Whenever I say I haven’t been sleeping well in ages, people say “oh, but you look great, you don’t look tired at all!”.
I guess the hormones play a part there. In the same way that make you feel miserable on the inside, they make you look presentable on the outside. So people think I’m nuts when I explode, cry or am rude to random people because I’m exhausted – technically: if I don’t look tired, I shouldn’t act like a tired person.
I started a photography workshop for mothers. We are 5 in the class (only 4 showed up yesterday) with our babies. I was pleasantly surprised to see that two of the other girls breastfeed their babies. Lately I’ve been feeling an alien when I breastfeed Bea in public. I didn’t use to feel that with Laura, but I guess I go out more now and have the opportunity to see other mums.
Nobody has ever mistreated me for breastfeeding in public. But in the past week I experienced a couple of weird situations.
The first one: I was feeding Bea in the shopping mall when I heard an old lady saying “disgusting”. I don’t know if it was towards me, as I wasn’t looking at her when she said it, but it felt like it was. I don’t feel sad or embarrassed about it. I feel angry. Very. Should someone say in my face “disgusting” for breastfeeding in public, I don’t know what I would do. At the time, I felt like telling the woman “you are disgusting, your presence in the world is disgusting. May God have mercy of your soul, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he sent your straight to hell for being against what Mother Nature “taught” us to do”. Of course I didn’t say anything, I kept trying to convince myself that she saw someone spitting on the floor and THAT was disgusting.
The second one: it happened at the gym, after a class, I was feeding Bea. A man, coming from the gym room, saw me and stopped in a strategic point where he could have a better view of me. While he was putting his coat on – very slowly – he was starring and smiling at me. But not in a good “wow, that’s an amazing display of love, to feed your child” kind of way. It was a bit intrusive, pervert almost. I looked at him, serious, maybe angry, showing him I wasn’t enjoying it. I didn’t say anything though, just ensured Bea was covered and there was nothing to be seen there.
I honestly don’t expect people’s sympathy towards my public breastfeeding habits. Honestly, it is a natural thing – you would think that even more in Europe where topless is permited in ANY beach. I just wished people got on with their lives – it has nothing to do with anybody, except my baby and I. It’s not like I’m farting in the lift where people will breathe the awful smell (yet people tend to find it “part of nature”) or I’m chatting on the phone loudly on a packed train. I don’t say “disgusting” to men to scratch their balls in public or to old ladies who play with their dental fixture in public (yes, I’ve seen this scene a few times). I won’t even mention the countless times I saw men having a wee in public (once, just behind MY car) and I tuned my face, not disgusted, but to give them privacy to do their business.
I don’t expect sympathy, but I will start practicing my “I’m a witch and I shall curse you” look for next times.