50 More Things That Are More Offensive Than Nursing In Public

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August 1-7 marked World Breastfeeding Week and there were numerous articles that shared a variety of viewpoints about breastfeeding. As a 13 year Stay At Home Dad of six I’ve been my wife’s biggest supporter in her desire to breastfeed each of our children for as long as they choose. She has received many dirty looks or sideways glances from people who somehow think her choice to nurse our child is somehow offensive when done in public. The reality is that breastfeeding is natural and beautiful and not at all offensive, even in public! In fact, there are many things in life that are truly more offensive than a woman nursing in public (NIP for those that like acronyms). Almost two months ago I came up with a sarcastic and light-hearted list of 50 Things That Are More Offensive Than Nursing In Public. It quickly became the most-viewed post of my fledgling blog, Big Cheese Dad. Many people added suggestions and I held on to them in anticipation of this post. So, thanks to the collective creative genius of my friends and readers, I am happy to present, 50 More Things That Are More Offensive Than Nursing In Public. As always, please like, comment and share if you enjoyed this list.

  1.  People who have no idea what they want when the get to the register at Starbucks. In store or drive through.
  2. People who drink all but the last couple of swallows of milk and put the jug back in the fridge instead of rinsing and recycling.
  3. People who don’t know how to merge or won’t let you in when you’re trying to merge. You’re supposed to use the gas pedal to merge, not the brake! Ever hear of the “zipper method”? I’m just getting started with drivers. Ugh.
  4. People who congratulate women who aren’t pregnant on their pregnancies (just fat, thanks). <<—her quote, don’t get mad at me!
  5. Backwash. If you’ve ever given your toddler a drink of your water or juice you know exactly what I mean. And exactly what they were just eating. It will be floating in your beverage. Drink up!
  6. Helicopter moms (or dads) at the playground. Let your kids play and explore and have fun. They can do it without you hovering.
  7. When my kids complain about being bored while on summer vacation. Really? I can find you a chore or 50! And, adults who complain about being bored. Really? You’re an adult. DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!
  8. People touching your baby. DON’T! She just got better after a week of a runny nose and you’re not going to start that again. Do you know how hard it is for a baby to nurse that has a plugged nose?
  9. Wearing socks with sandals. I thought that was standard here in the Pacific Northwest. Maybe I’m doing it wrong. Ask my kids. Actually, don’t. Nothing I do is cool by them.
  10. Guys who think they’re really funny and could do stand up comedy because of that one funny “that’s what she said” joke made by the water cooler that one time.
  11. People who think a pregnant belly in public is an invitation to touch it. When tempted to reach out and touch a belly, channel your inner MC Hammer and think: U CAN’T TOUCH THIS!
  12. People who leave grocery carts in parking spaces instead of walking the 20 feet to put it away. Lifestyle exercise is okay.
  13. Hitting or slapping a child. Disturbingly ironic when done to punish that child for crying or hitting or slapping someone else.
  14. School. Especially math. Who needs it really? Can’t I just ask Siri what 25% off is instead of actually using my brain?
  15. Smokers who think the world is the trash can for their butts.
  16. The Detroit Lions. Submitted by a Michigan resident. This Packers fan won’t disagree. I purposely made this one #16.
  17. Flossing teeth in public. Really, any personal hygiene in public. That includes mining for gold while driving. And, please, don’t eat that booger. Unless you’re a toddler, and even then it’s gross.
  18. Drivers who don’t respect pedestrians or bicyclists.
  19. People who don’t pick up after their dogs. On walks in the neighborhood or at the dog park. You’re giving the rest of us a bad reputation.
  20. Public selfies. At every single tourist spot. Stop already.
  21. E-cigs. And the rude people who try to push them on you at the mall.
  22. Cell phone usage while in the bathroom. We can tell where you are by the echo. Dead giveaway.
  23. Guys texting while standing at the urinal. Put it down and wait. And by it I meant the phone.
  24. Parents who leave their young kids alone in the car. No matter the weather. It’s not worth it. I’m going to call 911…and I probably won’t wait even five minutes if it’s really hot or really cold.
  25. Parents who smoke while their kids are in the car.
  26. Parents who are louder than their kids. Just because we’re bigger doesn’t mean we have to talk over them.
  27. Victoria’s Secret. If you think Nursing In Public shows too much breast then you MUST have an issue with this company. Walk through a mall and you’ll see what I mean.
  28. When people in the back of the plane stand up as soon as the seat belt sign is turned off. You’re in back. You’re not getting off this plane for at least 10 minutes. Sit down. And stop sighing so dramatically.
  29. Saying the F-word and other vulgarities in family-friendly places like grocery stores, parks and swimming pools. My kid doesn’t need to hear that.
  30. Neighbors or relatives who make rude insinuations about your parenting choices or abilities without coming right out and saying it. Passive-aggressive anyone?
  31. This is for my wife…When the new TV show that you discovered and think is really cool and decide that you’re going to follow gets cancelled after only one season. Talking about you, Journeyman and Alcatraz. Yet, we have how many reality-TV shows and game shows?
  32. Candy Crush Saga notifications/invitations. Or Farmville. Or whatever game you’re playing. Waste your own time. Not mine.
  33. People who don’t follow the “walk left, stand right” concept on escalators and moving sidewalks. Or those who stand in the middle, clogging it for all.
  34. Wisconsin drivers in Illinois. (from the Illinois guy, of course)
  35. FIBs driving in Wisconsin. You know you’re from Wisconsin if you understand the reference. Mom, don’t click that link. It’s rude. No, I don’t use it. 🙂
  36. Traffic circles. No. Actually, people who treat traffic circles like a stop sign and always stop.
  37. People who wear yoga pants or sweats or sweaty workout clothes to the store. Too much. Or too little, I guess.
  38. People who show up late for something holding a Starbucks (or other establishment) bought coffee.
  39. People on their phones at cash registers. Or at the doctor’s office. Whatever happened to common courtesy?
  40. People who throw gum on the ground or in urinals. And it’s always the nice or new shoes that attract the gooey gum.
  41. People on their smart phones while at a red light who wait an extra 5-10 seconds to go once the light turns green. And they’re always in front of me. BEEP!
  42. People who try to outrun emergency vehicles. Or those too oblivious to see/hear them to get out of the way.
  43. People who are ungrateful for their jobs in this tough economy. So it’s not your dream job. At least you have a job.
  44. People in restrooms (public or my own house!) who don’t flush. Related, why must people be so nasty in public restrooms? Feces on the walls and TP everywhere? Give me a break.
  45. The South’s obsession with the Confederate Flag/Pride. Y’all do understand the meaning behind it, right?
  46. Waiting rooms. Snotty kids. Loud cell phone talkers. Old and germ-infested magazines. TV on a station no one wants.
  47. The price of gasoline. Which pretty much affects the cost everything else.
  48. The rapid decline of manners in most people. Saying please and thank you and being pleasant is just as easy as being pushy and demanding and patient.
  49. Our general obsession with boobs that fuels multimillion dollar plastic surgery and lingerie industries while at the same time interfering with the primary and most important function of said boobs.
  50. Anyone who thinks that a woman breastfeeding her child is flaunting her breast or her sexuality in everyone else’s face. She doesn’t need to cover up. Maybe it’s too hot. Maybe her baby won’t eat properly with a cover. It doesn’t matter. Ultimately, it’s none of your business. Look away if you’re so offended. But don’t harass the mom and her baby. She’s feeding her child the way God intended. Leave her alone.

