New friend wants to take her kids out of the room when we nurse. What would you say? - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

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Old 11-25-2013, 07:33 PM
 
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Young boys and girls and all people in general
can have sexual thoughts about anything. It's not a nursing mother's responsibility for anyone else's sexual thoughts. I do, however, consider myself responsible for normalizing breastfeeding for the next generation. That means nursing in public no matter who that public consists of. All it is is feeding a baby. That's all.

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Old 11-25-2013, 07:38 PM
 
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I agree that all it is is feeding a baby! Do if she is not wanting to worry about the friends children than she doesn't have to pursue the friendship. Not looking for a debate here just trying to give perspective from another point of view.

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Old 11-25-2013, 09:18 PM
 
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Oh I understand. It's just hard because its a sensitive issue and therefore debate just ends up happening. I do understand your point, though. :-)

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Old 11-26-2013, 03:33 AM
 
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I am sorry the OP came here to find at least some support, and instead got ridiculed herself.  It is offensive when people feel they have to 'leave the room', when you are doing something natural and beneficial like breastfeeding. Even when trying to be understanding, it is hurtful. I wish  people had been more sensitive on this thread to that feeling.

I suppose its just one more crunchy mom turned off by mdc...pity, we could do with a few more.

 

And yes, offense at the sight of a womans breast is prudish. Call it what it is, and dont make excuses about it. A prude is a prude!

 

 

See, I think there's a difference between "I personally prefer not to do X or let my children do it" and "I'm SHOCKED that YOU would do X!" I would describe the latter reaction as taking offence, but not the former. Sometimes people do just have limits for what they're OK with without feeling shocked or offended by the fact that other people have different limits.

 

It sounds as though that's how this woman approached things. She's politely tried to find a compromise that'll allow her to keep to her limits regarding her choices for her family, without interfering with what the OP is doing. She's not said anything to indicate that she's offended by the OP having different limits in that regard. If she'd been saying "How dare you nurse in front of me?" or anything of that sort, I'd be joining right in with calling her a prude. I see a prude as someone who can't accept that others may set looser boundaries, not as someone who sets tight boundaries for themselves. When someone is just trying to find a compromise for managing the differences between their boundaries and others, and being really polite and nice about it... that is not what I'd call 'offence' or 'prudish' (or, for that matter, 'disrespectful' or 'dishonest'.) Does that make sense?

 

BTW, I'd have to disagree with the claim that the OP got ridicule rather than support. It's a shame that this thread led to such a disagreement between forum members as to how to speak appropriately of the woman the OP was describing, but it's generally been sympathetic in tone towards the OP, and although a couple were pretty blunt about disagreeing I wouldn't say anyone ridiculed her. I also hope she wasn't hurt or put off by any of it, but I don't think anyone was particularly out of line in how they spoke to/about her.

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Old 11-26-2013, 08:21 AM
 
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See, I think there's a difference between "I personally prefer not to do X or let my children do it" and "I'm SHOCKED that YOU would do X!" I would describe the latter reaction as taking offence, but not the former. Sometimes people do just have limits for what they're OK with without feeling shocked or offended by the fact that other people have different limits.

 

It sounds as though that's how this woman approached things. She's politely tried to find a compromise that'll allow her to keep to her limits regarding her choices for her family, without interfering with what the OP is doing. She's not said anything to indicate that she's offended by the OP having different limits in that regard. If she'd been saying "How dare you nurse in front of me?" or anything of that sort, I'd be joining right in with calling her a prude. I see a prude as someone who can't accept that others may set looser boundaries, not as someone who sets tight boundaries for themselves. When someone is just trying to find a compromise for managing the differences between their boundaries and others, and being really polite and nice about it... that is not what I'd call 'offence' or 'prudish' (or, for that matter, 'disrespectful' or 'dishonest'.) Does that make sense?

 

BTW, I'd have to disagree with the claim that the OP got ridicule rather than support. It's a shame that this thread led to such a disagreement between forum members as to how to speak appropriately of the woman the OP was describing, but it's generally been sympathetic in tone towards the OP, and although a couple were pretty blunt about disagreeing I wouldn't say anyone ridiculed her. I also hope she wasn't hurt or put off by any of it, but I don't think anyone was particularly out of line in how they spoke to/about her.


