Monday, May 24, 2010

BHG and the Big Bad Breastfeeding Post...



I haven't written in a while mostly due to schedule but I felt compelled to comment on the editorial debacle that is, 9 Commandments on Dining with Little Kids. If you haven't seen the original post I have included it below. Better Homes and Gardens has removed the original piece from the site and it is only available on a few blogs.

Ok to start. I am a breastfeeding mother of a 15 month old. I am proud that we breastfeed and do it in public. When I first started nursing I felt ashamed of my breasts and didn't want anyone to watch me nurse or be in my presence during a feeding. ( even my husband!) I used to run up to our bedroom or stay home most of the time. I just couldn't deal with nursing covers as I was a new breastfeeder.
I attended a new mom's group at Mothers & Company and was enlightened, breasts are for feeding babies and when baby is hungry he needs to eat. During the first meeting I attended felt so nervous when my little baby started to scream in hunger, I thought, should I take the nursing cover out or? Then the group leader lifted her shirt and nursed her baby. It wasn't graphic or obscene, it was discreet and graceful. From that moment on I felt much more at ease about feeding in public. The more I did it, the more comfortable I became.

I am an avid Better Homes & Gardens reader and I enjoy much of their online tutorials for my blog and love purchasing their magazine. I was very saddened by their recent story on dining out with children. Breastfeeding aside, the article had a very negative feeling as if dining with children was unacceptable. It took my husband and I a while to feel comfortable bringing our toddler out to dinner because of the ' screaming kid in restaurant' stigma. It is important that we include our children in our dining as to teach them proper etiquette so that they can behave at the table.

I feel that the writer really was insensitive to breastfeeding moms who already may feel uncomfortable nursing in public, as many new moms do. Having worked in the PR I understand that word choice is very important. It was inexcusable for this type of content to make it to the Shine.com page.

I haven't yet decided whether or not I will be boycotting BHG. Everyone makes mistakes. I am sure that the writer feels terrible already and as human beings one of our greatest talents is forgiveness. Clearly the writer is uneducated on the top of breastfeeding suggesting that it belongs in a bathroom. I am sure this was a wake up call for her and that she will be attending some sensitivity training in the near future.



Original Post from Shine.com:

9 Commandments on Dining with Little Kids

Let me be clear: I am not anti-kid. I adore children in all their lovable, spontaneous, energetic glory. However, in recent years, I’ve noticed a pronounced blurring of the boundaries between “adult world” and “kid world”, especially when it comes to dining out. Those seeking romantic, contemplative dining may find themselves irked by erstwhile tots in a refined restaurant -- but I don't think anyone is ready to institute a kid ban. Really, we can all get along...

With this in mind, BHG.com offers our ten commandments for kids in upscale restaurants -- gentle reminders for parents and non-parents alike -- as well as kid-friendly recipes for creating your own restaurant experience at home.

THOU SHALT NOT BLOCK TRAFFIC WITH BULKY STROLLERS
Strollers have begun to overtake cars and wristwatches as conspicuous status symbols. You may be proud of your double-wide Maclaren, but be sure not to leave it jutting out in a place where waiters and other patrons might trip over in transit.

Leave the stroller at home and indulge your family with this melty, tasty Chicken and Cheese Panini.

THOU SHALT NOT ORDER A 10-COURSE TASTING MENU WITH KIDS UNDER 10
Kids, as we all know, have kid-sized attention spans. Attempting to make them sit still while you enjoy a world-renowned chef’s esoteric, glacially-paced tasting menu isn’t going to be a pleasant experience for anyone.



THOU SHALT NOT TREAT YOUR SERVER LIKE A SITTER

Your server is there to accommodate you, but customer service has its limits. While most waiters are happy to engage and amuse your little one, it's bad form to delegate your child-minding duties to the person taking your sea bass order.

Let your kids serve themselves with our

THOU SHALT NOT BREAST FEED AT THE TABLE
Yes, I have seen table-side breast feeding at a four-star restaurant. If at all possible, take it to the ladies room. (Note: most upscale restaurants have really nice restrooms!)

If you're breastfeeding, you likely want to cook something quick, easy, and protein-rich; we love this


THOU SHALL FEEL FREE TO ORDER "KID FOOD" OFF THE MENU
Most restaurants are happy to provide kid-friendly cuisine, so don’t hesitate to ask, just keep in mind you may experience sticker shock (e.g., $23 for pasta with butter)



THOU SHALL NOT TURN DINNER INTO A PHOTOSHOOT
It’s exciting to see your little one all dressed up at the table, and special occasions and birthdays are naturally conducive to photos, but overzealous documentation with flash photography, flip-cams, and camcorders can be distracting to fellow diners.

Say "cheese" with these ten tasty

THOU SHALT NOT BRING NOISY TOYS
It’s wise to bring a few of your kid’s favorite toys for their amusement but try not to bring excessively loud games and bleep-blooping electronic toys -- or at least be sure there’s a volume-off button.

Keep their hands busy with a finger-food meal, such as this tasty

THOU SHALL TRY TO QUELL HIGH-PITCHED SCREAMING
Unexpected tantrums and outbursts are a fact of life, but when a parent sits stoically as their child screams without any intervention, the mood of the room can quickly turn from convivial to incredulous to profoundly irritated.



THOU SHALT NOT ALLOW FREE-RANGE KIDS
When you let your child run free in the restaurant, it’s not only disruptive to other diners, but it could be a safety hazard: Restaurants are full of hot plates and sharp cutlery, and kids underfoot could cause a major disaster.

Keep them planted happily in their seats with this zesty, crunchy

THOU SHALL CALMLY DISCOURAGE FOOD FIGHTS
Ah, the food fight. The epitome of fun at summer camp and grade school cafeterias -- less so at Michelin-starred eateries. If the food starts flying, quietly and firmly put an end to it.

And if your kids politely make their way through the meal without incident, treat them to a well-deserved

No comments:

Post a Comment