If you agree that women need to feel empowered to nurse in public please share this list across social media platforms. I’d love to be a small part of the growing support for all moms (and dads!) to care for their babies as they see fit and without public scorn.

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Special thanks to the following people (listed in order of appearance, some with multiple entries) who contributed ideas to the list above: Josh Gloer, Kathleen Cleg, Allison Tedford, David Wallach, James Ward, Scott Posey, Benjamin Mullen, Jonathan Criswell, Dawn Rubbert, Cuda Mitchell, Marty Josephson, Bryan Alkire, Laura Hargis, Kelly Berg, Kathy Robinson, Kathy Lehman, Marty Josephson, Trish Sheikh, Tony Hernandez, Jeff Tepper, Eric Williams, Michelle Swank, Jessie Johnson, Janet Crum.

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50 Things That Are More Offensive Than Nursing In Public

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I find it hard to believe that American society still has such a hang up when it comes to the rights of mothers to nurse in public. As a father of six children who all were nursed (some still are!) by my amazing wife, I have always been and always will be a huge supporter and defender of the rights of women to publicly breastfeed. Breastfeeding has been in the news again because Facebook recently relaxed its ban on breastfeeding photos and also because a 25 year old woman graduating from college had the audacity to discreetly nurse her young child durning the commencement ceremony. To fight back, I respectfully (and sometimes disrespectfully!) give you my list of 50 Things That Are More Offensive Than Nursing In Public.

