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To feel bemused by this question?

(35 Posts)
despondentmummy Sat 22-Nov-14 21:19:42

I'm just getting back into my old career (a competitive field not easy on women with young families) - my youngest is 10 months. Chatting to another female professional (who I just met that day) about my 'time out' away from my field of work, she suddenly fires: are you breastfeeding your baby? Now...I don't want a BF vs bottle debate here, that's not what concerns me, what stunned me was the question itself. Isn't this personal? Isn't this private? Isn't this no one else's business? What does this have to do with my career and she have asked my DH the same question? (answer: of course not). So: AIBU for being pissed off??

Passmethecrisps Sat 22-Nov-14 21:21:35

Could she be interested in the logistics? Like pumping at work?

I would have hated being asked that as it is a very touchy subject for me but I know amongst my colleagues that it is just chat

AgentZigzag Sat 22-Nov-14 21:31:21

Did she ask it in the middle of talking about work stuff?

That would be a bit weird, but if you were chatting about general shit I can't see the problem.

Has MN set you on edge and you're prickly when anyone mentions BF/FF? Or maybe the competitive side of your field is making you feel defensive? Or could you be feeling a bit anxious about going back to work and picking up on things you wouldn't have given a second thought to in the past?

How did you answer her just out of interest?

LadyLuck10 Sat 22-Nov-14 21:32:27

You're reading too much of mn.

FoulsomeAndMaggotwise Sat 22-Nov-14 21:36:05

Oh for goodness sake. You didn't have to answer her if you felt it was too personal.

It's a question I've asked before and been asked. It's just conversation.

NeedsAsockamnesty Sat 22-Nov-14 21:36:22

Its just a question no big deal.

ilikebaking Sat 22-Nov-14 21:37:11

Maybe she wants to know because she has issues. ..
For example, she is considering a baby and wants to know how feasible bf is with this workplace?
If she already has bairns, maybe she wants to know what your experience is to lessen her guilt?
Who knows. If you didn't answer the question and find out why she asked... how are we to know.

BTW, if I had the guts, i would ask coworkers. It's an interesting topic to me and I like hearing others experiences. Not saying if I did or didn't bf, if I struggled for one day or one year or if I ff from day one. I like taking about it and hearing others views.

ThePinkOcelot Sat 22-Nov-14 21:40:15

What's personal about it? Just a question! Take a chill pill!

PrincessTheresaofLiechtenstein Sat 22-Nov-14 21:46:49

I would be taken aback by that question from a person I had just met and be wondering why she would want to know.

MrsPiggie Sat 22-Nov-14 21:55:53

Not really that personal,it's not a taboo subject. You were talking about your maternity leave and your baby so she was curious how you managed it. A personal question would have been how soon after the baby you started having sex again or something daft like that.

WerewolfBarMitzvah Sat 22-Nov-14 21:59:52

Why do people ask though? Imo they rarely ask what kind of nappies we are using or what baby shampoo.
Suppose they are just interested, but still..

Cantbelievethisishappening Sat 22-Nov-14 23:26:25

Isn't this personal? Isn't this private? Isn't this no one else's business?

Given the constant hoo ha and numerous dull sometimes hysterical attitudes/threads about how babies are fed I would say it is very much in the public domain.

Only1scoop Sat 22-Nov-14 23:29:21

Yabu it's a question asked by another woman.

Unless it was an interview.

Scrumbled Sat 22-Nov-14 23:45:03

Maybe it was just a quesion about logistics and she was thinking back to a dilemma shed had, or thinking to the future? Is she wondering get if you have all the right facilities?

I I went back to work in an all male office whilst still breastfeeding. It was 6 months on and, for me, in the end I still managed fine during the day with breast feed mornings and evenings. But to start with I did need to think about fridges and a private space, never needed it but I did have to broach the subject with management.

TheBatteriesHaveRunOut Sat 22-Nov-14 23:47:52

I think she might have been interested for herself (for the future) or for someone else, or just wondering how it all works.

Innocent question.

Your go to reply is "why do you ask?"

MrSheen Sat 22-Nov-14 23:50:40

Seems like a pretty normal question within a "'time out' away from my field of work" conversation. It is relevant to women returning to work, particularly in male dominated workplaces where the logistics of bf mothers may not have come up before. It's also not private. People see how babies are fed in public all the time. Possibly not her business, but you could say that about lots of questions ('What did you have for lunch?', 'Do you come on the bus?')

rainyroo Sat 22-Nov-14 23:54:07

Depends how it was said I suppose, but if just a friendly chat I personasly wouldn't have been offended

OwlWearingSunglasses Sun 23-Nov-14 00:00:28

She's trying (or considering trying) for a baby.

Viviennemary Sun 23-Nov-14 00:00:40

I don't think it's a very personal question at all. It's just a question about how you feed your baby.

pregnantpause Sun 23-Nov-14 00:04:25

No it's not that personal. In the conversation you describe it's a par for the course question tbh

Poofus Sun 23-Nov-14 00:05:23

I have asked colleagues this. It was just supposed to be a friendly chat and some sympathy about how tough it can be going back to work after mat leave (esp if expressing milk). I imagine she meant it nicely.

rainyroo Sun 23-Nov-14 02:45:24

Does she have children herself?

I asked a father this question last week when he had the baby on his own and was talking about having the baby on hos own for a longer period the following week. I was just interested in the logistics tbh. I hope he didn't take offense, he didn't seem to, and we both had a laugh about struggling with breast pumps, so I thought at the time the question was taken in the way I'd meant it. I would try not to worry about other's opinions, perhaps have some stock evasive answers prepared too as I've found people do ask you all sorts of things once you're a parent. Just because they're asking,doesn't mean you have to answer; a question you find too intrusive to answer wasn't necessarily asked for any nefarious reason though.

Krytes42 Sun 23-Nov-14 06:28:19

It seems really odd to me. Not sure why she'd care. If she were interested in logistics/pumping facilities, why not just ask about that directly?

LoopyLoopyLoopy Sun 23-Nov-14 06:53:20

I don't get the issue. Why is how you feed your baby so personal? Fits with the conversation personally. Chill out.

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