Better Homes and Gardens is Anti-Family

by Chrystal Johnson on May 25, 2010

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I recently read an article online by a Better Homes and Gardens Writer titled, The 10 commandments of dining with little kids. It was one of the most anti-family articles I can imagine coming from a magazine that is promoting a good home life.

Check out the article here.

You’ll notice that the title of the article is now changed to The 9 commandments of dining with little kids. This is because Better Homes and Gardens removed one of the commandments because of public outcry.

Which commandment do you think that was?

  1. Thou shalt not block traffic with bulky strollers
  2. Thou shalt not order a 10-course tasting menu with kids under 10
  3. Thou shalt not treat your server like a sitter
  4. Thou shalt not breast feed at the table
  5. Thou shall feel free to order “kid food” off the menu
  6. Thou shall not turn dinner into a photoshoot
  7. Thou shalt not bring noisy toys
  8. Thou shall try to quell high-pitched screaming
  9. Thou shalt not allow free-range kids
  10. Thou shall calmly discourage food fights

If you guessed #4, Thou shalt not breast feed at the table, then you are correct.

Really Better Homes and Gardens? In a time when studies are showing that the United States could save $13 billion per year in health care costs if women breastfed their babies for at least 12 months, you’re going to continue discouraging women?

It’s a sad state of affairs when only 33% of moms are still breastfeeding at 3 months and only 14% of moms are still breastfeeding at 6 months. Somehow formula feeding has become the norm instead of breastfeeding. Shouldn’t we be encouraging women to breastfeed… Not making it harder or less appealing?

But that one commandment isn’t the only upsetting part of this article. The entire article has a very anti-family tone to it. Because I have kids, you want me to hide at home and not enjoy an evening out with the family every once in a while?

We will go out to dinner with our girls. We will order whatever we want off the menu. And we will take pictures when we feel inclined. If you don’t like it, you can mind your own business.

Perhaps my attitude has changed after living in a very family-friendly country, but I see nothing wrong with bringing your children to a restaurant.

In Uruguay, children are allowed to roam freely throughout the restaurant when they are tired of sitting still. After all, meals average 2-3 hours here. And guess what, no one is bothered by it!

Zoë with one of our favorite waiters at a local restaurant where she always roams free range:
Restaurant

Same goes with breastfeeding in public. When Zoë was a baby, in the US, I felt very ashamed to breastfeed in public. I was made to feel as if I was the abnormal one because I “chose” to breastfeed to term.

In Uruguay, breastfeeding is the norm and everyone breastfeeds openly in public. I can breastfeed Kaylee at the table in a restaurant without getting a second glance.

The US really needs to re-evaluate how it treats breastfeeding women. When we return to the US in September, I’ll proudly breastfeed Kaylee in public. Maybe in some small way, I can change at least one person’s perception by doing so.

About Chrystal Johnson

Chrystal, publisher of Happy Mothering, is a mother of two sweet girls who believes in living a simple, natural lifestyle. A former marketing manager, Chrystal spends her time researching green and eco-friendly alternatives to improve her family's life. She enjoys sharing those discoveries with anyone who's willing to listen.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Amiesmirni May 26, 2010 at 8:21 pm

Wow, I am amazed at this. While I am not a frequent reader of Better Homes and Gardens Magazine, it is intriguing that such a magazine with a readership that is predominantly women by 80% (per the magazine’s own demographics research) would have stated any one of these with such a tone of judgment. To their defense though, it is the words (and tone) of Heather W., a blogger for BH&G. Now BH&G has issued an official apology regarding the insensitivity of their blogger’s post.
I am a mom who believes in ‘live and let live’ when it comes to other moms, with the strict exception of issues of safety with other people’s children (like not letting another person’s child run into the street sort of thing). It is not for me to judge others’ behavior. No one is going to raise their children the exact way I am raising my own, not even my own sister. It may take a village to raise a child, but only one has to be in charge of my kids and that’s me. Likewise, yuo are in charge of your kids.
As for dining out with the kids, please remember common sense and kindness, folks. Of course, parking your stroller in the middle of the aisle is unsafe for all. But really, if you go to a restaurant with anyone, is there not an unspoken agreement that while in public, you are expected to be considerate of others around you…you are not the only one in the room and it is not your party? Perhaps it is this agreement that some of us forget when we are elbow deep in diapers, crying, hunger, and exhaustion. Moms, enjoy your next outing at that 5-star restaurant with kindness in your heart.

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2 Malika Risley May 27, 2010 at 10:27 pm

Yea, I know what you mean about the breastfeeding in US. I feel like an odd ball when I have to breastfeed in public. I try not to be too obvious by sitting somewhere in the corner, away from too many eyes. Unfortunately it’s extremely rare to see a woman breastfeed out in the open. Bottle is definitely a more acceptable way to go.
I’m hoping it would change with time for our kids’ health sake. Thanks for sharing!

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3 Joanna June 14, 2010 at 12:01 pm

Hi,
I’m following from MBC.
Joanna
http://joannaslife.com

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4 SuZ June 19, 2010 at 1:30 pm

Egh… why are so many people upset about breastfeeding? Gosh, they make it sound like breastfeeding is the same thing as porn. Blah. I never really get to go out to eat but I managed to make it once and I breastfed my two month old at the table. I did do my best to keep it covered just because who really needs to see these things? No one ever said anything to me… but my feelings regarding this is the same with TV or music that people don’t like, if you don’t like it, look away/change the channel.
Is it really that hard?
BTW: LOVE the website. I am sooo coming back for more. :)

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5 Harjot July 7, 2010 at 3:53 pm

Hi there :) Awesome site following now :)
I am having a giveway also…come by whenver you have time??? :)

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6 annalene July 16, 2010 at 12:49 am

Hi there,
Found you on the GFC Followers group on Mom Bloggers Club. I’m now following you, please follow back when you have a chance (if you aren’t already). Thanks!
I’m looking forward to reading your updates! :)
annalene
http://thewideworldof.blogspot.com/

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7 Haute Mama July 18, 2010 at 6:24 am

Well said!
Haute Mama
http://www.hautemama.ie/blog

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