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Knowing what you know now...could you be friends with a woman that....

1330 Views 39 Replies 33 Participants Last post by  Yarnia
FF from day one, without even trying BF, and not cause she has to but because of some very very lame reason(i.e., boob saggage, convenience, NIP stuff, etc.).

I have to say that I could not. IT would make me too mad at her and too sad for her baby. I could not respect her.
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It depends for me on the investment I've made and wish to continue making in the friendship.

I'd probably not be friends with someone who refused to even TRY breastfeeding.

But, I've also ended a friendship over spanking, so.....

I'd be very sad for her child. And, for her.
Personally I think that's a bit harsh. I think that sometimes underneath these 'lame' reasons is a very real fear of failure, self doubt, anxiety, etc. Sure I hope that every single mother at least tries to breastfeed, but I would never quit being friends with a momma who didn't try.
Are you going to interview the mothers on the first day of Kindergarten, Heidi? How are you going to know when the children are past the age of nursing that they were or were not breastfed?

Do you have an application? Who will apply?

This thread is not advocating or supporting anything but prejudice and hatred.

Edited because this thread got steered in a better direction. I am glad.
I have a very dear friend who falls into that category. We have known each other for years, were friends as girls and have remained friends on and off into our adult lives. She had her baby before me and I was sad and disappointed and worried a little about her baby's health, but she is first and foremost, my friend. I think that if I had had my DS first, I would definitely try harder to advocate for BF before she had her baby....but her little one is 3 now and mine is 5 I guess I will just wait and see if she has another. I also don't believe that if she doesn't come around to my point of view and BF her next that I will sever the friendship. She is a great person, just IMO misguided in her thoughts about baby feeeding.

This woman and I agree on almost nothing
. We have different views on religion, politics, environmental issues, childrearing philosophy, foods we like etc. Of course I wish she had breastfed, just as I wish she would "see the light" about many other things that we disagree on. I'm sure she feels the same way about me.
We have managed, though, to maintain a friendship in the face of all of these differences and I hope that we can continue to do so for years to come.

I am trying, in my own life, to learn to be a more tolerant and kindhearted person. I want this, not only for myself, but as an example to DS. I want him to know that there are people of all kinds in the world and it is possible to disagree about even very fundamental things(like what we feed our babies
) and to still care about each other. I want him to be able to be friends with her son and not believe that because he isn't "like us" in lifestyle that they cannot enjoy each other's company. This isn't easy, and sometimes her ideas make me fume, but she isn't about to walk away from our friendship because of differences and I owe her that same respect and love, even if I don't respect and love her decision on BF. I think we need each other in our lives to provide perspective.
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Sure, cuz maybe I could change her mind about bfeeding, hopefully in time to relactate for current baby or at least for future ones - theres always hope

Originally Posted by jessemoon
I am trying, in my own life, to learn to be a more tolerant and kindhearted person. I want this, not only for myself, but as an example to DS. I want him to know that there are people of all kinds in the world and it is possible to disagree about even very fundamental things(like what we feed our babies
) and to still care about each other. I want him to be able to be friends with her son and not believe that because he isn't "like us" in lifestyle that they cannot enjoy each other's company. This isn't easy, and sometimes her ideas make me fume, but she isn't about to walk away from our friendship because of differences and I owe her that same respect and love, even if I don't respect and love her decision on BF. I think we need each other in our lives to provide perspective.
Becoming more reverant and less judgemental are big focuses in my life right now. I am constantly stopping myself, having inner dialogue, when I catch myself making assumptions or forming judgements about strangers, friends and family. I think of all of the things in my life that a lot of people would likely disagree with or find fault in, but truthfully vrey few people in my life know the extent of the circumstances that have shaped my life.

I had lunch with a former co-worker last week. She has a 4 month old baby. She was intending to come back to work, but after baby came decided to become at SAHM (which I was thrilled for her). I like her a lot. We worked together for about a year and had lunch together regularly.

She weaned at 10 weeks. Her statement on the topic as exact as I can recall:

"I'm done nursing. I figured 10 weeks was good enough. I refuse to nurse in public and with it being summer and us being on the go all of the time I just figured it would be easier for me to stop."

She then wondered wether she was creating a "bad sleep habit" because the only way she can get her baby to sleep at night is if she takes her shirt of and rocks with him cradled to her breast and that her dh was laughing at her because it was so weird that she was holding her baby with no shirt on when she's no longer nursing.

I have been struggling since the lunch with my thoughts and feelings over this. She is a genuinely lovely person. I like and respect her. But i felt so sad that she somehow thought that FF was easier. I felt sad that she and so many other women feel so uncomfortable and intimidated by nursing in public.

