Friday, May 7, 2010

Do you need a man?

I was reading a blog this morning that really pointed out the difficulties for breastfeeding mothers. This blog focused on one mother's struggle in Iowa. It was sad to hear that a woman was harassed for breastfeeding her 5-week old at the mall. The mall was bad enough but once the media got a hold of the story the comments from the public were horrible and people were harassing her.

That was all really bad stuff but then I got to talking to my husband and I said something I never would have thought I would have said. "I bet if her husband was with her, no one would have said anything." Which got me to thinking, do you really need a man to protect you if you are breastfeeding?

I'm not usually one of those I need a man to survive sort of woman. I've gone clubbing by myself. I'm the main bread winner in the family. I can survive on my own. Now that I'm a mother I find myself needing a man, well my man. I have so much respect for women who do this on their own, being a married mother with good backup is hard, I can't even image the stress for single mothers!

When I breastfeed in public I try to be discreet. Using covers and the such when needed but there is a part of me that really prays that no one says anything. I don't want to fight. I'll be super passive-aggressive but I'm not one to look for fights, I usually run and usually fold just to avoid confrontation. I like to talk about other peoples drama but I don't want any myself. So the idea of being told to quit breastfeeding really kinda scares me.

I have to be strong for my daughter. Breast is best. Breast is normal. So why do I feel the need to have Ray with me? Why do I think that I'm more powerful with my man? It wasn't til I thought it, "they wouldn't any say anything if her man were there" that I realized just how weak I am or at least how weak I feel. I know there is power in numbers. The more people who seem to accept something then the more likely other will accept it too. But should women feel like breastfeeding is a strange thing? What is there to accept? Breastfeeding is normal. People don't harass mothers that are bottle feeding. Do I really need a man to protect me while I feed my baby? As you can see this just brought up some weird thoughts and issues for me. Maybe I do need man, does that make me less of a woman?