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Monday, August 22, 2011

The Grass is always Simpler

I remember so well ... actually, I hardly remember at all! All the bottle & pump part sterilizing. The careful fanangling if I wanted a glass of wine. Not to mention the time spent pumping itself. I did it for nine months, from the time I went back to work, till just after my daughter's first birthday.

I never questioned it. It was completely worth it to me. I wholeheartedly believe "the breast is best." I was lucky to have a good supply and no complications. My work place was an incredibly supportive environment, with several devoted lactation rooms. I even made friends through the lactation rooms! I have a very flexible work schedule, so I was able to set aside 2 half-hour chunks everyday. They were simply off-limits on my Outlook Calendar.

I did occasionally long for the days after that milestone first birthday. As a food lover, I couldn't wait introduce my daughter to exciting & healthy foods. Drumroll, please ... it hasn't always worked out like I pictured it.

Family meals are a wonderful time for bonding. Unlike breastfeeding, they are a bonding time that my husband can actively take part in. But they aren't always harmonious or successful. Tonight was a big, fat case-in-point. Whether it was tiredness, teething, or who knows what, she was done before we'd even really started. It did not improve my feelings of self-efficacy to have to put underdone pork chops back in the grill pan!

Then there's the whole working-mom necessity of handing over feeding duties to others 3 or 4 times daily. How strictly can you expect them to follow your food philosophies? Is it skirting the issue if I simply note when she'll be given juice and try to pick her up early on those days? (Daycare gives juice all of once a week, and usually for the 5:30 snack, by which time she's nearly always home.)  I wish I could pack her lunch & snacks for the day. Or do I? Friends who have to do this tell me frequently how lucky I am!

It's all enough to have me longing for the breastfeeding days. No questions. No conflicts. Just me & my baby, just peace & quiet. Well - other than the times that it was just me & my pump, and that mechanical hum. Okay, maybe I remember it well after all!

Happy Breastfeeding Awareness Month. Definitely one of my top ten best decisions! :)

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