Yes, all of this.

 

And, to add, I am perplexed as to why many of you think that the OP's friend was out of line. Where did she go wrong... in your eyes? She DID NOT tell the OP to stop nursing. She DID NOT curse at her or insult her. She DID NOT tell the OP that she can't be friends with her because she is nursing a toddler. She DID NOT tell the OP to do ANYTHING other than let her know in the future when she is going to nurse so she can move her kids into another room. What is wrong with THAT?? Many of you are making assumptions that the OP's friend is against nursing, against this, against that, but none of you know that for sure. Certainly the OP hasn't come back and clarified, and none of us know them personally IRL. And, so what if the OP's friend doesn't want her kids to see breasts. That is her deal. Those are her kids. She is raising them her way, because they are her kids. She did not tell the OP to do anything differently. Why are some of you essentially making things up out of thin air?? This really bothers me. Where was she intolerant or disrespectful to the OP? And, what about being tolerant to the OP's friends' situation. Where is the compromise in differently parenting styles? How do we know that the OP's friend is against nursing? We don't. Maybe the reasons for which the OP's friend doesn't want her kids to see breasts has nothing to do with nursing at all. Maybe she simply doesn't want her kids to see naked breasts yet. Maybe when they got home, her son started asking questions that she was just not ready to answer yet. She is not a demon because of that. Again, we just don't know for sure. It's amazing that this woman was basically attacked based on assumptions and not facts.

 

"It's not a nursing mother's responsibility for anyone else's sexual thoughts."

 

You're right, but it is the responsibility of the other parent, and the other parent in this scenario is dealing with it and did not ask the OP to do anything different in her life.

 

"It is offensive when people feel they have to 'leave the room', when you are doing something natural and beneficial like breastfeeding. Even when trying to be understanding, it is hurtful. I wish people had been more sensitive on this thread to that feeling."

 

Why is that offensive? Everyone has different comfort levels.

 

The "people" who want to leave the room are a mother and her young children. The mother may just not be ready for her kids to see an exposed breast yet and answer associated questions. She is in another country and other countries have different cultures, parenting styles, etc. Where is the tolerance for that?? If I were the OP, I'd be more offended if the friend asked her to change her behavior and worse, in her own home. She did not do that although some of you extrapolated that somehow from the OP's original post. And, where is the sensitivity to the woman and HER beliefs, philosophy, parenting style or culture? The OP is the only one in this situation that deserves that? Why?


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Old 11-26-2013, 08:50 AM
 
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It's not that the OP's friend is "bad", but her attitude towards bare breasts is perpetuating a problem in which breasts are sexualized. This is a big problem because it really effects babies and nursing mothers. This is why one view (the OP's) is seen as tolerant while her friend's is not. Because the OP's view is progressive in that it opens the door of opportunity up for breastfeeding moms and their children. The other view creates an obstacle.

The OP's friend seems very nice and probably hated making that call to her friend. But the call she made was a statement that hurts breastfeeding. It's just the sad truth of the matter. Like I said, she needs compassion and maybe she will begin to see things differently.

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Old 11-26-2013, 09:03 AM
 
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What dalia said.

 

Except that that the 'friend' has an opinion/ comfort level or whatever you want to call it that is insidious and contagious. And yes, I know the definition of the word insidious and it is perfectly used here. I don't care how she might change her views or how she might come around, I would not want my family absorbing that viewpoint or normalizing it in any way. It's toxic. Plain and simple. Whether her 11 yo sexualizes breasts to that degree, or if it is just the mother's discomfort, whatever it is, they got that somewhere. It's catching.

 

There is a reason my 11 year old thinks nothing of people whippin' it out at our homeschool park days. There's a reason why my kids are not embarrassed to hug or caress me in front of friends, or ask questions about their bodies, or be at the births of their siblings. None of their friends are embarrassed of breastfeeding either. We keep good company. No, we aren't all perfectly alike, but I do keep them from toxic behavior when I can  and will do so until they are strong in their views and well-formed enough to reject that kind of behavior. 

