Nothing causes internet controversy like parenting choices, especially when they don’t conform to everyone’s definition of “acceptable” parenting. Obviously, it’s impossible to satisfy everyone with every choice, but anything mildly unorthodox is bound to bring down fire and brimstone, even if, deep down inside, everyone knows they’ve been there a time or two.
Meet mother of two Elisha Wilson Beach, a woman brave enough to not only ask her husband to snap a pic of her breastfeeding their 11-month-old daughter while perched on the toilet, but to post said pic on Instagram for the world to see.
Cue the drama.
The rather obvious backstory here is that she was enjoying a quiet moment on the porcelain throne when her daughter barged in, rummaged through the cabinet and then took a snack break. What’s a mom to do?
Well, if you ask the ever-helpful internet community, she should have either refused her hungry child or refrained from posting the “disgusting” pic where decent folks could see it. Some have even accused her of setting the breastfeeding movement back by endorsing breastfeeding in a bathroom, as if a household bathroom and a public restroom are remotely the same thing.
Cue my 360-degree eye roll.
I notoriously have zero patience for all the backbiting in which my gender loves to engage, especially where motherhood is concerned. It’s rough out there for us all (if it isn’t, you’re not doing it right), so why are we so eager to tear each other down over nonsense like this?
As my own personal show of solidarity, I’m going share a few motherhood moments that would be embarrassing if I hadn’t shed my last bit of shame on the delivery table:
1. Peeing with an audience
Now, I’ve never breastfed in the bathroom, but that’s only because the timing never quite worked out that way and I weaned my daughter long before she was capable of finding her way in there on her own. In fact, if she was still breastfeeding when she became mobile, I’m positive I would have, since watching me pee is one of her favourite activities and she has absolutely zero patience when it comes to her belly. It would’ve been inevitable, really.
2. Pumping everywhere and anywhere
I obviously don’t need to pump anymore, but way back when, I did it just about anywhere I could sit quietly and relatively privately for 20 minutes or so. I say “relatively” because, in addition to the dreaded workplace bathroom pump (I wasn’t blessed with a job that had the necessary facilities) I also regularly pumped in my car. It was actually much more comfortable than the bathroom (no perching awkwardly on a toilet seat cover while trying desperately not to let anything touch anything) but it was decidedly less private depending on where I parked. A homeless guy scavenging through the trash nearby once wandered up while I was in the middle of a session and, though my breasts were covered, the apparatus was bulky enough to earn a double-take. Luckily for me, he was much more interested in whatever was in the next garbage bag, but truth be told, there wasn’t much I could’ve done if he wasn’t. No way I was spilling a drop of that liquid gold over a little sneak-n-peek.
3. Pamper changes on the fly
My famously fastidious daughter has never been fond of pooping in public, so I’ve rarely had to deal with a messy pamper on the go. Rarely isn’t never though, and, on the rare occasion when it happens, there’s never a bathroom with a changing table nearby. The last time we got caught out, we were in a mall food court. One sniff told me that pulling a quick change in my lap wasn’t an option, so we made our way to the bathroom, which had no changing table (naturally) and the narrowest sink counter I’ve ever seen in my life. It was also wet. Luckily, we had a changing pad and I did what I had to do, screaming baby notwithstanding, stinking up the bathroom in the process. Sure, I got a couple of strange looks, but it’s not as if I had time to study them when I was dealing with a squirming baby with an impressively messy pamper trying to throw herself off a wet counter.
There you have it. Three parenting adventures that would’ve been embarrassing if I had time to feel embarrassed over what comes naturally. Do you have any shameless parenting stories to share? Post them in the comments!
Calisa is the exhausted mother of an energetic, (generally) good-natured and ridiculously sharp toddler whose sole mission in life is obviously to keep mommy on her toes. She spends much of her time reading board books, changing diapers and saying “Ah-ah-ah! Mommy said ‘NO’!” while counting down the hours to bedtime.