  1. People who give you unsolicited parenting advice.
  2. Using phones for pretty much any reason at the movies, but especially talking.
  3. People who can’t park their cars between the lines in parking lots.
  4. People who talk about politics or religion and then get mad when you don’t agree with them.
  5. Parents who bring their sick (feverish, coughing, sniffling, sneezing, wheezing, hacking or fluid-dripping) child to the park or indoor play area.
  6. People who complain that McDonald’s food isn’t healthy. You’re at McDonald’s. WHAT DID YOU EXPECT?
  7. Drivers who don’t signal their intentions. Use your stinking turn signal already!
  8. The one-upper. You know, that co-worker who always has a story to top the one that was just told.
  9. Moms that dress like teenagers when out with their teenagers.
  10. Garbage dumping on social media. Marginally outdone by #11.
  11. Drama-seeking and Vaguebooking on Facebook. Ain’t nobody got time for that!
  12. People who pay for groceries in pennies. Or a check that they have to hand-write even though the machine will do it in 1/10 the time.
  13. Loud cell phone talkers. Particularly annoying on airplanes, buses and subway trains.
  14. The SBD. Silent But Deadly farts. Might be the guy sleeping next to you on a plane or the person who just exited the elevator.
  15. Left-lane cruisers. Oblivious. Almost always a middle-aged woman in a Prius or Subaru Outback.
  16. Saggers. You know, mostly teens who wear their pants around their knees. No one wants to see your boxers.
  17. People who show up in the Express Lane at the grocery store with a cart that exceeds the 15 item limit by about 30.
  18. Guys who talk about their Fantasy Football team. No one cares. Really.
  19. People who smoke while hiking so others following them get to smell smoke instead of trees, flowers or grasses. Not that kind of grass!
  20. The Duck Face. Just. Don’t. Unless you’re really a duck. Then it’s fine.
  21. Open mouth chewing of food, gum or toothpicks. Don’t even get me started with chewing tobacco and related spitting.
  22. People who abuse handicapped parking tags and plates.
  23. The word MOIST.
  24. My kids that leave one square of toilet paper on the roll but don’t change it because it’s (technically) not out.
  25. Drivers who don’t stop at stop signs. The California roll…
  26. Cyclists who ignore traffic laws and get mad when drivers don’t see them or (nearly) hit them.
  27. Public urination, particularly when the individual is drunk.
  28. Karaoke night. Exacerbated by alcohol consumption and/or false sense of one’s ability to carry a tune.
  29. Texting while driving.
  30. Holding your phone to your face while driving so that nearly half of your vision is blocked so that you nearly run into a father and his child who were walking in the crosswalk. (True story.)
  31. When people overuse the phrases “I know, right?” and “I’m just sayin'”
  32. Drivers who pass a car on the highway, cut in front of them in order to immediately take the exit. Bonus for doing that to a semi-truck.
  33. People who use their cell phones at the dinner table and say, “Oh, nothing. I’m just eating dinner with so-and-so.” Makes your dinner company feel mighty important.
  34. Heck, people who always take calls even if they’re in the middle of a face-to-face conversation with you.
  35. Talking loudly at the movies. Heck, doing anything other than watching the movie. Except breastfeeding, of course.
  36. Drivers that are in such a hurry that they pass around stopped cars and narrowly miss hitting pedestrians in the crosswalk where the other cars were stopped.
  37. America’s obsession with the Kardashians.
  38. People who comment “Blame Obama” for anything online. Same for those who comment “Blame Bush”.
  39. Hit and run jerks drivers.
  40. People who are oblivious to anyone around them. For example: stopping to text while in the middle of a busy sidewalk or blocking the aisle with your shopping cart while texting.
  41. When the person in front of you in line at Subway has a list of subs greater than two. Of course there are complicated toppings for each one.
  42. Neighbors who throw loud parties late into the night (technically early morning) in a residential neighborhood. On a school night. And then proceed to have a loud and obscenity-laced discussion about who makes the best f-ing chili.
  43. Short people who request exit row seating on airplanes.
  44. People who recline their seats on airplanes without looking back or giving any kind of warning and crushing your kneecaps.
  45. People who take to Facebook and spoil movies or tv shows.
  46. Mosquitoes.
  47. Drivers waiting to turn left who don’t pull forward when the light turns green.
  48. Fake accents. Unless you’re really really good at it, you sound like a fool, y’all.
  49. People who use the phrase “Mr. Mom” to describe Stay At Home Dads. Try Dad. It’s shorter and more accurate.
  50. Anyone who gives a nursing mother any grief about her decision to feed her child the most natural way possible. If you don’t like what you see then turn away and look somewhere else. And keep your negative thoughts to yourself.