 

And it isn't just catching to kids, it's contagious to adults too. The more time I have spent around people who are not comfortable with breastfeeding or birth or homeschooling or what have you, the more I have found myself questioning my choices. I have learned to keep my distance from these people so that I can raise confident, solid children. 

 

That's my choice, and my opinion. So many on this thread don't get that this is not about labeling anyone as bad, it's about offering advice for what we would do in that situation. I would make my feelings known in a respectful manner and end the relationship. That is what I would do, even though I know what it is like to be isolated. This is not like having a different political preference, where you keep it to yourself and all is well. 


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Old 11-26-2013, 09:21 AM
 
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I'm actually impressed at how calm everyone has been lol I have been on other sites where is has god rude and ugly! smile.gif

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Old 11-26-2013, 09:27 AM
 
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Assumptions are still being made about this woman's attitude, opinion, etc. We do not know where she is coming from. OP hasn't clarified. She is being essentially attacked based on assumptions. There is something very wrong with that. That is my point. People have such a knee-jerk reaction when others views don't jive with theirs. We know that she is pro-breastfeeding, as the OP indicated she BF'd her own kids. Maybe she feels more comfortable doing it in a more discreet way than others and that is totally fine. At least she nursed her kids, right? Isn't that the goal? Get more women to breastfeed? So now, because she doesn't feel comfortable doing it the way the OP does it or YOU do it, you are going to criticize her for it? We have no idea this is the case, by the way. All or nothing? Breastfeed our way or else you will be ostracized for doing it different from us? Because she may feel more comfortable covered up, that attitude/comfort level she has is going to ruin it for the rest of us? Again, where is the tolerance for this mother? I covered up, and I would have been furious if someone told me I was wrong for that, or I was hindering the progress of getting more women to breastfeed... because of my choices, my life, my comfort levels. I don't have a problem with others nursing in public, but I chose not to do it, and if I found myself in that situation, I covered up. So??? I nursed my kids into toddler-hood. I am a success story. But, I guess I'm wrong or I suck because my attitude is not like everyone else's.


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Old 11-26-2013, 02:49 PM
 
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No I understand what you mean erindattsmom88. I also choose to cover and while I don't ridicule those who don't I sometimes feel discriminated against bc I do....if that mAkes any sense. I was one of the people if you read that was sticking up for the friend of OP! I think if she was kind about her feelings the OP should not be mad for her honesty, however I also don't like to tell others that their feelings aren't valid!

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Old 11-26-2013, 05:24 PM
 
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No I understand what you mean erindattsmom88. I also choose to cover and while I don't ridicule those who don't I sometimes feel discriminated against bc I do....if that mAkes any sense. I was one of the people if you read that was sticking up for the friend of OP! I think if she was kind about her feelings the OP should not be mad for her honesty, however I also don't like to tell others that their feelings aren't valid!

YES! It makes perfect sense. Same here.

 

The OP's feelings are totally valid, I agree, but so are the feelings of her friend, kwim?


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Old 11-26-2013, 05:34 PM
 
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I don't know if this will cause controversy and I don't mean for it to at all but does anyone here cover because of their faith and beliefs? Maybe I start a new thread lol

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Old 11-26-2013, 07:59 PM
 
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I don't know if this will cause controversy and I don't mean for it to at all but does anyone here cover because of their faith and beliefs? Maybe I start a new thread lol

Go ahead and start a new thread.  There are threads in the spirituality/religious studies forums about covering, but those are about head covering.  You could start one about using a nursing cover for religious reasons in the breastfeeding forum, or in the religious studies (sub forum of spirituality) if you want to talk about the academic reasons. 

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Old 11-27-2013, 10:56 PM
 
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Hi Everyone, there is a lot of interesting conversation happening on this thread, but several of the posts have started to get a bit personally attacking and included some namecalling (e.g. calling someone a prude).

