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Am I a TERRIBLE Person????

1717 Views 23 Replies 14 Participants Last post by  nemom2boys
I'm de-lurking here as I'm in desperate need for support & feedback. I'm absolutly devistated by something that started out as nearly nothing & has resulted in me losing my 2 best friends, and now feeling like the MOST horrible person on the PLANET!!

Here's the situation. I have (had
) a friend who's child is 2 month younger than mine (just over a year). The child doesn't eat, at all. Has reflux, and still refuses all food at 1 yr+. We'd talked/joked for months when she 'hit her limit' she could drop him off at my house, I'd feed him. And, we always said if something ever happened to her, I'd feed (bf) him, etc. So, last week I was watching him for a few hours, and when I was nursing my daughter, he was sitting next to me on the sofa & and nuzzled me, so I let him latch on. He only latched on for like 3 seconds, and then came off & went on his way.

I told my friend about it when she came, and she was surprised & kinda laughed about it. Nearly a week later she told me she wanted to talk about something, that it was bothering her terribly that I had done that. Her husband was furious.
She felt 'cheated on', like I kissed her boyfriend or something, and she was thinking about it all the time. She kept saying she wished I hadn't done it, etc. I was SO upset, said it was really nothing, he didn't even get anything, and I was VERY VERY sorry. I said I couldn't take back time, but was SO upset I'd hurt her. I said we'd talked about it & she said she didn't think it would ever happen, that she felt like she'd 'given permission', but didn't think it would happen.

Now I haven't spoken to her (or another mututal friend who I know she would have talked about it with before she said anything to me) since that conversation. I'm absolutly miserable. At first I avoided the phone, now my stomach does a lurch every time it rings, but of course neither she nor the other friend have called. I honestly feel like I can never see them again, never to to play group, like I'm a socal misfit or something.

Am I a TOTAL FREAK? Did I do something HORRIBLE??? Honestly, if she hadn't said something about it, I would have never remembered it ever happend (it was really nothing, he didn't get anything, latched for a sec & that was it). I feel like I abused him or something.

Thank you for reading this far. I'd really appreciate HONEST feedback.
Thank you!
A mom in misery!
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I think the problem is hers, and not yours. As a parent, it is her responsibility to communicate to her childcare provider (wether it's for a few minutes, or a few days) what her preferencews are for feeding, discipline, etc. The fact that this upsets her so much is just wierd to me.
I don't know whether it was a terrible thing, a neutral thing or a kind of nice thing. But for sure you aren't a freak, you are a nice lady, a generous one, who is nursing a baby. Now that I'm nursing I understand how much it changes your boundaries and your feelings about your breasts.

The main thing is, your friend was uncomfortable and now you are feeling really bad. You need some help to get over it with her. If you are close enough friends that you felt okay nursing her child, then you should be close enough to talk this over. It is a sign of how close you feel to her that you did this, kind of like you are related. I get why she's upset: maybe she isn't ready to be that physical with you.

If I were in your place I would call her and talk it over.
Well to be honest, I too would be very upset at what you did. My relationship with my nursing daughter is intimate and just for us. But being as how the other mother was not a nursing mother i'll look at this from the perspective of a bottlefeeding mother as I did not nurse my almost 3 year old son. I would be very upset to think that someone did this. Number one, it isn't your child. Number two, you did not have her permission, number three, she proably has guilt (I know I did) regarding not nursing and you doing this would feel like a dagger in the heart (kind of like I can do this and you didn't type thing). I know you had the best of intentions but to me it would honestly feel like someone kissed my husband or worse. I would feel betrayed and upset. I am not trying to rag on you just saying how I would feel.
Okay i just reread your post and it sounds like she is a breastfeeding mom. So I will respond from another breastfeeding moms standpoint. I am the only one who can or who has ever nursed my daughter. That feels really really special. Someone else comes along and my child latches on them. I would feel betrayed, as if our special bond was shattered. I would feel literally ill to my stomach at the thought of someone else nursing my child. Just my honest opinion. I know most will think thats overreacting but its how I feel.
Heavenly, thank you for your honesty. FYI, she is nursing. He doesn't eat anything, just nurses. That's why we'd 'talked' & 'joked' about her dropping him off for me to feed him when she 'hit the limit'.
Real communication problems here.

My thoughts:
he doesn't eat, only nurses but she dropped him off at your place? What did she expect him to do when he got hungry?

you 'jokingly' had an agreement that you'd BF him. Given it's such an intimate act, it would have been prudent for you to really clarify this with her.

I can understand her upset but really it's a bit late - you'd said you would BF him, she never told you not to. She really didn't think things out very well.
s to you! This does sound like a terrible bit of mis-communication. I would probably be upset if my latched on to someone else -- but with his personality, I wouldn't be surprised if he tried it in a few months with a person he was familiar with.

