what’s more inappropriate?

This?

shorts2

 

or this?

medium_421171206

The first one is an image I am bombarded with every time I venture outdoors. Women, not just girls, with their arses hanging out all over the place in teeny, tiny, short shorts which it looks like they stole from their nieces dollhouse. Apparently its fashion. Apparently a lot of people dont have mirrors anymore.

The second, is a mother breastfeeding her baby. A perfectly natural and beautiful part of raising a child.

Disappointingly, todays news headlines in Australia once again speak of a woman being asked to leave a public space due to the fact that she was breastfeeding. On one of the hottest summer days we have experienced, this mother had taken her children to the local swimming pool. When her 11 month old required feeding, she did what most mothers would do. She fed her. Shock horror! Staff at the pool promptly advised her that she was required to “refrain from feeding out in the open” and was asked to either leave or go to the change rooms where no-one could see her.

Are you kidding me? This is a POOL. A public space where there were no doubt men prancing around in grossly misfitting speedos and woman in bikinis which only Miranda Kerr should be allowed to wear, yet this woman feeding her baby is what is causing offense?

Why is it that some people within society are so grossly offended by a breastfeeding mother? Now, I’ve never been a breastfeeder before. I will get to know the “joys” (or challenges!) of breastfeeding in a couple of months when my son arrives, but I can tell you, if anyone takes it upon themselves to ask me to “refrain” from feeding my son in public, I will find it hard to “refrain” from punching them in the face.

I understand that as with anything, a certain amount of common sense is required. I have no plans to flop the ole tit out in front of a bunch of school kids and let my son have a nice big free for all. There should be decorum and general decency in how you breastfeed your baby and how much you cover up. But at the end of the day, its a mothers choice.

Unfortunately a lot of the comments I have seen today regarding this story, reek of chauvinism and ignorance and a general belief that a mother breastfeeding her baby is a perverted site. Get real people. You want to know what is more perverted – having to see what the girl walking in front of me ate for breakfast because her shorts are so freaking short!

This story touched a nerve with me today. Maybe its fear that I will one day have to deal with what was no doubt an awful situation for the mother in this story. Maybe its fear that our society can be so backwards that this has once again made the news. Maybe I’m just sick of seeing inappropriate short shorts. Who knows. But to all you breastfeeding mamas out there – get your tits out girls. Screw those who are offended by something so perfectly natural. You feed your baby when and how you want to.

xx A

the news story can be found here

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/155ruidos/5667755371/”>155ruidos</a&gt; via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/”>cc</a&gt;

please don’t redefine me

Passionate. Career driven. Successful. Intelligent. Hardworking. Dedicated.

These are just a few of the words that I would use to describe myself. It may have taken me 30 years but I finally feel like I know myself pretty well.

I know what I am good at. I know how I thrive. I know who I am.

As I embark further into this journey, I am frustrated beyond belief that people are trying to change my definition.  Unrequested, uninvited. People are trying to redefine who I am now that I am pregnant.

Since when does my ability to procreate impact my ability to do those things that I have managed to do successfully for many years now.

Does adding “mum” to my definition render the other words now useless?

Call me a dreamer but I want it all. I want to balance my new role of mum with the roles that I currently play in society. I am under no illusions that my life is going to change dramatically when I become a mother. I know that my priorities will change and my focus will shift. I have no issue with that. The issue I have is the assumption that one must replace the other.  That mother is the new definition of who I am and all those other words will describe who I used to be.

So many people have asked me questions about what I plan to do with my work when baby comes. Take some time off of course is my response. Take time to readjust my life to the new role I am taking on.

Then, when the time is right, come back and tackle the working world as the same person I was before I had my son. The only difference being, I’ve pushed a watermelon out of my vagina. I wont be any less capable. I wont be any less driven. I wont be any LESS full stop. I will just be a mother as well.

The same passionate, intelligent, hardworking woman I am now, just with some stretch marks and no doubt some wobbly bits.

I am sick and tired of being told that the primary things that make up who I am will change. They might. I know that. This baby might turn me into someone I don’t recognize. Someone I haven’t been in my 30 years. But the point is this. If the fundamentals of who I am change, it will be because I want them to, not because society tells me they have to.

I’ve suddenly become painfully aware of a set of societal rules that I didn’t know existed until I began to show my bump. Apparently I must step quietly away from those nasty non-maternal defining words like “career driven” and “intelligent” and spend some time with more appropriate definitions such as “mothers group attendee” (no offence intended to those who love a good mothers group) and “play dater”. Those words don’t fit me very well. And I think I know myself well enough to know that they probably never will.

So my request to the world is this…. Please don’t redefine me. Please don’t tell me I cant be the same person then as I am now. Please don’t tell me that the role of mother must replace my current definition.

Will it be added to my list? Most definitely. And I will embrace it. Just like I do those other words. But my uterus does not define me and my being a mother will not change the fundamentals of who I am.

Even if you tell me it has to.

Rant over.

Xx A