 

As a reminder from our User Agreement:

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We value the honest and supportive exchange of ideas and opinions, and we ask that members avoid negative characterizations and generalizations about others. Examples and calm explanation are more useful than condemnation of ideas that differ from Mothering's philosophies.
 

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Hate posts and personal attacks will not be tolerated. Treat others as you would want to be treated. Attacking someone to provoke a negative response is not allowed.

 

Please review your posts and remove any attacking or namecalling comments and any negative characterizations and generalizations about others. Please remember to be respectful when disagreeing and talk about behaviors and topics rather than individuals. And keep the interesting discussions rolling!


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Old 11-28-2013, 12:34 AM
 
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Thank you, @HappyHappyMommy! Nicely put.

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Old 11-28-2013, 11:44 AM
 
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I would simply warn the mom so she can distract her child or take him to play in another room for a little bit. I wouldn't make a bit deal of it.
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Old 11-28-2013, 03:21 PM
 
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Hi Everyone, there is a lot of interesting conversation happening on this thread, but several of the posts have started to get a bit personally attacking and included some namecalling (e.g. calling someone a prude).

 

As a reminder from our User Agreement:

 

Please review your posts and remove any attacking or namecalling comments and any negative characterizations and generalizations about others. Please remember to be respectful when disagreeing and talk about behaviors and topics rather than individuals. And keep the interesting discussions rolling!

I dont think anyone called posters here 'prude'. Someone may have made a reference to the OP's friend as a prude. I think thats a bit different.

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Old 11-28-2013, 04:02 PM
 
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I dont think anyone called posters here 'prude'. Someone may have made a reference to the OP's friend as a prude. I think thats a bit different.

Pretty sure namecalling is against the UA regardless of if the person is a member or not. Namecalling is never cool.
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Old 11-28-2013, 04:12 PM
 
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I thought it was poster to poster name calling that was against the UA as well. Haven't seen any of that here either. I'm not saying its okay I'm just saying I didn't think it's against UA.

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Old 11-28-2013, 04:46 PM
 
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I may be able to comply with this friend's request but I think deep down I'd resent it and it would drive a wedge between us. I'm a firm believer in normalizing breastfeeding and I just wouldn't feel safe/accepted with this woman. I'm sure she's a lovely person but this may be a deal breaker for me, based on my personal beliefs and what I hold dear. I know I've never felt safe and accepted at my in laws' house after they told DH to ask me to cover up or leave the room when I nurse at their house. Everyone is free to have their own priorities but sometimes that means people just don't work out as friends.
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Old 11-28-2013, 06:57 PM
 
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Your friend has clearly given you the respect of not judging you in your choices in raising/feeding your child. Maybe you should consider giving her the respect of allowing her to raise hers the way she see's fit. It sounds to me like this woman was trying to be respectful of your choices while still asserting her own beliefs for her family. i know it sucks to feel judged about something as natural and normal as bfing but sometimes thats the way the cookie crumbles. If you're worried about sending the wrong message to your son about people leaving the room maybe you could try to time it so he isn't nursing while you're there? (Trust me, I know this isn't always possible) Otherwise, you're just going to have to decide if its worth being this woman's friend. treehugger.gif
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Old 11-28-2013, 08:02 PM
 
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but she didn't ask her to cover up, she asked her to tell her first so had can take her kids out of the room! I just don't understand why everyone finds it so hard to understand why some may not want their children to see another woman's beasts. It doesn't mean you do not support breast feeding. I tell my kids what breasts are for and they know that women feed their babies from their "boobies" but that doesn't mean that I want them to see other women's breasts. Not to mention the lady didn't even tell her to cover!! She was polite and honest about her feelings. Why when it comes to breast feeding does it have to be such a great divide? Why can't everyone just feed their babies the way the wAnt without judgement. I feed covered, you don't! I will remove my kids from a situation I don't feel comfortable with, you don't have to! It's simple..,. Everyone just be polite and honest with their feelings and we can continue the friendship or go our separate ways!!

