I’ve had my share of fireworks this past week. Oh, I’m not talking about the WHAM-BAM, sparkly kind. We actually didn’t get to see any real fireworks this year because the sky opened up just as the sunlight slipped away.
No, I’m actually referring to the figurative variety.
But something happened to my idyllic, little corner of Cyberspace this week. First, I left a comment on a popular mom blog about my 13-month-old daughter’s abrupt reluctance to nurse and I happened to mention the acronym AP (as in attachment parenting). That got people talking and it made me reconsider ever labeling myself as anything other than a “Catholic mom and wife doing her best to meet her family’s needs.” Yet, this discourse was only the beginning.
Things got really interesting after an article on InsideCatholic was posted about why I nurse (discreetly) at Mass. This weekend I received my first piece of hate mail in my inbox and a slew of other negative comments in the comment section for the article.
I have arrived.
Seriously, I’m keeping a sense of humor with all this. I see all the exposure (no pun intended. I’m an advocate of nursing discreetly, after all) as a good thing. In just one week I’ve been described as a lactivist, and a vain, self-absorbed and insecure mom, and it’s even been suggested that my nursing at Mass is a part of Satan’s plan to degrade our Blessed Mother. (I can’t begin to explain that last one either.)
I suppose I should be fretting over the negative feedback, perhaps even questioning myself and the choices I make as a Christian mom.
But I’m not. Not one little bit. And it has nothing to do with the fact that for every naysayer, I received an influx of positive and encouraging comments from both men and women.
It’s kind of weird, really, since I have the tendency to worry too much about what others think. However, this is just one of the wonderful gifts motherhood has given me – thick skin and a nice helping of resolve, too. Thick skin to not let all those “expert opinions” out there make me second guess the way I mother and resolve to keep praying for God’s approval and no one else’s.
And it was God Himself who gave me my body, including my breasts, to be given up for my children. Unfortunately, it’s only here in the Northern Hemisphere that my article would cause any debate at all. We have sexualized breasts to the point that a woman discreetly feeding her infant makes people squirm.
I don’t consider myself a lactivist at all. I did not write that article about my decision to start nursing at Mass out of my love for breastfeeding or even my love for my children. It was really about my love for Christ and my desire to be at his table as often as possible. Somehow that point got lost when I mentioned the word “breast.”
I want to go to Mass and I think Jesus wants me there, too, hungry baby and all.