Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Arlington, Tx
Angry.. another "nursing in church" vent...
We had the meeting with our pastor yesterday after church, and it went well.
He said that he wanted to start off by reading I Corinthians 10:23-33
Which basically talks about doing our best not to offend others.
After reading those verses, he said "Now, let me say this. You aren't doing anything wrong by breast feeding that baby. And I am so happy that you are feeding her like that...."
He went on to say that I wasn't doing anything wrong, but I can't change the hearts of others. He said that when I picked the baby up out of her carrier and put her in my sling during church yesterday, that all eyes went to me. I was a distraction, without meaning to be. He said "Is it right that people allowed you to distract them like that? NO. Was it your fault? NO. Were you doing anything wrong? NO. That's just how it is."
He pointed out that Satan loves to use stuff like this to cause problems in the church, and though I cannot control the hearts or actions of other people, I can control how I chose to act/react to situations. And then he asked me "So, what can we do, so that Bella still gets what she needs, but we're not causing a distraction in church."
I informed him that my husband and I had discussed it, and I was willing to sit in the back of the church, so that I could still hear the sermon, but wouldn't be a distraction to others. Because if I had to go to a completely different room, where I couldn't hear the message, then there was no point in my coming to church because I could sit in a room by myself at home while the reset of the family went to church. At that point he jumped in and said "Well we certainly don't want that!"
So, we will move to the back row from now on, until it gets to the point where she doesn't need to nurse during service. Pastor said "THEN if someone takes offense, because they were craning their neck back to watch you, then I just might stop preaching and call them to come sit up front where they will find less distractions." LOL
My husband also spoke with our Sunday School teacher and said "If you had a problem, you should have talked to us." SS Teacher said "I felt like it was a "woman to woman" discussion." My husband said "What really upset me, J, is that just a few weeks ago you stood up there and taught a lesson about how to handle offenses in church, and how you should go to the person who offended you and talk about it one on one. If you were uncomfortable talking to Michelle about it, then you could have come to me, and I could have talked to her about it. There was no need for your wife to gossip to someone else, and then have THAT person talk to Michelle." J said "You're right. I guess I took the chicken way out."
All of this was before our meeting with the pastor... but then J said "And even talking to her didn't help.".... well, I had picked Bella up and put her in the sling. She wanted to go back to sleep so I was holding he in the nursing position. I realized the lights were bothering her, so I covered her up with the tail of the sling, so yes, I could see how someone would think I was nursing...
So when he said that DH said "She didn't even nurse in church today!" J said "Oh, really?" DH said "Yeah. Really."
Oh, and my pastor also agreed that Person A (the original plaintiff) shouldn't have gone to another person behind my back. That she should have brought it to him and asked for a meeting with all three of us. And if there is another problem to let him know and he'll handle it.
I sent an email to Person A and her husband last night. I told him that if he had come to me and told me he was uncomfortable, I would have come up with a solution. And from now on when Bella needs to nurse I'll sit outside of the room. I also addressed his wife, and apologized that she found offense in my nursing in public, and from now on I will sit in the back row, and hope that she is more comfortable with this compromise. I told her that I was sorry that this had come between us, and that just like any other family there are bound to be disagreements from time to time within the church family, but that I hope we could put this behind us now and move forward with no hard feelings.
So I feel very happy and comfortable with how the talk with our pastor went. Now, if Person A is unhappy with me nursing in church, I can say "I'm sorry you are still not happy. I'd be happy to sit down with you and Pastor and discuss it. But as of right now, I have made appropriate compromises and will be sticking to what I'm doing."
Pastor also said that he's been trying to get the IT guys to pipe sound into the nursery, so that the nursery workers can hear the sermon, and so that it could be used as a "cry room" for nursing moms to use, or for parents of fussy kiddos to use.... where they could still hear the sermon but not feel like they were being a distraction. I would still be welcome to sit in service and nurse, but we'd have an adequate "cry room" for those who wished to use it.
So.... that's where it's at. I'll be interested to see what Person A or her husband respond with, if at all, to the email I sent, or to see if anyone says anything to me next week at church.
I am furious right now. Remember when I posted about a woman at church who was "offended" that I was nursing in the sanctuary, even though I was totally covered? Well, that was two Sunday's ago. Last Sunday I didn't go to church (I was just exhausted, it had nothing to do with this person). THIS Sunday, I went to Sunday school and church, and I nursed, in my sling in both rooms.
Well, this evening I got a phone call from Person B. Person B said that Person A asked her to call me so that she wouldn't "fly off the handle" at me.....because I nursed in Sunday School, in front of her husband, who told her he was "uncomfortable." Person B asked Person A "Did your husband say something to her?" Person A said that no, he was so uncomfortable with the topic that he couldn't even bring it up with me (eye roll, really? You're a grown man, not a 12 yr old)... so Person B, told me that she agreed with Person A, that it's inappropriate for me to nurse in Sunday School and in Church. And that I should "adjust Bella's schedule." She said that she nursed both her kids and was teaching Sunday School at the time, so on Sunday's "it was MY schedule, NOT the kids' schedules." I'm sorry.. I must have missed the part where I can dictate when my baby IS and IS NOT hungry. And I'm sorry, but she falls asleep in the car on her way to church, I'm not waking her up just to nurse.. if she's sleeping, it's cause she needs to, and if I wake her up and she isn't hungry, she won't nurse anyway.
So I'm really upset right now. I just emailed my pastor, updating him on the situation. I didn't use names, I just called them Person A and Person B. I told him that if I have to leave Sunday School or church every time the baby is hungry, and I'm missing most of the services, then there is no point in me coming. I told him that during Sunday School, ok, I can kindof understand because it's such a small group and we're all staring at each other.. but during the sermon, if people are paying attention to his message as they should, then they wouldn't even be able to tell that I'm nursing.. that if my nursing during service is offending them, then THEY have an issue with not doing what they should be doing.. which is paying attention to him.
I'm not sure if I'm asking for advice or if I'm just venting.. but I'm seriously P.O.'d.. and btw, I would never even CONSIDER "flying off the handle" at someone at church.. and yet because this woman is older than me, she feels its ok to say something like that about me? Respect flows both ways lady! UGH!!!
Last edited by Michelle_M; 10-29-2012 at 12:40 PM.