I did something today that I told myself I wouldn't ever do again. I can't say I 'swore' or 'promised' I wouldn't do it, but I was hopeful that things would be different, that my resolve would be stronger, that I would ignore my inhibitions and the glare of the public eye.
I nursed my son in a public bathroom stall. Ugh.
When my daughter was a baby, she was a noisy, messy nurser, and she absolutely hated being hidden under a blanket or shawl when I was feeding her. Nothing could touch her head or face without her screaming and making a scene. So much for discreet nursing! I remember numerous times when we were out and about and I would take her into a bathroom to nurse, realizing there was just no other place to do it where I wouldn't be exposed to every passer-by. Sometimes I sat sideways on the edge of the seat and sometimes I just stood (she was super fast!). But I hated that feeling of desperation -- that there was no suitable place besides this echoing chamber of germ infestation to do what needed to be done.
But this time around I was determined to start when my son was young to get him accustomed to being covered up while nursing. I had a renewed resolve to be a positive example to the public that nursing can be done modestly and isn't shameful or unlawful. I had desperately hoped to find alternate private venues in public places. But just as we have no guarantee on how our children's personalities will turn out, we can't guarantee they will cooperate in infancy as we hope. And I have to admit that on this occasion I wasn't prepared to even try.
At the mall today after church, we were having lunch in the food court and I knew it was time for a diaper change. But he wanted something more, and looking at my watch I knew he was not going to sit quietly through the rest of our lunch unless he got it. Both our car and any department store offering the luxury of a real 'rest' room were too far away. After a quick diaper change, desperation led to a hasty decision, for the sake of my eardrums and the looks I was getting that said have-you-no-control-over-your-own-child? I slipped into the last stall in the corner and closed the door. Ugh. I managed to balance by leaning against one wall and putting my foot up on the bar of the other wall to bear the bulk of his weight, so at least I didn't have to sit. And as my son contentedly ate, I felt that I had let us both down -- and we were only 3 1/2 months into this his life! But I also felt relief that I had satisfied his need and could return to my family and actually enjoy the rest of my lunch.
I hear one of the ritzy stores at the other end of the mall has bug cushy couches in their ladies' room. Perhaps next time we are there I'll have to check it out... BEFORE lunch.
3 weeks ago