I’m going to pretend for a moment that I’m the woman who was caught breastfeeding her child while driving. I’ve made a terrible mistake, had a huge lapse in judgment. Thank goodness nobody was hurt, especially my precious baby, whom I had propped on top of the airbag for a meal. It’s a blessing in disguise, really, that someone saw me and called the police. Sure, I’ve become a hot topic for judgmental, snarky moms, but I can handle it. And now CNN wants to come over and interview me. That’s great, because it will give me a chance to do a big mea culpa, swear never ever to do that again, and put this nasty and embarrassing incident behind me for good. Right? RIGHT?
Or, I could go on camera and make things a thousand times worse.
Ms. Compton appears to not have any common sense whatsoever – not concerning her children’s safety, not concerning keeping her mouth shut. She put her child between her and the steering wheel, meaning that if she had gotten into an accident, he baby would have been smooshed between her chest and the airbag. Airbags are not soft, cushiony pillows. They inflate in a fraction of a second and accident victims have said it feels like getting kicked in the face.
Ms. Compton had this to say about airbags: “If I’m in an accident and I’m in the seatbelt and the airbag deploys it’s the same difference. There’s no difference.” What does that even mean? Either CNN did a terrible job editing this interview, or they had to struggle to find even a few short coherent clips. What she didn’t say was “I now know that putting my baby anywhere near the airbag while driving was wrong and dangerous.”
She talks about how she’s pulled over to feed her baby while driving long distances. Here she seems to be falling into a trap that many people fall into: they think that driving a shorter distance, or driving close to home, is somehow safer. But I learned in driver’s ed that most accidents happen within a mile of home. If it’s not safe to breastfeed on a long drive, it’s not safe to breastfeed on a short drive. But nothing I’ve heard from this woman makes me think that she’s capable of making a logical connection such as that one.
“Walking down the street could be dangerous. I’m not gonna say that ‘Oh, this one incident was just gonna put us in harm’s way.” Seriously, she equates walking down the street with driving while breastfeeding a baby and talking on a cell phone. And she does not say that she won’t do it again. According to the reporter, she says that she’ll take the officer’s advice “under consideration” but may breastfeed and drive again.
I’m at a loss. If getting caught didn’t smarten her up, then what will it take?
As a mother, I make judgment calls every day. Do I leave the kids downstairs while I take a shower? Do I leave my son home alone for ten minutes while I drive a few blocks to pick up my daughter? Do I leave my daughter in the tub while I get the door? Do I let my son go into the boys’ bathroom alone while I take my daughter into the girls’?
Sure, part of the decision is based on my convenience. But I also weigh the likely risk to my kids, their growing independence, and their behavioral histories. The only thing that the breastfeeding driver took into consideration was her own convenience. The baby would not have starved to death if she had waited until she could pull over safely. She was being inconvenienced by the crying.
She made a mistake. We all do. But if she doesn’t learn from this mistake, then I worry about her kids going forward.
Originally posted on Selfish Mom
PSA: Don’t Breastfeed While Driving [Selfish Mom]
I’m all for multi-tasking, but this woman is a boob [Selfish Mom]