So, my breastfed baby still won’t take the bottle*, which means that for now at least I still spend a hearty portion of every day (and night) at the mercy of an infant’s tummy grumbles. The whole I’m-going-back-to-work-soon-and-he-must-take-a-bottle freakout aside, I can’t really complain, though; when he feeds with me, he feeds easily and well, and aside from a brief encounter with a plugged duct (yeowch), I’ve really enjoyed that special time we spend together. So, although I’m not “complaining,” per se, there is one issue I wish I could resolve, and I’m hoping you can help…
Confession: Sometimes, while I’m nursing, I get…bored. I hate admitting that because I feel like I, as a new mother, should be so enamored with my child’s angelic visage that I simply cannot bear the thought of missing one precious moment of his fleeting infancy and therefore must BE with him and STUDY him and STARE at him constantly, but, um, really? Sometimes even the most devoted mama needs a change of scenery, am I right?
Before the baby got here, I’d heard legend of women multitasking while breastfeeding–eating, typing–but in my goofy fantasyland, I imagined that on the rare occasion I’d want to do something other than stalk my kid while he ate, I’d listen to French language tapes or brush up on my Latin or learn to tie sailors knots with one hand. You know, expand my mind. Learn something. Now that I’ve been breastfeeding X** hours a day every day for nine weeks, though, I can report to you that I was a damn fool to expect I’d do anything besides watch TV. Endless TV. Bad TV. I’ve always been a fan, so I’m not surprised it went that way, but what has really caught me off guard is that I’ve finally reached my limit. I’m tired of it. Tired and embarrassed. Tired of TV being my go-to distraction during the baby’s breakfast(s) and lunch(es) and dinner(s) and snacks(s) and elevensies(es). I don’t want to come out the other side of mat leave with nothing to show for it besides a butt-groove in the couch cushion and an encyclopedic knowledge of design dilemma solutions, so I’m looking (and looking to you) for other ideas of things to do. Things to do in ten- or fifteen-minute intervals, a dozen times a day, and with one hand and half a brain.
What do (or did) you do while breastfeeding or (bottle-feeding)–when not gazing at your child’s angelic visage, that is? Are you proactive and productive, or do you just veg out and enjoy the peace and quiet of these mandatory rest periods? Do you, like me, feel guilty “just sitting around feeding the baby” or are you able to treat that time as the important, necessary, and special part of your day that it is? I know that getting my baby fed and fattened should be accomplishment enough in the grand scheme of things, but I still can’t help thinking I should do more and I bet I’m not alone.
*The issue with the bottle isn’t that he’s rejecting it outright but that he just can’t seem to get the hang of sucking that imposter nipple; it’s not an attitude problem but a mechanical one. Halp!
**I once tried to keep a log of how many hours I spent feeding the kid each day, but I gave up before noon because I couldn’t snag two seconds between the back-to-back feedings/burpings/changings/playings to be accurate. Irony!
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