Welcome to another Motherhood Monday! This is the day dedicated to all things "mommy" related. Check here each Monday for a new post.
Have you heard that Instagram is now allowing pictures of breast feeding or "brelfies"? I was shocked to see some of my favorite Christian writers immediately post pictures of themselves nursing their kids. When I read through the comments I was even more surprised to see their reasoning. Many Christian women were posting their "brelfies" to help "normalize breastfeeding" in society.
As a nursing mother let me say, I would love to see breastfeeding become a normal thing in society again. I have felt the stares and have seen the odd looks from people as I nurse my son in public. Mind you, I ALWAYS wear a nursing tank under every shirt and I use a cover as well. (None of which is required in North Carolina!) And yet somehow I still get odd looks from people across demographic lines when nursing in public.
Let's be real here. Trying to feed a squirming kid that may or may not be in a good mood is not easy. Add to that the distraction of a cover and you have the potential for a serious battle of the wills. There have been times where I have considered just taking off my cover. After all, nursing is the most natural thing in the world, right?
If you ask the moms posting their "brelfies" it is. If you ask the pediatricians it is. If you ask me it is. However, we live in a culture that belittles and looks down on stay-at-home-moms and families with young children. Is it any wonder that breast feeding makes people uncomfortable?
We live in an age where we are so far removed from the natural way of doing things that people no longer recognize natural as a good thing. Breastfeeding is an incredibly special time with your child, but it is also frustrating at times. The isolation can feel overwhelming. I can understand the desire to "normalize breastfeeding". But at the same time, is a little discomfort worth damaging your witness?
Stay with me here.
I run a free functional fitness gym with my husband. I am out in the gym (in whatever weather God gives us that day) at least three times a day, five days per week. That is our ministry. We have families, singles, and divorced people that attend our classes. Some of them might be comfortable with me breastfeeding without a cover, some won't. Am I willing to make someone uncomfortable (and potentially leave the gym) just so that I don't have to use a cover?
The answer is no.
Yes, I want people to remember that God designed women to nurse their babies. But that isn't my mission. That isn't what God put me on Earth to do. God put me here to partner with my husband and ministry to military families through physical fitness and mentoring.
Y'all can have your "brelfies" I have bigger fish to fry.