I bought a sturdy kitchen chair at a garage sale a few weeks ago.
I suppose if I cared a little bit more about the decor of my house, I could spruce up the chair: Strip it, sand it, stain it. Then it would be a sturdy, pretty kitchen chair.
But let’s face it, 2 of our dining chairs are from the table set my parents bought from a thrift shop for my first apartment (the table now resides with my sister), another chair is from another thrift shop, and the table our friends found on the side of the road. The “new” chair fits in with our hodge-podge decor theme quite nicely.
Often parents have ideas about how they will rear their children before having a baby, only to completely change their minds once they are actually rearing their children. I had many ideas about how motherhood would look for me prior to getting pregnant with Babykins that actual experience is changing. Nursing in public is one of them.
Before I started nursing, I was firmly in the “Public Nursing is Just Fine as Long as the Mother Covers Up” camp. Oh, how enlightened I was by embracing breastfeeding while accounting for socially acceptable behavior. After all, breastfed babies should be able to eat anywhere that bottle fed babies can, but a woman must maintain her modesty. Nursing covers seemed to be the perfect solution. How hard could it be to nurse a tiny baby under a big blanket?
*Insert maniacal laughter from experienced nursing mothers*
First off, breastfeeding may be natural, but it does not come naturally to most mother/baby pairs. When a baby is first born, he or she needs help properly latching onto the breast so they can get milk and not injure the mother. In order to help the baby, the mother needs to be able to see her breast. Covers, even the ones with boning that allow you to see the baby, make this task almost impossible.
In a couple of months, the baby will be able to latch on without any help and will have better head control. So then a mother should be able to cover without any problems, right?
Sure, except that around 3 or 4 months old, the baby will become more aware of his or her surroundings. That means every unusual sound MUST be investigated and that pesky cover is just an annoying hindrance that MUST be escaped.
So what options are left for a mother if she cannot nurse with a cover and cultural norms demands that she keeps her chest covered? She must find a private place to nurse. Sometimes a changing room can be used, although it is cramped. Sometimes secluding herself in a car will work, but it can be hot and uncomfortable. And sometimes it comes down to trying to find a quite–but not private–place to wrestle with her nursling and the cover. There seems to be no good solutions as long as she cannot simply nurse her baby uncovered.*
I’m no longer firmly in the “Public Nursing is Just Fine as Long as the Mother Covers Up” camp. I personally still prefer to either find a private place to nurse Babykins or battle the nursing cover. However, if a nursing mother prefers not to cover up while nursing in public, she’ll hear no complaints from me! I understand now that she’s just trying to feed her baby.
*You might be wondering why bother with public nursing when you can just give the baby a bottle. There are a whole slew of reasons: pumping is annoying, some babies won’t take a bottle (*cough* Babykins *cough*), and the fact that babies get hungry unexpectedly are just a few reasons.
The bad news is that Babykins’s nighttime sleep is worse than ever. As in, I’m spending most of the night sleeping in the glider in her room.
The good news is that because her sleep is already so terrible, I’ve given up being cautious with caffeine. Hello, perpetual mug of coffee in my hand!
I wrote about how difficult Sunday mornings are a few months ago. However, yesterday I realized that Sundays have gotten easier than when Babykins was itty-bitty. In fact, the last month or so we almost never leave the sanctuary since she can be distracted from needing to nurse (especially since I feed her right before we leave the house). I think we may be in a Sunday morning sweet spot.
Babykins isn’t as overwhelmed by the world as she once was. She still doesn’t like to be held by strangers but she will tolerate them talking to her. Likewise, her naps can be put off for longer periods of time (she’s actually quite talented at not sleeping), so she doesn’t get fussy when she first starts getting tired. While church service still requires a juggling act of babywearing, hip-bouncing, and floor-time, I no longer have to spend the entire service pacing to keep her calm. Sometimes I even absorb part of the sermon.
I realize this phase won’t last forever. Soon enough, Babykins will enter tenacious toddlerhood and Sunday mornings in the pew will become more of a combination of a wrestling match and cat herding. But for now, I will enjoy this reprieve!
Before dinner tonight, my husband found out one of his members had a heart attack earlier today and was in the the hospital. Consequently, he donned his collar after we had eaten and headed “to town” to go visit her.
So my Friday evening went as follows:
-Cleaned up dinner while Babykins scooted around on the floor
-Put Babykins to bed
-Vacuumed part of the house and tidied
-Tried to finish budget and decided my brain wouldn’t work with money at this time of night
-Get Babykins back to sleep
-Write blog post about my very exciting Friday night
There you have it; the secret life of the Pastor’s wife: Friday night edition. Really, it’s not so bad. Of course I wish my husband was here and of course I’m saddened that a member is so ill. However, I am enjoying putting a sizable dent in the Easter candy stash.