I just did not know what to say at all and I felt really uncomfortable. She also saw the 20/20 episode on the b/fing campaing commercials and that she was offended by the commercials. Her exact words were "Excuse me but is formula poison or soemething? Jeesh!"

And in keeping with not wanting to judge and not wanting to make her feel guilty I said nothing... which I regret to a certain extent because I didn't speak my mind on something I feel so passionate about. I mean if this was any other person, besides a mom who had just weaned her very young baby, I would have really gotten into it on that issue... but I didn't want to hurt her feelings... Ugh! I really felt and feel very conflicted about that entire conversation... anyway, sorry to ramble...

No I will not stop being this woman's friend or any woman who doesn't nurse but I also will never feel entirely comfortable with it either and I'll always feel a little sad for what momma and baby missed out on. But I judge not, less I judge myself.
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Nobody in my family breastfed their babies. I have a cousin who is like a sister to me and I would be SHOCKED if she would consider breastfeeding, even just for a day. I put myself in their choes, with their culture and point of view, and bfing looks pretty bad from that standpoint. I can't blame them for thir choices. I can be angry at the culture that gave them such bad choices, but I can't be angry at the induvidual people. All I can do is to be a positive example of a bfing mom, and I hope I plant little seeds of change in their minds.

IMO, differences of opinion regarding infant feeding would not be cause for severing a longstanding relationship. I have only a few friends who share my views on infant feeding, and even less who share my view on sleep.

That being said, I would have difficuly cultivating a *new* relationship with a woman who I knew didn't bother to try to bf. We'd never get past the acquaintance stage because we probably wouldn't have very much in common.

If I ever respected her, i.e., she was my friend, I probably could. I'm a firm believer that those "lame" excuses were not the real reasons that she didn't BF and I would care enough to go deeper with her.

Good posts, everybody!
It depends on what kind of parent they are. I don't think I can make a blanket statement as to yes or no.
I know two people who FF fed from day one and it is very hard to hang out with them. One is VERY mainstream and it was stressing me out so much that I had to cut back on my time with her.

I think that in addition to the fact that they did not even try to give thier children breastmilk it is just hard to be friends with someone who has such a different parenting style than my own. My #1 goal right now is to do what I think is best for my daughter and to see someone doing everything opposite of what I do is hard.

However, I have never said "Why didn't you breastfeed" to either woman. One of my friends who is actually Riley's Godmother I think she just doesn't like to breastfeed. She did make a comment to me once when I informed her that we were going to do CLW with Riley that "I think when they can ask for it they are done" it was very hard for me to hold back. But now I don't think I will be as polite I guess. I get sick of her asking if Riley takes a bottle yet.

And the other mother is very nice but I just don't understand the nutrition that her son gets. And maybe I never will because hopefully I will never have to FF. But she uses nursery water yet he gets french fries. I just don't see the reasoning in using Nursery Water when he is getting icky fatty greasy fries.

Anyway yes I think it is very hard to be friends with FF from day one moms for non medical reasons.
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Yes, I could be friends with someone like that - I am.
A very good friend of mine who I have known for over 1/2 my life did not breastfeed her 18 month old. I dont know what the "true reason" was, but I do know that she lived in a different town at the time, so I was unable to help or talk to her often and when her ped. told her that she had a breast infection and needed to stop nursing, she did.

She also vaccinates, circ's, doesnt co-sleep...and honestly she is one of the nicest people I know. I think that the important thing in our friendship is that we are both respectful of each other. I know a lot of women who will try to "challenge" my beliefs about extended nursing, co-sleeping, not vaccinating and THAT bothers me. I will not be friends with someone who is disrespectful of my choices.

I also think that I am a good influence on her
and that maybe if and when she has more children, the things that I do will be more "normal" to her and she might be more likely to do things differently.
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As long as she is not criticizing my decisions or pushing her beleifs onto me, I could still hang with her. Heh, in my little corner of the world, I would have NO friends if I based it on infant feeding.
it is a bitter pill to swallow though. It would depend on the friendship too. Is she complete opposite on parenting skills and are we friends because we have kids the same age? You know, parenting friends. Or is she someone I just hang out to have a good time with. Like, say a mall friend or someone who will go out for drinks with me once in a while. ANd what age would that end at? I have a friend whose dd is in the same class as my ds in school. We talk about what they did or said or what the teacher did and said. I guess at this point infant feeding is not even a factor. At that age it would be more of , how healthy do you feed your kids, kwim? Could I be freinds with someone who buys McD's all the time for the convenience of it all. THat would be hard for me to take too. But again, it depends on what me and that cerain friend have in common that makes us friends and if the friend ship is strong. I hope I am coming out clear on this, it seems I am talking in circles.
Oh how this one hits close to home...