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Old 11-28-2013, 08:19 PM
 
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Apeydef, I can respect others' views and concede to their wishes but I can't help the way I feel - just like they can't. It's something that hits very close to home for me. I have two girls and had to work hard to nurse them both for different reasons. Anything that makes nursing harder or more isolating is another obstacle. Any obstacles I can remove I will remove. I think OP needs to take stock and figure out if she can live with this compromise. I know personally that it would continue to bother me. It's not the friend's fault. Sometimes people are compatible enough and make it work but sometimes they aren't. If its not wrong for the friend to ask for a warning so she and her kids can leave the room, why is it wrong for me to feel bothered by being friends with a mom who can't be around me with her kids when my baby is hungry?
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Old 11-28-2013, 08:23 PM
 
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No I don't think you are wrong for feeling the way you do and I'm sorry if it came across like that! I just wanted to make if clear that she was not asked to cover up or even go into another room for that matter....

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Old 11-28-2013, 08:26 PM
 
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Also I know people in my family think it's weird I am still bf my almost four year old, so I feel by covering up and not making anyone feel uncomfortable I am normalizing it!

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Old 11-28-2013, 08:27 PM
 
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I meant 14 month old!

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Old 11-28-2013, 08:44 PM
 
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Yes, I see, thank you Apeydef. I'm glad you've found a middle ground that works for you with extended family. Covering up isn't a good fit for me and someone I know leaving the room every time I nurse feels like rejection to me. I know it's different for others.
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Old 11-28-2013, 08:58 PM
 
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Apeydef, I can respect others' views and concede to their wishes but I can't help the way I feel - just like they can't. It's something that hits very close to home for me. I have two girls and had to work hard to nurse them both for different reasons. Anything that makes nursing harder or more isolating is another obstacle. Any obstacles I can remove I will remove. I think OP needs to take stock and figure out if she can live with this compromise. I know personally that it would continue to bother me. It's not the friend's fault. Sometimes people are compatible enough and make it work but sometimes they aren't. If its not wrong for the friend to ask for a warning so she and her kids can leave the room, why is it wrong for me to feel bothered by being friends with a mom who can't be around me with her kids when my baby is hungry?

But the friend didn't say that she wanted to leave, just that her sons. And if you've never had an 11 year old child you might not realize that they are often embarrassed my everything and anything.

I guess I just don't understand how some here can't understand and respect a mom for being honest. I don't think that forcing her sons to be in an environment that makes them uncomfortable just to normalize breast feeding is reasonable. Modesty isn't something to be ashamed of, I cannot understanding judging this mom just as I wouldn't judge a breast feeding mom who asked for a private place to feed her baby in a friend's home if that is what would make her more comfortable.
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Old 11-28-2013, 09:01 PM
 
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Yes her and I just discussed this if you read my previous posts....

DH 31; Me 30; DD 6; DS 1; Baby boy due Dec 17th

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Old 11-29-2013, 03:38 AM
 
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Originally Posted by TCMoulton View Post

But the friend didn't say that she wanted to leave, just that her sons. And if you've never had an 11 year old child you might not realize that they are often embarrassed my everything and anything.

I guess I just don't understand how some here can't understand and respect a mom for being honest. I don't think that forcing her sons to be in an environment that makes them uncomfortable just to normalize breast feeding is reasonable. Modesty isn't something to be ashamed of, I cannot understanding judging this mom just as I wouldn't judge a breast feeding mom who asked for a private place to feed her baby in a friend's home if that is what would make her more comfortable.
I don't understand where I've been disrespectful of this mom. Can you provide a quote? I've been saying where I come from and that I would not be comfortable with. I can (and do) respect her comfort level without agreeing with it. Why do I have to do something that makes me feel rejected and isolated? Why is it unacceptable to say I don't think this friendship would work out for me but the OP must look at her situation and figure out whether it may be a better fit for her? I'm not saying force the 11 year old into an uncomfortable situation. I'm just saying this would not be a good fit for me while my toddler still nursed frequently. I don't understand why it's so unacceptable to say this wouldn't be right for me but it may be an ok compromise for the OP?

ETA: I thought the friend asked for a heads up so she could take her kids into another room. That implies leaving to me.
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