This month I want to spend time talking about an experience I recently had. I went back to the gym - there! That's it! JK. This was a major accomplishment for me though. ha! It was a Monday and I fed Ty at 10AM with plans of making it through most of a 12 noon yoga class. I thought he would eat again around 1. So far my planning worked out well and the nursery came to grab me from the hardest part of the yoga class around 12:45 - whew! My next plan was to nurse him in the kid's room and then head to the grocery store. Well, here is where it gets interesting. I was informed that the Gold's does not allow you to nurse your baby in the kid's area. They said that the parents complained when they had to explain what BF was to their kids. They told me I was welcome to feed him in the women's center which sounds totally acceptable... UNLESS you know the layout. The couch in the women's center is actually in a hallway, and not just any hallway, the one that leads to the tanning beds, massage room thingy that I never go to, and ALL of the bathrooms, saunas, and pool. In other words you would feel quite "on display."
I was quite uncomfortable with this request and politely informed them that I am really disappointed. I find it extremely difficult to get a yoga/step/pilates class to fit into my life and I can't always make it here and leave before I need to feed the little guy. They said most moms can schedule their work outs around feedings. I so could if I just needed a treadmill or bike or something I could schedule myself but the classes are the reason I joined and are much more difficult to schedule around. I would have joined Planet Fitness if I just needed a treadmill for $10/month or bought one for my house. I joined for classes and now fear that I am stuck in a contract for another year at a place that wants to cater to 3 year-old curiosity rather than accommodate common sense and health. I mean a gym has members who value health more than most people. Lots of the members BF or have BF. I would expect Moms to be supportive of each other and would expect complaints from men and the general population as they walk by me to the bathroom/tanning/swimming world.
Really it isn't even a tough conversation to have with little ones. Unit study number 1 for Kaitlyn Dean's 4 year-old preschool class involved learning that we are mammals. Mammals are covered in fur or hair, have live babies, and feed milk to their young. There. Done. Why is that hard? It is only the adult's issues that make this awkward. The kids are just gonna go with what you say and how you respond. In other words, if it's a big thing to you then you will make it a big thing to them. It should just be common knowledge and I hope that by the time my girls grow up and need to feed their babies while out in the community it won't cause such a stir.
I do need to add that I asked to feed him in an enclosed area while sitting on the floor and with a hooter hider as a cover. No child or other parent would have even known I was there. In fact, my own 3 year-old didn't. The manager actually agreed with me and pulled up a rocking chair and insisted I feed him so he didn't cry all the way home or make me BF "on display." It was very nice of her. She did say that she would not always be able to do that as some parents she knows would complain. I do not understand why their complaint weighs more than mine though? What about our point of view? Am I not also a paying member with a concern/complaint?
Not sure where to go from here. I have not been back yet. Themanager encouraged me to talk to corporate. Not sure. They claim that they are not allowed to feed the kids anything - snack, bottles, sippy cups, etc...Guessing they have figured out the legal side of this. We are allowed to BF wherever we are in this state but I just don't want to be dramatic about this. It is illegal to tell someone they cannot BF as far as I now. I do just want to go to classes and take care of my baby. Why is it such a big deal? I need your feedback! Help!