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Friday, October 7, 2011

Breastfeeding: Relaxing or Multitasking?

The reality of a nursing corner: More work, less play
When I had Baby T, I had this vision of breastfeeding that entailed a breastfeeding “corner,” complete with a pitcher of water, books, comfy pillows, and someone feeding me grapes. And then I brought Baby T home and reality hit. Baby T was a puker. When I sat down to nurse him, I inevitably ended up covered in vomit. And I had to get up at least three times to get burp cloths, towels, and other equally absorbent items.

I vascillated between trying to get things done and wanting to be on a babymoon. I felt guilty turning on the TV and accosting Baby T’s innocent ears with inane babble. But I wanted to keep in touch with friends and work, so I would post on facebook one-handed at 3 A.M. I wanted to prove I could do it all, and I didn’t ask for help very often.

My babymoon with Little M was much different. It was nonexistent. I couldn’t have had one if I had wanted to. After I brought Little M home from the hospital, Baby T was very sick. I was home nursing a newborn and snuggling with my toddler. Then my toddler got better, and I was home nursing a newborn and chasing a toddler. And teaching him to ride his bike, and running errands, and cleaning dog poop off of his shoes. I did all of this while nursing Little M.

I got really good at nursing in the woven wrap. I could do it while changing Baby T’s diaper and while shopping at Costco, pushing a shopping cart and picking out chicken. I could nurse while bending over and making sure Baby T didn’t fall off his bike. I could pick up Baby T and give him comfort when he needed it, even if I was nursing Little M. My wrap was my savior. I could nurse Little M without Baby T even knowing—which was very important, because he wanted everything his little brother had, and I wasn’t always willing to tandem nurse.

When I did find downtime in between taking care of two kids—when Baby T was in daycare—I wanted to get things done. I read my kindle while lying down nursing Little M. I set up my computer on one side, latched Little M on the other, and typed entire articles for my freelance job. I nursed on the potty. I nursed in the shower. Just last weekend, I nursed at the Baby Expo while explaining babywearing to a soon-to-be dad who had no idea what I was doing.

You know your newborn is getting older when you’re nursing and have to get up to answer the phone, and your now-not-so-newborn is dangling off of your arm and you hit his head on the door frame or catch his foot on the wall. Oops.

It’s funny how things change. With Baby T, I required a boppy, a nursing top, nursing pads, and a blanket to mop up the puke. With Little M, I can nurse him while he lies on the kitchen counter and I grab a bite to eat.

However, I have learned one thing: I no longer feel like I have to prove myself as super mama. Even though I run around the house nursing and getting things done when Big T is not around, when he does get home from work, I’m usually nursing Little M to sleep. I relax on the couch, put my feet up, grab a beer, and ask for whatever I need. Last night Big T made my dinner while I nursed Little M. This morning he changed Baby T’s diaper and wiped his boogers. A girl’s gotta take a break every once in a while.

This post is part of the Breastfeeding Blog Hop. Visit the links below and link up your own breastfeeding and multitasking story!


Jen - Life With Levi said... Best Blogger Tips

You've earned a break (or a thousand or two)! I'm right there with you. When I was pregnant with Levi, I totally had my little nursing nook set up - big comfy chair, water, granola bars, magazine.

I think I sat there once. Ever.

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