The first couple of weeks after my children were born, I was basically topless the entire time. I make big babies — they were 8 and 9 pounds apiece — and they clearly had no intention of slowing their growth once they were outside of me: Those little fiends were on the boob constantly. As such, it eventually didn’t make much sense to put a shirt on at all. I’d wander around the house with either just a bra or no bra at all. My husband would come home from work and he’d be like, “Did she spit up on your shirt or something?” and I’d be like, “...No?” and then go back to doing whatever I was doing.
Eventually, this “give none of the fucks” attitude began to spill into my public life as well. It’s not that I would wander around a playground or Target without a shirt or anything, but among the many concerns and practical worries of having young children, someone catching a glimpse of my areola as I fed one of my kids rapidly dropped in importance to the point where it fell off the worry-radar entirely. It’s like my grandfather always says (in a quote he denies stealing from Bernard Baruch, but I know he did because we have the Internet now): “Those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.”
Here are the telltale signs that you, too, really can’t be bothered to care about your boobs being on metaphorical display.
You Don’t Even Notice That At Least Part Of Your Bra Has Been Showing Since Your Kid Was Born
Whether it’s because you’re about to feed your kid, or because your clothes have been stretched out beyond recognition and are slumping sadly over your undergarments, or because the baby on your hip is pulling your shirt down, your bra is exposed. Maybe it’s just an errant strap. Maybe it’s the entire left cup. It could well be the whole bra. Casual exposure of one’s bra is a gateway to giving absolutely none of the fucks about complete toplessness.
You Don’t Understand Why The Person Talking To You Looks So Uncomfortable And Won’t Make Eye Contact
Meanwhile, you’d completely forgotten you were nursing. Whoops.
Your Older Children Don’t Understand Why You Don’t Just Go Topless Under Non-Breastfeeding Circumstances
Because when you’re nursing, your breasts are exposed all the time, so the idea that lady-boobs in public is taboo (which is such bullshit, but that’s another rant for another day) is completely lost on them. This past summer, my four year old did not understand why, if I didn’t have a bathing suit with me, I wouldn’t just take off my shirt and go in a pool like he did. “You can just go in your underwear,” he would offer helpfully. “I really can’t do that,” I’d tell him. And he would just get this progression of looks on his face that went from "mild confusion" to, “OK whatever, weirdo. You do you, I’ll be over here in the pool.”
You Openly Reference The Fact That You’re Nursing With A Full Arsenal Of Breastfeeding Jokes
It used to be that if you were going to nurse in public, you’d grab your cover, slink off to a dark corner with a ficus plant and hope absolutely no one saw you. These days you just sit at your table, do your thing, and if your friend asks what you’re going to order you’re all, “Well, this one's clearly decided on milkshakes! Hahahahahaha!” The breastfeeding jokes of a nursing mother are about as close as women get to dad jokes.
If You Discover You Are Accidentally Exposed, You’re Pretty Nonchalant About Covering Up
I find it’s always kind of cute when it happens. So your boob is just kind of hanging out there and you don’t realize it. Someone notices, rushes over to you as though the hounds of Hell were nipping at their heels. They struggle with breath and words to convey that your breast is showing as delicately as they can while still relating this as urgently as possible. You look down slowly, see your nipple staring back and you and are like, “Oh.” You laugh, shrug, and casually tuck it back where it belongs. This other person cares waaaaaay more than you do, but you appreciate the sentiment nevertheless.
People Refer To You As “So Brave” And You're Like "Sure, Why Not"
The truth is, you’re actually just so over it.
You’ve Actually Reached A Point Where You’re Making A Quiet Little Protest By Nursing Uncovered In Public
You have stopped caring if everyone sees your boobs and have come out the other side where you’re like, “I want people to see me doing this because this is normal and should be seen as normal!” You want to inspire other mothers to be able to nurse in public so they don’t have to go through all these ridiculous hoops to just live their lives while feeding their babies. You’re not being tacky or brazen or even brave: You’re starting a goddamn revolution.
Images: Netflix; Giphy(7)