Well, over the past few years, we’ve brought you some spectacularly awful stories about strangers’ reaction to a new mum breastfeeding in public, but we really do think this one tops the lot.
A disgruntled pub-goer in Bristol took to his local Facebook page to judge a fellow customer who was ‘flopping’ her breast out to feed her baby, and them proceeding to drink ‘2 glasses of wine’ in her local on Mother’s Day.
So far, so yawnsomely predictable.
But now comes the best bit: angry pub man then questioned why a new mum would even go to a public place like a pub or a cafe at all.
The post read:
“When is it acceptable to take a 5 week old baby to one of the busiest pubs in North Street…. then have 2 large glasses of wine…?
“And then think it is appropriate to flop a breast out in the middle of a very busy pub and so say feed it… (unfortunately I really don’t think there would be much milk it would be receiving… more like 14% Pinot Grigio)?
“I may be old fashioned… but do newborn babies really need to be introduced to pubs at such an early age?
“It’s such a shame that parents nowadays think it’s acceptable to take babies and children to pubs… maybe they are unaware of local green spaces… like South Street Playing Fields or Grevill Smyth Park even exist…
“You never know, if they ventured to one of those places, they may at least be able to interact with other children, and parents with other children of a similar age…
“And maybe get a bit of fresh air, and actually (god forbid) interact with their own child, that they have bought into this world… instead of chucking it a pram and parading around the local pubs and cafes within the area.”
And how did people react to the Facebook post?
After sharing his views, the angry pub man got quite a reaction – but maybe not the kind he had anticipated, as most people leapt to the new mum’s defence.
And very soon, he had to take his post down because it was generating so much critical comment.
The (unnamed) mum in this story soon realised he was complaining about her – and his since hit back, telling the newspapers:
“It’s ridiculous to say I can’t go to a pub. It’s silly… you should still be able to have a laugh if you have a baby and this was all before 7pm.”
She was pointed out that she’d been drinking lemonade spritzers, and had not breastfed her baby once the alcohol had got into her bloodstream.
“This man had no idea that my drinks were half lemonade or that we came home and bottle-fed him afterwards,” she said, “but he [still] decided to judge me.
“It would have had exactly the same effect [on my baby] taking him to the park as a pub. He’s 5 weeks old; he doesn’t know what is going on.”
She also admitted that her confidence about breastfeeding in public has been knocked by all this and, if the man felt uncomfortable with her breastfeeding, she would’ve preferred it if he had talked to her about it in person rather than ranted about it on Facebook – which is pretty reasonable, if you ask us.
“Women used to cover up completely back in the day and I think he must have felt uncomfortable,” she said. “But if it was that bad he could have just come up and said something rather than writing it online.”
Enough with the mum-judging, people
Heartwarmingly, the support for this mum has been amazing online.
But WHY does it seem that us mums are continually having to justify our parenting choices to strangers?
This really got us angry talking this morning at MFM HQ, and it made us think of the recent (small) UK study which found that modern mums feel ‘watched and judged’.
The Cardiff University research found that mums noticed an “intrusive policing of [their] lifestyle choices” that began in pregnancy, and continued to affect them once their babies were born and they ventured out as new mothers.
The women in the study said they felt incredibly anxious and self-conscious in public because they felt their parenting was being judged.
It’s really no wonder they did – because in the case of the mum in this story, she really was.
Less of that, please ? and a bit more understanding and compassion would be nice ?
Images: Facebook/BS3 Connect