thinks about it.

Single mom to E (2004) and D (2010)
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#9 of 175 Old 07-22-2008, 12:24 AM
 
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Um... it's a pretty sensitive time with food shortages/cost increases and gas being $5 a gallon to criticize someone for having a job. JMO. Would you seriously miss out on all the benefits of a possibly great friendship because of her *job?* It would not be worth a lonely existence (to me), just to have everyone I'm close to be in alignment with my values. Whatever happened to celebrating diversity?

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#10 of 175 Old 07-22-2008, 12:32 AM
 
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I think a lot of it would depend on different things. If she's the type who encourages formula and thinks that's the only way to go then I don't know if I'd be comfortable in that situation. However, if she supports (or is comfortable) with breastfeeding and *knows* it's the best thing, then I don't see it being a problem. And maybe if there is a problem and you want to continue being friends with her, then you could set some rules where neither of you will talk about it or bring it up (although I'm sure since you or both of you have children then you'll have to do it front of each other, that is with you breastfeeding and her formula feeding).
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#11 of 175 Old 07-22-2008, 08:36 AM
 
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Well, I consider myself to be a pretty hardcore lactivist, but I would say, Yes, I could still be friends with this person. I mean if the person and you get along, why not? There is a need for formula, in certain rare cases. Actually it is a blessing it exists. I would just try to focus on that
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#12 of 175 Old 07-22-2008, 08:55 AM
 
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Yes as long as they didn't try to convert me to formula all the time, give me free samples or have to hear about how "similar" formula is to breast milk (It’s not in the same league).

Sam, mum to: Ian, James, Lottie, Maddy, Jack, Ruby, Bronte & Sophia and Nate
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#13 of 175 Old 07-22-2008, 09:40 AM
 
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Originally Posted by baltic_ballet View Post
Yes as long as they didn't try to convert me to formula all the time, give me free samples or have to hear about how "similar" formula is to breast milk (It’s not in the same league).
: Although to be honest, I doubt we would be very close. We probably wouldn't have a lot in common.

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#14 of 175 Old 07-22-2008, 09:50 AM
 
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like others have said, we are not defined by our jobs.

well... I don't think I could be friends with someone who worked for a formula company's marketing department. IMO, that's where the evil is.

I'd give her a chance... see if she's actually pro-formula and anti-breastfeeding (not necessarily the same thing) or if it's just a paycheck that her family needs.

Maybe, if she's not anti-bf... you could befriend her and instill pro-bf information in her head, which she'll maybe start to spread around the office when she hears formula propaganda. muahahaha.
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#15 of 175 Old 07-22-2008, 10:21 AM
 
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Originally Posted by langyork View Post
I am a chemical engineer, really, who used to work in a plastics factory, making the plastic that clogs up our trash cans. and I am trying hard to be natural!

This. DH works for (owns, actually) a plastics food packaging design and brokerage. We import plastic from halfway around the world. Carbon bad in every way. The only thing worse is glass packaging because of the HUGE fuel costs, and the fact that not one single city in our metro area picks it up curbside, meaning less than .01% of it gets recycled. Although he tries to steer customers toward #1 and #2 (because anything else is not widely recycleable in the US) we are well aware that doesn't mean people will recycle, and plenty of his customers are dairy packagers and for chemical engineery-type reasons (oil, viscosity, the heat seal temperature, etc.) have to use #4 or higher.

I guess my point is that I don't think you should not be friends with somebody because of their job. It can be complex, they could have a lot of conflicted feelings about it, and it's not always easy in this economy for everyone to live their perfect life in perfect alignment with their deepest values (although I believe we all should be on a journey striving to align our lifestyles with our values) Probably very few of us are 100% there yet.

Elizabeth
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#16 of 175 Old 07-22-2008, 10:28 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by dynamicdoula View Post
Um... it's a pretty sensitive time with food shortages/cost increases and gas being $5 a gallon to criticize someone for having a job. JMO. Would you seriously miss out on all the benefits of a possibly great friendship because of her *job?* It would not be worth a lonely existence (to me), just to have everyone I'm close to be in alignment with my values. Whatever happened to celebrating diversity?
You have to realize, though, that someone who feels strongly about breastfeeding might be frustrated by someone who feels completely neutrally about formula.

She did assume I ff when we first met.

I think I will try to make things work because I like her, I'm just not sure if she would be offended if I say something lactivist in conversation....
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#17 of 175 Old 07-22-2008, 12:31 PM
 
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Well I feel pretty dang strong about breastfeeding and I would see her neutrality as an OPENING.

