Teacher Talk Tuesday: Parent Conferences

This year, 3 out of my 20 parents came to conferences.

Last year, 8 out of 31.

The year before that, I had a woman show me some boob.
Let me explain so you can wipe that silly surprised look off of your face.

Imagine the mom, her baby, the translator, and I, all at a smallish round table. We're chattin' it up about her little first grader. She is holding her chunky one year old (and I say that endearingly) in her arms. Her baby is happy as a clam and suddenly... BAM, mom whips out her nip and starts breastfeeding without so much of a hesitation, let alone warning.

To make this situation that much more confusing and surprising for me, I love how the translator felt the need to say:  Oh, she's going to just feed her baby.
I'm no Dora the Explorer, buuuut, I think I know what she was doing Miss I-need-to-translate-everything.

I don't want to come off as an objector of breastfeeding in public because I really could care less if you decide that you need to feed your baby in the middle of the deodorant aisle at Target (true story). That's their prerogative and a baby's gotta eat when they gotta eat.
But.... is it necessary to do it in front of your child's teacher? I mean, the meeting was only 10 minutes long and the baby wasn't fussing at all. I highly doubt this chubby cherub would've died without eating for 10 minutes. She didn't even bother covering up. It was a show!
Source: None via Jill on Pinterest

This is a bit excessive, you might as well go into a room...or build one around you.

And to make the situation even MORE awkward, because life is just that beautiful, the sounds of baby suckling at her teat drowned out any sound of me informing the mom about her child's lack of reading skills. And never mind the drool that was dripping on the table from hungry hungry caterpillar baby when mom leaned over to sign some papers.

Note to parents: Just don't. I appreciate you feeling so comfortable with me, but just don't.


  1. As a breastfeeding mom myself, I'd have to applaud the mother for breastfeeding in public... It is very hard for many moms to establish bf'ding in the first place, let alone having to deal with society's perception on it. I, myself, am very modest about breastfeeding in public and sometimes it makes me feel guilty that my sef consciousness is starving my baby at times. In defense of that mom, I'm sure she felt comfortable wih you because you were a woman... Also crying is a late sign of hunger.. Babies give early hunger cues such as rooting or sucking of the fists when their hungry... But again there are some signs that are unique enough for only the mother to pick up. In addition, breastmilk is rapidly digested which is why breastfed babies eat every 1-3hours. It's sooo much work to breastfeed, I don't know why I do it myself sometimes but after coming to terms with all the benefits, I would never NOT breastfeed just cause it was alot of work.
    Again I'm pretty modest when it comes to breastfeeding ... And I'm not against formula.. Or mothers who choose not to breastfeed.. I would never BF in front of men or my inlaws.. I'm always covered up,and (if im at the mall) I'll find the nearest Nordstroms (since they're the only company that has a mothers room) or I'll feed in my car. But if I have a screaming baby, then it's happening at the nearest bench. And sometimes I do wish I had more courage to not be embarrassed about it because in reality almost every single bf'ding mother I know is not embarrassed to feed in front of me. and that's when I feel the most inadequate in my role as a mom.

  2. Joanna I am with you on the fact that she should have covered herself. There is no reason she shouldnt have had some sort of blanket or something! I know she thought she needed to feed her child and more power to her for breastfeeding buy its common curtosy to cover up.

  3. Oh that's so awkward! That happened to a co-worker of mine during conferences...just whipped it out haha! I used to have no parent attendance too...this year I had every parent come I was Shocked!

  4. Gross!! I don't have kids yet, but I totally plan on breast feeding when I do, and my sister-in-law just got done breast feeding my nephew, and she was always covered up. I think that I will breast feed in public, but I know for a fact that I will always be covered up. It's nice that that lady was so comfortable with her own body, but you have to have respect for other people's comfort levels, I really don't want to see any of my parents nippleage.

    On a side note, my friend who happens to be a first grade teacher was in a parent conference, and the mom was telling her that her and her daughter were really close because she still breast fed her (in first grade!!!)

  5. No. Just no.

    Maybe it's because I don't have kids yet, but that would make me so uncomfortable. Good for the mama for breastfeeding, but I can't help how I would feel. I do have to say, however, that this story made me laugh out loud multiple times. =)

  6. I totally agree- and the important point here is that the kid was almost a toddler, not a newborn or infant. A one year old can absolutely wait ten minute to be fed. There's a huge difference between breastfeeding your child in public and whipping out your boob to lactate on your kid's teacher's desk.

    I'm not a mom, and when I choose to be I'll probably breast feed for awhile. I'm not exactly Mrs. Modesty, but the idea of the whole world seeing me exposed is not cool. Great for those that are comfortable, but that does not mean the rest of us are with seeing it. I had a parent breastfeed at back to school night once and it was extremely awkward for everyone. No one is saying to not breastfeed in public, just respect everyone present.

  7. LOL, Joanna. This was a funny post. I don't really care where moms breastfeed (I get it, the kid has to eat), but it doesn't make it any less awkward for you.



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