Attention Seeking Mom Breastfeeds in Public. Now What?

A woman was photographed nursing her baby at a Bernie Sanders rally. She was hungry, the mother told the press, so she fed her.

Total bitch, right? Attention whore. Slut. Liberal.

I mean—Who does that? Who feeds their hungry baby at a political rally?

Are we for real, people?

This notion that women who breastfeed in public are doing it for attention is akin to saying that people who change their infants’ diapers on a beach are clearly trying to get the kid into the porn industry.

Really! It is THAT ludicrous.

And let’s just say that there is one woman, maybe this woman from the rally (though I doubt it) who really IS trying to get attention when she breastfeeds? Let’s say she’s feeling some postpartum ennui and it sure would be nice to be noticed. Or maybe she feels like she’s lost her identity after giving birth and having something to stand up for feels productive to her. Perhaps, now that she has experienced cracked nipples and total exhaustion and let-down and leaking and blocked ducts, she has a newfound respect for women who nurse and just wants to shout that to the world.

So what?

So the frickety frick what?

We’re going to shame her for getting attention by feeding a human being? By giving a child life and then sustaining that life with the very system developed by God or evolution or whatever you believe to accomplish that very job?

What’s next? Doctors saving lives for attention? Marines defending the country for attention?

She is doing her job. She is being a mom in the same exact way as someone who pulls out a bottle to feed her baby.

And if any mom, the breast mom or the bottle mom or the hybrid breast/bottle mom, seeks a little attention for doing her job well, why does anyone care?

Look, when most people do a job, they get attention for it. For many people, it’s called a paycheck. You go to work. You do your job. Your boss gives your job the attention it deserves by giving you a paycheck. Often times—a bonus. Sometimes a nice watch.

A kid gets grades, the kid version of attention for a job well-done. Writers sell books. Actors sell movies and get awards. Musicians sell—I don’t know—what do musicians sell nowadays—a place on Spotify?

We humans get attention for a job well-done.

And we like it. We’d be pretty irked if the boss forgot to pay us or our kids came home with a blank report card. Heck, we’d be annoyed if our spouse didn’t give us a big hug for cleaning out the gutters.

So, even if there are one or two women out there who are breastfeeding in public for attention, WHY DO YOU CARE?

Let her do her job while you just go about your own business, getting your own attention for your own job the way you do.

I’ll tell you what, she won’t come screaming at you, calling you names for getting your paycheck [Money whore! Capitalist Scum! Greedy D-bag! (See how crazy you sound?)] and you leave her alone and stop judging her when she feeds her baby the way her body was made to feed her baby.

For more on nursing in public, read this amazing and comprehensive piece from Motherhood and More.
For a little on breastfeeding with large breasts (the shame!), read my own experience here.

originally published March 2016