There are some moments in life you never forget – uni graduation, wedding day, the birth of your children, that moment your mother-in-law was holding your firstborn and boldly declared “I wish I could breastfeed her!”….wait, what?
Yeah, that really happened.
I was a new mum of barely a week when my mother-in-law decided she’d like to usurp my role as primary nourisher and whack my bundle of joy onto her decrepit boob. (Ok, so I stretched the truth here – there is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING decrepit about my mother-in-law, who is hands-down the fittest woman I know).
Mother-in-law. Your baby. Her boob.
Think about it.
For most new mums this would be pretty shocking, yeah? I mean, it’s one thing to tut-tut your dusty bookcase and inferior spag bol, but to volunteer as stunt boob in the movie otherwise known as your life? Isn’t that a little bit too much?
Not in our family. Boundaries are no big deal.
Breastfeeding, childbirth, irritable bowels, colonoscopies, sex drives, vasectomies, back pain – nothing is off limits when I chat with my in-laws.
“I wish I could breastfeed your baby” is practically code for “I love your baby just as much as I loved my own”, so I filed the incident away in my vast mental bank of family hilarity. It’s somewhere in between my mother-in-law waking me up with a text on my wedding day to remind me to give her “German Shepherd Puppies calendar” to my father-in-law that morning, and my recent suggestion that she should try curing her insomnia by having more orgasms (who can’t sleep after that, amiriiight?)
The truth is, while I enjoy using the “my mother-in-law said she wanted to breastfeed my baby” card for shock and entertainment value, she is actually pretty awesome. No-one could be more loving, caring and generous (and fit! There’s not an inch of fat on her – her strength and fitness is truly inspiring).
While friends battle their meddling monsters-in-laws over toddler diets and nap time routines, I take comfort in the fact the junkiest food she will ever feed my kids is a mung bean chip.
She has never doubted my decisions as a mother or wife, even though we don’t always see eye to eye on everything (take the size of my nipples, for example. They’re not the whoppers she once claimed them to be when she saw me feed my firstborn. It’s impossible to harbour dinner-plate nips on paltry A-cups, I tell ya!) And for that, I thank her.