Kristina in Kitsap County, WA
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#18 of 175 Old 07-22-2008, 12:35 PM
 
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Originally Posted by baltic_ballet View Post
Yes as long as they didn't try to convert me to formula all the time, give me free samples or have to hear about how "similar" formula is to breast milk (It’s not in the same league).
Yeah that.

Single mom of 2 boys
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#19 of 175 Old 07-22-2008, 12:57 PM
 
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I could be friends, sure. Formula is a true need for many people. I could not be friends, though, if she tried to sway me to formula w/o medical reason, or if she tried to talk down bfing. A lot of people are not passionate about their job. I work for a hospital (currently on leave) that I do not receive services from, I go elsewhere. Just b/c I work there does not mean I support their practices, b/c I don't. I need a job that is family friendly and close to home, so it works for me.
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#20 of 175 Old 07-22-2008, 01:05 PM
 
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I work for a bank / mortgage company and people are still friends with me. Even my brother who was in danger of foreclosure by the same company I work for. Yep. Keep it in the family.

As with all the PP, look past the job and at the person.
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#21 of 175 Old 07-22-2008, 01:55 PM
 
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Yes, I could.

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#22 of 175 Old 07-22-2008, 02:05 PM
 
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Yes. I think it's wonderful to have a variety of friends.

It takes all kinds of people to make the world work.
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#23 of 175 Old 07-22-2008, 02:57 PM
 
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I don't know...If I could be friends with I would be. But I don't seek out friends who make me angry, insult my parenting, don't have anything in common, can't have a nice conversation etc. *IF* she did those things I wouldn't be friends with her. If my cloth diapering breast feeding co-sleeping friend was mean to me or fought with me all the time, I wouldn't be friends with her either.

So yeah, if my friend (any friend) was all "ewww bf is gross, use this formula" i'd be all "hey, let's *not* get together next week!"
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#24 of 175 Old 07-22-2008, 03:29 PM
 
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my best friend's husband works for a company that makes formula (among many other things). she has been one of my best ap/breastfeeding resources.

Mama to Jet 6/05, Marvel 8/06 and Cash and Fox 2/09
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#25 of 175 Old 07-22-2008, 03:36 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shanti1 View Post
Yes I could. I guess it wouldn't even cross my mind not to be friend w/her because of who she works for. I have plenty of friend who work for the government....and i have a lot more issues w/our government than i do formula companies.

who you work for does not define who you are.
Oh...I HAD to laugh after I read that one! ME too! I agree, I have friends who work a corporation in our town and the corporation is very corrupt and yet I am friends with them.
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#26 of 175 Old 07-22-2008, 03:43 PM
 
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As long as they didn't harass me about BF and tell me how disgusting it is I would be fine. I don't really care where they work; I'm sure they are just trying to make a living.

:
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#27 of 175 Old 07-22-2008, 04:01 PM
 
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I actually am friends with someone who works at a formula company. And she and I have NIPed several times together at outdoor festivals, etc. Where you work doesn't necessarily define who you are.

DH+Me 1994 heartbeat.gif DS 2004 heartbeat.gif DD 2008 heartbeat.gif DDog 2014
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#28 of 175 Old 07-22-2008, 04:48 PM
 
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DH runs a cigar business and has been with the same company for almost 12 years. I know this is not remotely the same thing as formula, but I would hate to think that someone wouldn't be friends with him/us because they were opposed to/disgusted by cigars (and you know what, I actually think cigars are vile, and I work in public health).

So I agree w/ the PPs who said that they would not make the decision based on where someone works. However, if you find that this potential friend is not respectful of you and your choices, then it would worthwhile to question whether or not it's worth being friends.
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#29 of 175 Old 07-22-2008, 05:02 PM
 
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I can't imagine why somebody's job would impact my friendship. It's possible that we wouldn't have much in common and therefore wouldn't reallly hit it off, or it could be that she's doing generic paperwork (or generic building maintenance, etc) that she could be doing for any kind of company.

Ruth, single mommy to Leah, 19, Hannah, 18, and Jack, 12
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#30 of 175 Old 07-22-2008, 06:33 PM
 
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my best friend's husband works for a company that makes formula (among many other things). she has been one of my best ap/breastfeeding resources.
So does my own husband. Not going to be seeking a divorce anytime soon.
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