If you agree that women need to feel empowered to nurse in public please share this list across social media platforms. I’d love to be a small part of the growing support for all moms (and dads!) to care for their babies as they see fit and without public scorn.

Dads for Breastfeeding

Earlier this week, Pope Francis made news when he declared that women should breastfeed their children in church. (see: Pope promotes breastfeeding in church) Apparently this set off a variety of responses supporting and condemning his suggestion. I have been blessed to be a father six times over the last 18 years and my amazing wife has breastfed all of our children. While I’m not a lactation expert or anything like that I’m certainly thankful that my wife chose this for our children. Studies have shown the benefits of breastfeeding (to both child and mother) and I’ve also observed first-hand the indelible bond my wife has formed with each child. A nursing baby is truly one of the most beautiful acts to witness in all of nature. The look of both mother and child as they gaze into each other’s eyes is priceless. There’s nothing more pure and innocent in this world. It’s truly one of the few things my wife does with/for our children that I cannot even begin to replicate in my role as stay at home dad. I can feed our 7 month old baby girl the breast milk my wife lovingly expressed for her but it’s not even close to the same as when she’s with mommy. And I’m 100% okay with that. That’s the way it should be.

And, there is nothing remotely wrong or weird about it.  With all of that being said, I’m glad that the Pope took the opportunity to publicly address the “issue” of breastfeeding in public places like church. I guess I don’t understand why it’s a big deal. With our first child, born back when we were much younger (23), my wife would retreat to the cry room at church to nurse our daughter. After a few times doing that she began to wonder why that was necessary and decided to nurse right in the sanctuary, only covering with our child’s blanket. Unless you knew what was happening you’d never be able to tell what she was doing. There was, simply, nothing inappropriate about doing that in church. Over the 18+ years of having kids my wife has nursed in the sanctuary at many churches and it’s never been a problem. Sometimes, if the baby is being a particularly noisy or active eater, she has opted to go to the quiet room but only as circumstances dictate. If there’s any place on earth that should be receptive to naturally meeting the needs of children I would think that it would be a church. I have yet to observe a time that a baby nursing has been “sexy” or “inappropriate”.

We recently returned from a trip to El Salvador with our baby. She nursed multiple times each day, including while visiting Mayan ruins and during the wedding ceremony and reception dinner/dance.

Our baby nursing at Mayan ruins in El Salvador.

Our baby nursing at Mayan ruins in El Salvador.

And not one single person cared or objected, if they even noticed at all. We had been told ahead of time that women in El Salvador don’t cover up when nursing. For one thing, it’s so hot that it might be uncomfortable for mother and child. But, I believe, the bigger issue is that Americans are so hung up on their own perversions. We’ve managed to sexualize the human body so that even something as beautiful as a breastfeeding mother is somehow inappropriate. In case you didn’t realize it, women were created with breasts to feed their young. I’ve been to the zoo with my children many times and have seen animal mothers nursing their young and not a single zoo patron complained. Same goes for field trips to a dairy farm. Yet, if a mother wants to nurse her baby in public she better go somewhere out of sight or cover up or feel the wrath. I just don’t get it.

As a dad of children ranging in age from 7 months to 18 years old, I’m glad that my kids have all seen their siblings nurse. Even though some of the older ones think it’s “gross” or “weird”, it’s my hope that by the time they become parents they will understand how natural and beautiful it truly is for both mother and child. Every time they make a negative or disparaging comment about nursing I immediately refute it, reminding them that each of them also used to nurse once-upon-a-time. I have to admit that I’ve grown so used to my wife nursing that I don’t usually bat an eye when I’m out in public with my kids and another mom sits down on a bench and starts nursing her baby. The only time that I was caught off guard was a few years ago while at a local park with two of my kids and our dog. We met a lady wearing her sleeping baby while playing fetch with her dog (multi-tasking mama!). While our dogs were playing and we were chatting the baby woke up and the lady lifted her shirt and started feeding her baby. The contented cooing that ensued was music to her ears. What impressed me was how natural it was for her to do that without feeling ashamed or embarrassed by my presence. We continued our conversation as if nothing was wrong. Which was the case. It would be wonderful if we, as dads and moms, could pass along to our children, who could then pass along to their children (and so on) that breastfeeding is a good thing, to be cherished and celebrated. It’s not awkward or weird. Moms should feel free to feed their babies wherever they are: church, park, mall, movie theater, restaurant, pool, school events and anywhere else. As dads, we should do everything in our power to support and encourage mothers who are breastfeeding. We should also encourage a positive view of breastfeeding among our children and other adults.