There's something I’ve been wanting to talk about for awhile. I’ve been wanting to get off my chest, to set the record straight before I lose it on some random stranger or a distant family member with boundary issues.
So, here it goes: My son is not a “boob guy.”
You heard me. My son doesn’t breastfeed because he’s “obsessed with breasts, just like his dad.” His love of breastfeeding has nothing to do him being a “typical man,” if you know what I mean.
He is a baby.
A lot of babies eat nothing but breast milk, straight from the tap, for the first six months of their life. And my son, well he likes to nurse because he likes milk and he likes me, his mother, because I gave him life. It has nothing to do with him being “a guy.”
As a mom who has breastfed three babies, I have heard my fair share of strange and offensive comments about nursing. I have been asked to cover up. I’ve been encouraged to leave the room. I’ve actually been encouraged by a friend's grandfather to uncover while nursing. (I know, yikes!) Honestly, none of that can compete with what I have experienced since having my son.
It’s not the fact that my son loves to breastfeed that I have a problem talking about, it’s the implication that there's something sexual about his obsession.
My third baby was my first son and my first experience with the hypersexualization of breastfeeding baby boys and it's super creepy and weird. The first time someone made a comment about my son’s love of breastfeeding, it honestly caught me off guard. I didn’t respond because I was struggling to process what they meant when they said, “He must be just like his dad,” simply because I couldn’t imagine a world where it would be OK to say something that disgusting. I brushed it off, assumed it was a one time deal, but I was totally wrong.
Since then, I’ve heard similar comments a handful of times and part of me has wanted to believe that I was being overly sensitive or that my experience wasn’t typical. But it turns out, it is typical. One mom friend told me her family member didn’t like to tease her about the topic because they had actual concerns about “issues” that could develop if she kept breastfeeding her son after he turned one. Another pointed out that you can actually get onesies with “I’m a boob guy” printed on the front.
Maybe I'm a complete stick in the mud, but I don’t why any of this is funny.
Here’s the thing, of course my son is into my boobs. My daughters were, too, because they're filled with food and attached to their favorite person in the entire world. It’s not the fact that my son loves to breastfeed that I have a problem talking about, it’s the implication that there's something sexual about his obsession. It’s the idea that he is uniquely into breastfeeding just because he’s a boy.
News flash people: all breastfed babies are “boob” babies and it has nothing to do with their gender.