Dear Miss Jeanne and readers of e-hell, I have a dilemma and I need some etiquette advice!
I gave birth to my second son 14 weeks ago, next week there is a family wedding. Children are not invited, which is absolutely fine – my parents have agreed to take care of both of the children for the duration of both the actual wedding and a portion of the evening party. (My husband’s cousin is getting married.)
I breastfeed and have expressed more than enough milk to cover the day and evening events. (I actually milk share with a mother who struggles to feed her own daughter, so I have plenty of milk.) However, my dilemma is this: how rude is it to essentially “vanish” for around 30 minutes or so to either a room at the venue (I will ring and ask if there is space available) or into our car to express and potentially eat something. Unfortunately I’m still at the point where my breasts are very tender and get over full very quickly, so the only relief I get is through expressing. I am also incredibly hungry all the time so was considering bringing a small lunch pack of foods I can eat (this would not effect me eating the wedding breakfast at all).
It is very important to the groom that we attend the wedding as all of us are very close so not going isn’t really an option.
Am I being incredibly rude or would this be an ideal way to enjoy the day without feeling incredibly sore and having to change breast-pads every half hour or so)
Please help! 0213-18
In all my years of wedding work I have never known of a situation in which a nursing mother could not bring her infant to the wedding regardless of children not being invited. Nursing infants always were the caveat to the exclusion of children.
First, I’d ask the bride and groom if you could bring the baby with the assurances from you that you will promptly exit the ceremony if the baby gets fussy. If they balk at this then explain that you are in a season of life where you will need to periodically either breastfeed a baby or disappear to express milk. It’s biology and you have needs. “We are so looking forward to your wedding but if you notice me missing for short spells, just know that I’m a little pre-occupied but will join you all soon! See you next weekend!”
Unless your husband’s cousins are selfish cretins, they will graciously never notice you missing while you pump and knosh. And if they are really kind people they will insist you bring Baby along and go out of their way to make sure you are accommodated as best can be done.