He sees a boobie, he thinks it's his! :LOL

Your friend has a right to her feelings -- everyone does. But with ya'lls joking about bfing her boy, there is NO way you could know it would upset her. You apologized. It should be over now. You should not have to hide away.

If she is really your friend she will understand that -- by hiding you may be making it seem like you think you did something really terrible that you shouldn't be forgiven for.

Good luck &
s to you.
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Thank you for the support, I appreciate it. I just wrote her a letter & drove it to the PO so it would arrive asap. I basically apologized again, said i was an idiot, and understood if she didn't want to spend time around me anymore.

The saddest part of this all is it made me feel so icky & that I shouldn't even be bfing my little one anymore, like it was something bad or dirty.
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It was only a few seconds - you'd think she'd have gotten over it. I have a feeling a lot of this is coming from her husband. When you first told her about it, she laughed it off. Then she mentioned it to her husband, who became furious, and THEN she called you and was upset.

Seems to me that if she had (originally) really been opposed to the idea -- if she had felt about it the way Heavenly does -- she would have made it clear when you discussed it previously. It is valid for her to have some feelings of regret, but it is not reasonable for her to abandon your friendship over it.

Wet-nursing a child for a few seconds is nothing like kissing someone's husband, in my opinion. And you certainly didn't "abuse the child"! Good grief! Let yourself off the hook.
what devrock said!

The saddest part of this all is it made me feel so icky & that I shouldn't even be bfing my little one anymore, like it was something bad or dirty.
NOPE! Don't let people do that to you! You are doing a wonderful thing -- I'd wager that in other countries this being a problem would be laughed at. We Americans are sooo uptight sometimes!
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You are NOT a freak!

First of all, it is totally normal for children to latch on to a booby when they see one...even if it isn't "theirs"

Secondly, it is a mama instinct to offer her breast to a hungry child.

Thirdly, it is normal for a nursing mom to feel violated and cheated on when her child DOES latch on to another breast...if only for a moment, even though getting nursed by another woman is NOT WRONG.

I DID give permission to another mama so she could feed my baby when she got hungry (I was attending a therapy session). Even though I gave this permission, I was TOTALLY freaked out by the ocurrence and have never had the same relationship with this woman again. Now that I am farther away from that time, it feels less intense and I feel I could bring it up with her...but our relationship isn't that important to me anymore (to be honest). I was VERY suprised by my reaction. Never did I think it would bother me, but it did. I felt like someone had forged a bond with my daughter that was supposed to be for ONLY me. I never told my husband, because I thought he might have an even more intense reaction.

I've decided that, unless it is an ABSOLUTE emergency, I will not ask someone to breastfeed my children again.

However, I'm not really mad at my old friend...but...I don't DID change things.

Another friend of mine has a little boy of 6 months. He latched on to his mama's roommate's (and best friend) breast when they (the baby and the roomie) were taking a bath together (that could sound weird at first...the bath with the roomie...but she is co-parenting the child...and just as normal as taking a bath with daddy or mommy). ANYWAY...long story short, she has boobs, the boy latched on. She immediately unlatched him and said something like...."no milk in there, buddy!" But the mama was also weirded out by it. Fortunately, mama's relationship with the roomie is open and close enough that they were able to discuss it and work through mama's weird feelings.

If you are close enough to this woman, you will be able to work this out. If not...well....friends drift apart (to be blunt...not my strong suit). But remember, just because it weirds people out or really upsets them doesn't meant that you did something out of malicious intent. AND, you had discussed this on a certain level and so it didn't seem wrong to you. I believe that people can have "wigged out" reactions to things even if the thing they are "wigged out" about is a)not wrong and b) totally normal instinct.

You could explain where you are coming from and also tell her how sorry you are that it has upset her so....because it is obvious you never intended harm.

Blessings and good luck. Keep us posted.

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I cross-posted with you...

Originally posted by amomtomine
The saddest part of this all is it made me feel so icky & that I shouldn't even be bfing my little one anymore, like it was something bad or dirty.
Oh, my goodness! You have really been traumatized by this! How awful that you now associate breastfeeding with negative feelings! Breastfeeding is a wonderful, wholesome, incredibly positive thing. It should *never* be associated with negative feelings. You are doing the most important thing in the world when you are breastfeeding. You should be proud, proud, proud! You are the best kind of mother. I hope those bad feelings you are having go away -- soon!
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Sorry, but I have to but in here and say that I don't have problem with someone else nursing my baby. I can respect anyone who does (although forgiveness would be in order for an honest mistake).

I was camping with my 8mo old son and met another nursing mom at the campsite. She watched the babies while I went on a hike or something one day and I came back to find her nursing my son. He was totally enjoying himself just as if he had discovered a new flavor of ice cream. I was totally fine with it.

