Redditor Confronted by Mom Who Was Breastfeeding Older Child in a Park
When the original poster's daughter began asking questions, she did her best to explain extended breastfeeding in a diplomatic way.
While the benefits of breastfeeding are numerous—and ultimately, fed is best—curious kids might have questions about extended breastfeeding. And when they do, it can set the stage for an awkward situation. Just ask this Redditor, writing under the handle u/Plumbus_hun, who spent the day at the park with her 3-year-old daughter and 2-year-old son after they got their flu shots.
On the Am I the Ass**** subreddit, the original poster (OP) shared that she was pushing her daughter on a swing and her partner was playing with their son on little bouncers. Everyone was having a good time. "So then, a woman comes in with her kid that looked older," recalled the Redditor, who guessed the "huffy"-seeming child was around 6 or 7.
The woman sat down on the bench in the middle of the park within eyeline of everyone else at the park and started to breastfeed him. "I made eye contact with my husband, and he widened his eyes and kind of nodded in her direction, and then I kind of grimace back to him," wrote the OP. "She didn't see this."
But then, the OP's daughter, "Molly," who she explained is "very chatty" and "speaks quite loudly," took note, as well. "She immediately says to me, 'Mummy, why has that lady got her booby out?' to which I reply, 'I think… she is giving the boy some booby milk.'"
Molly then proceeded to ask if it's like when the OP's sister-in-law feeds her baby "booby milk." The OP replied, "Yeah." Molly's response: "But that boy isn't a baby. He's a big boy."
The OP confirmed that to be the case, and her daughter then asked, "Why would he drink booby milk from a mummy if he is a big boy? ... It's a silly thing for big children to do, isn't it? .... He could have food instead, like broccoli or eggs or jelly?" The OP shrugged off her daughter's remarks and quickly found a way to change the subject and ask if she wanted to go home soon. But before they could take off, the mom who had been breastfeeding approached the OP.
"She came over without her kid and said, 'I'm disgusted about how you have shamed me for naturally feeding my child' and that I should teach my daughter that breastfeeding is the most natural thing in the world," wrote the Redditor. "And I obviously don't care for their emotional/physical wellbeing, and that they need breastmilk instead of their 'toxic' cake and smoothie. She had obviously heard the uncomfortable conversation I had with my daughter, which I thought I handled well."
The OP wrote that she was speechless for a second but then replied "that if she really cared for her kid then she wouldn't leave him standing in a busy car park on his own, and that she should 'wind her f***ing neck in.' Her son was just stood in front of her car alone, on the road. I then slammed my boot, got in the car, and told my husband to drive."
The OP continued, "When I told my husband, he said I was a bit of an ass****, but honestly, I don't think I was—except swearing."
Redditors agreed overwhelmingly that the OP was not wrong. User u/Nessa_AC wrote, "You didn't shame or complain here. You tried to answer your daughter's questions as best you could and then distract her. The woman was obviously eavesdropping and felt that it was her place to guilt you for not handling it the way she would have. There is stigma in feeding an older child absolutely, so I get that it may not have been nice to overhear such an awkward convo but that doesn't give her the right to tell you how to parent your child in such a situation."
- RELATED: 7 Benefits of Extended Breastfeeding
Another commenter, writing under the handle u/Ermitthecow agreed, writing, "Your kid asked some awkward questions. Yep, that's what kids do. You handled it well—you answered your daughter without leading her down one path or the other and moved the discussion in a different direction as soon as you were able. At no point did you criticize this woman."
In the end, it sounds like this is a case of a parent doing their best with their curious child. As the OP noted later in the comment thread, "My daughter, bless her, is very innocent but asks such embarrassing questions to strangers." Chances are, most people who have a 3-year-old can relate.