June 1, 2012 § 9 Comments

6/3 Update: We got bumped on Friday night and I’m still waiting to hear if it will run this week. Perhaps this exercise was all for nothing?!! I’ll post an update here if I get any news.

6/1 Original Post:

OK, I think I’m finally ready to blog about some pretty big news – a.k.a. I am finally done being too mad to actually write something cohesive and objective related to my experience at our favorite public library last weekend.

If you’re my Facebook friend, you already know that Eldyn and I got ourselves into a bit of trouble with security, police and library personnel for nursing in the lobby of Minneapolis Central Library. This shouldn’t have happened because nursing in public is legal in Minnesota. But regardless, it happened.

I am trying not to be too dramatic about this. Being harassed for nursing in public is something most moms experience at least once. But I feel like being dramatic because I’ve never been so mad before in my life. I’ve never felt so much heat behind my ears or known with such certainty that my entire neck and head were the color of fire.

Thinking about it now, I realize it made me so mad because breastfeeding is something I am lucky to say I can do well.

As moms, we each find the things we’re good at doing for our kids and we do them with all our hearts. Because we’re all different, we all do different things with all our hearts. All these offerings are sincerely done and we hope they will help to make up for the things we are totally terrible at doing. We hope what we do is enough. We all know really, what we do doesn’t come close to being enough. But we all try. Hard.

This is why — when I was the one who was harassed in a public library for giving my baby breast milk—I knew it happened to me because I would do something about it. I knew I would try hard to raise awareness about the law and make a difference for babies and moms who specialize in breastfeeding in public.

Last night, Eldyn and I had WCCO News over to our back yard and we talked about what happened at the library. If nothing gets bumped, the story will run tonight at 10 on channel 4.

In all honesty, this was a stretch assignment for our entire family. No one in this house likes conflict. No one likes cleaning the house and yard up enough to be broadcast-worthy. And worst of all, everyone in this house loves the library. But regardless, we did it. And I think the interview went well.

I’m looking forward to seeing if we will actually be able to make a difference. I’m dreading the comments and the judging we put ourselves in line to receive.

No matter what happens, I am going to remember this: I did my best for my kids and for moms. And I didn’t let myself down.

That is what will matter the most after the rest of this is over.


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§ 9 Responses to Activism

  • Thien Sam says:

    I commend you on behalf of all mothers and their children. I couldn’t believe that happened to you. I was there just the day before nursing Isabel in the Dunn Bros just steps away from the lobby. I have yet to be confronted by anyone, but when the time comes and I have no doubt that it will, I hope that I will have your courage to stand up for myself and my baby.

  • […] sounds like Eldyn and my story is a “go” for tonight at 10. I am quite […]

  • […] On her blog, Barrows described her frustration at the incident: […]

  • Ariel Heintze says:

    I just saw your article on Care2
    You have the support of thousands of women behind you. Be dramatic! Make a stink about it! You and every woman who has ever suffered this kind of harassment deserve it! Go you!

  • Cris says:

    It’s crazy that there are folks who don’t want us to have abortions, and there are folks who don’t want us to feed our babies naturally. If we don’t have a choice to have babies, and we don’t have a choice how to feed our babies, what choices do we really have?
    Thanks for standing up for all women and our choices!

  • Rebecca A says:

    Hey Hadley – I ran into this story on a friend’s FB page. I can’t believe that happened to you, but I’m so glad you’ve stood up for yourself and nursing moms everywhere. The fact that that happened is infuriating! I just wanted you to know you have my support!

  • Its a shame that people were triggered into their own issues about your natural state of breast feeding. We as humans can be very sick with our thinking. Please dont let them drag you into their world of un naturalness. Stay in your power, but dont get triggered into anger by them as this changes who you are. We need more sane loving people in this world so just meet your own approval. I also approve of you breast feeding no matter where, if your son is hungry. Well done. Be proud. Dont get lost.

  • Helene says:

    You’re my hero! Seriously, we should all be like you and then maybe we wouldn’t hear about mothers being judged and pushed around all the time, whether it be about: not nursing, nursing for too long, not nursing for long enough or, nursing in public. Not to mention the million other issues where we’re not good enough in the eyes of the beholder. Keep standing up for yourself and your baby and, be proud of yourself!

  • Dale says:

    I noticed that the commentors on this post are all women. Well I’m one male who supports you and all women on this isssue. That dumb guard who accused you of indecent exposure is out of his mind. I think a woman breast feeding a baby is the most beautiful and precious thing in the world. I never understood why it fell out of favor.

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