Might be a little different with a younger baby who might not be as established in the nirsing relationship.

So sorry that it caused problems in your friendship though.
Originally posted by summerdgo
He was totally enjoying himself just as if he had discovered a new flavor of ice cream.

I'd just like to add that I have wet-nursed both of my neices. Both of their parents were fine with it.
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I am sorry this happened to you. I don't think you did anything wrong and I hope that feelings can be mended. I can see this situation from both sides though, so I just wanted to comment on my feelings about "wet nursing".

I have "wet nursed" several times for people, and I have no problem with doing that (once as a pacifier for my sister's daughter, pre-kids; once for her son when I had milk and once as a pacifier for a friend between my kids). I do think though that I would feel a little weird about someone else wet nursing my kids (can't explain it though), UNLESS it was an emergency.

For example, my sister and I discussed it about 3 years ago and agreed that if we were babysitting each other babies and they got hungry, than we would try nursing them (we have sons about 9 months apart in age). Mostly I wanted to make sure that if I was babysitting her child that I could nurse him if needed because I didn't want to give him a bottle...I agreed the other direction so that it would be reciprocal, but never really wanted her to nurse my baby (mostly because she smokes, but I think it goes deeper). So, I just never gave her an "opportunity" to do that. And I only ended up needing to nurse him once and her dh was there, so there was no question that it was o.k. What would have happened if she had needed to nurse my baby? I'd have been a little weirded out, but ultimately would have been o.k. with it. I probably wouldn't want a friend to nurse my child, but I only have one or two that would consider doing it anyway, so I guess it isn't an issue.

IMO, the nursing relationship is very important, but so is feeding a hungry baby. I don't think that "wet nursing" is weird or that you are a freak for doing it (and acting on a previously held conversation). I guess I don't think she really thought it through...that makes it her problem, not yours.

I hope it all works out for you.
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First of all, you are emphatically NOT a freak! I've often wondered what I would do in a similar situation. If I had a screaming babe on my hands and I had milk, I think I'd just nurse the child.
Shocking but true

I realize that the act of BF'ing is a personal thing and it foster's a unique bond with a child...but, in it's base form, it's simply providing nourishment and comfort. Any body willing to do that for my child if I'm not available isn't a freak in my book.

A little OT, but when Jacob was teeny he latched on to EVERYTHING!
He latched onto DH's nose, his chin, my neck, my best friend's shirt (in the boobular area
). I don't feel as if he 'cheated' on me, he was a hungry babe!
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Originally posted by pumpkinhead

A little OT, but when Jacob was teeny he latched on to EVERYTHING!
He latched onto DH's nose, his chin, my neck, my best friend's shirt (in the boobular area
). I don't feel as if he 'cheated' on me, he was a hungry babe!
My ds once gave me a hickey on my neck because I was running around trying to get my water bottle & pillow before I sat down to feed him :LOL
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I'm in no way trying to belittle the intimacy of a mother/child nursing relationship, but would your friend be upset at all if you'd told her, "We were all playing on the floor and your baby stuck my finger in his mouth."

Let's grab some perspective here so you can stop suffering. You are not a child molester. You are not a dirty person. You are not an idiot, either. I think your fear is that the world now thinks you're a predator. Where does this come from? Our society's constant confirmation that the female body (breasts in particular) are for sexual gratification only. (My husband has gone so far as to say my breasts are HIS property...that's how much he's been poisoned by our oversexed and under-nursed nation.)

Be sorry she felt uncomfortable, but remember that it was not sexual and that her baby tried and then refused because he knew the breast and milk wasn't the one he was used to. You didn't interfere with their nursing relationship. Please don't let her discomfort upset your relationship with your baby.

I should add, the only time I've seen a woman nurse a baby that wasn't hers...was in a movie. The Hand That Rocks The Cradle...and that woman was malicious and trying to replace the mother. Didn't she even try to kill her? See? This is the nastiness we see (and pay to see) and then we torment ourselves with it later. I hope you find peace with this soon, mama.
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Just another anecdote.

One time , we were visiting my dh's sister's house. It was a Sunday morning. She had a BF 3 month old, I was nursing my toddler.

I woke up in a fog to realize I had been hearing my nephew screaming his head off for some time before I fully woke up.

I stumbled downstairs where my BIL was hopelessly trying to comfort the dn. SIL had goen to church, been gone over an hour, which she wasn't supposed to do. Dn usually took a long nap at that time of day BIL said. But this time had woken up 15 mins after she left.

I asked BIL if I could try to nurse dn (SIL had not left any EBM). He gratefully gave me permission. (He was abt ready to pack screaming dn in the car and go looking for her, but was afraid he would miss her.) I nursed dn for 15 mins and SIL finally came home abt 15 mins after that!

She was a little miffed, but man, this situation was desparate.
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