My best friend just found out she's pg. With her first, she ff, cio, spank, just very mainstream. I mentioned to her that her boyfriend would probably want to 'cut the peepee' of this baby if it's a boy (was trying to avoid a debate, that will just tick her off!) and she said, "oh yes, I would too, that's definitely a value of mine". I had talked to her so many times about circ (well, at least I felt like I had... ) and finally had her saying how she never realized what it did to the little boy exactly, and somewhat convinced it wasn't a good idea. Now she's with this guy and I think she forgot all about that conversation and I can't think of a tactful way to remind her without getting my (_!_) chewed off! *sigh*... she's also said to me several times that she wouldn't 'bother' breastfeeding if she had another child. It went badly the first time (no support, no other reason) and she wouldn't even mess with it the next time. I know this is a very common attitude with women who experience problems the first time around and I am praying I can gently share with her how much easier it will make her life if she does it. I think she's somewhat open to it as long as I don't get preachy... the difficulty for me is that I am not only her friend, I'm also going to be her doula... but not in that formal 'hired' capacity, more like her labor assistant with extra knowledge... so I am torn between how much I treat her like a client (give all the info and just release the decision to the parents... oh how i wish i could do that w/her!) and how much I try to impact her as my friend. I'm struggling with this! I have another friend who didn't breastfeed either of her two kids, spanks, didn't cosleep, big advocate of cio... and ironically (and I knwo how hard this is to believe), she is one of the best mothers I have ever seen in my LIFE. She is the most devoted, sensitive (I know, I know... oxymoron, I know!), selfless mother I have ever seen in my entire life. I think she has an easier time mothering older kids than babies but I think she enjoys all phases... She really believes she is doing the right thing and sees it as beneficial for her children, not something she is trying to do to save herself some energy or frustration. She genuinely belives it's right. I know I will have a hard time defending this post so I might not try... lol but it's my experience. I would absoLUTELY prefer my friends to parent in the same way I do because I know just how painful it would be for *me*, much less the baby, to be left alone to cry... or not breastfed when there's no reason not to, etc... that will be difficult. I don't know what will happen when this little one is born and I am praying we can just continue to agree to disagree, and also praying she will be open to hearing an alternative POV.
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I can, and I have.

I guess I consider myself a breastfeeding advocate, not an activist.

There is a comfort in finding one's friends ONLY in your particular group. I don't really think there's anything wrong with that, especially in regards to parenting issues. But I've never done that myself, and as a result I know too many great mamas who never BF, and don't beat themselves up in public (and that's the operative word) over it.

I don't reduce or hide MY breastfeeding practice, mind. But I feel no need to preach at someone about it, though I'm quick and happy to answer questions.
Which I get a lot of (and support from the most unexpected places) nursing three!

Breastfeeding is really only one component of someone's life. I can't say that I think it's even the most important. There are many people that BF their kids that I dislike actively and don't respect for other reasons. BF is neither a deal maker or a deal breaker for me.
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Luckily, I live in a breast-centered community. There is not one person here who has not nursed, and they are all practicing CLW.

I have trouble only if "friends" ask me questions about my parenting style and reasons for BF. They usually take my answers personally, and defend their choices, even when I say nothing about THEM, just my choices for my children.

My pseudo-stepsister just had a baby boy down in cali, and we are visiting them this summer.
She has chosen not to BF, uses the crib religiously, loves sposies (even tho I sent her homemade cloth AIO's), and already drops her 3-week old at my Dad's for babysitting 3+ hours.

I am wondering how I will keep my big ideas and parenting wishes for someone else's poor baby out of the conversation when she asks. I'll figure it out, and perhaps feign laryngitis, as the stepmonster is very protective and jealous of my attention from my Dad....sigh
At least I will have the option to tandem nurse in front of everyone, and avoid questions in that manner. lol

so, I guess I hang with boobiemamas as much as possible.

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yes I could.

ETA- that alone wouldn't determine my friendship with someone. There is so much to me as a person and as a friend than mommy-hood and my AP ideals. I have a harder time accepting aggressive disciplinarians because I feel that negatively effects my children while we are visiting- but I'd still do mom only stuff if there were other areas to base a friendship on.

E again TA- that is if I ever did mommy only stuff :LOL
I am. She just had her DD2 a week ago. I vent about her here, but I'm not going to cut the friendship off. She's very mainstream, but gentle when it comes to discipline, so I know things will be easier between us once her dd2 is past the baby stage. In the mean time I just keep my mouth shut, bite my tongue, etc.
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