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3 Jan

In Moms And Boobs We Trust. Or Not.

Remember that one time, when I breastfed another woman’s baby? And somebody saw me do it, and thought it was disgusting, and blogged about it, and then everybody argued? Those were some good times. So good, that it seemed a really awesome idea to kick off the new year by looking back at that experience.

It was good, actually, to reconsider the whole experience from the vantage point of a year and some months later, which is about how long it took, give or take some weeks, for my indignation at having my morals questioned and my boobs scrutinized to wane. I revisited the controversy with some of the ladies at Momversation (where I’ve just hopped on board as a panelist), and we talked about what happened, and about why it is that the whole thing made – makes – people so uncomfortable. Here’s the video:

Our initial discussion was actually prompted by the question, do you trust other moms more than you do other people? That is, would you be more likely to trust a stranger or near-stranger who’s a mom than you would one who’s not a mom? The woman whose baby I nursed trusted me, obviously, but a big part of the controversy that erupted was the assertion, by some, that she shouldn’t have trusted me just because I’m a mom. After all, the fact of my motherhood doesn’t necessarily make me a better or more trustworthy person. It just makes me a mom, and just because we bonded over our shared mom-ness doesn’t mean that we developed – or that we should have developed – a bond of trust. Or does it? Doesn’t the intimacy that can sometimes develop very quickly between two mothers sharing unexpected moments of trial or tribulation with their children – the shit-disasters in restaurant washrooms, the toddler meltdowns in grocery store line-ups, the boo-boos at the playground, the engorged boobs at social media events – provide a very real basis for some measure of trust? Shouldn’t it?

So there are two questions here, really: one, would you nurse another woman’s child or let another woman nurse your own child, and two, questions of nursing aside, are you more or less inclined to trust other mothers more than other strangers? You can join the conversation about the first question over at Momversation, but I’m also interested in hearing your responses to the second. Do you trust other moms more than you do other people? Why or why not? And why don’t they sell breast pumps at hotel gift shops, anyway?