There is nothing shameful about describing your personality as Type A. I freely cop to it and don’t try to hide my penchant for cleared countertops and made beds and carefully crafted plans. Of course, I had to loosen some standards when I started having kids. There just isn’t enough time in the day to wipe off all the smudge marks, nor does that sort of effort have the same reward it once did (mostly because a fingerprint-free mirror lasts all of one second with two children under nine). Still, the borderline neurotic in me remains as I stumble my way through the various stages of parenthood. We may not heed that voice, but there are certain things all Type A people think while breastfeeding.
There is the obvious stuff of course; keeping all the parts of our breast pump (for those who use one) sterile and stored in a clean place and changing the breastfeeding pillow cover regularly is fairly standard practice (though I do admit to letting that task slide when nursing my second kid). Then there are the less logical thoughts people like me — who value predictability, organization, and high levels of competence — entertain while we’re sitting there, every two or three hours, breastfeeding our bottomless pit of a baby.
If you choose and you're able to breastfeed, you'll spend a lot of time nursing and, in turn, a lot of time conjuring up a lot of sometimes awkward, sometimes helpful, often ridiculous thoughts. For those who wear the Type A label proudly (or even secretively), here are some things moms like us think while breastfeeding:
"I’ll Write My Thank You Notes Now"
Why wait? Um, maybe because I am in the process of sustaining a life at the moment? Plus, how exactly will I facilitate writing longhand, individual, personalized notes to everyone who sent us a baby gift with a grunting infant latched on to me? A mass email will have to do the trick.
"20 Minutes Per Side, No More, No Less"
My kid either falls asleep after five minutes on the breast, or refuses to unlatch after a sold half hour, but that doesn't mean I'm not committed to freakin' getting him on some type of set schedule. Maybe. Hopefully.
"I’ll Just Catch Up On Some Work"
I check email only to realize I have over 1,000 unread messages, so this thought quickly dissipates. Instead, I usually take solace scrolling through Pinterest boards of home re-organization projects I’ll probably never do.
"I Can Do Anything!"
I would get such a rush with letdown in the first couple of months of exclusively breastfeeding my kids. It was the oxycontin flooding my system, I know, but it was an incredible feeling. I may have sat down tired, cranky, and resentful that I was stuck in a cluster feeding f*ck, but when that letdown washed over me, I felt like Wonder Woman. I was ready to take on the world! It must have been my body’s way into duping me into nursing my kids for two years, each.
"I’ll Straighten Up As Soon As I’m Done"
Sitting with a baby on my boob for large chunks of my day meant surveying my apartment a thousand times over. I’d make great designs to clean and neaten while the baby slept after I fed her. You know, in my “free time.” HA!
"Not Going To Pick At His Cradle Cap. Nope. Not Gonna Do It."
Of course I’m going to do it! Nothing can stop me from flaking off that skin from his tender scalp while he lies there, eating and blissfully unaware that his mom can’t avoid succumbing to this compulsion.
"If I Eat Lunch While The Baby Eats Lunch, I Can Get More Done Because Multi-tasking is Super Efficient!"
If by “more,” I mean dropping bits of turkey sandwich on my infant’s head while he nurses, then yeah. Sure. I totally got this.
"I’ll Put In My Next Online Order While I’m Sitting Here"
Except typing on the mobile version of any site with one hand is a great way to ensure I over-order the wrong sized diapers, and lock myself out of my account by typing the wrong credit card digits a billion times.
"Great, I’ll Just Read To My Toddler While I Nurse My Infant"
To be fair, my toddler did give the impression that she would cooperatively snuggle next to me, with her baby brother eating, without trying to climb on my head or kick him off me. Initially, anyway. She seems to have changed her mind and now I’m engaged in a one-armed wrestling match with a feisty two-year-old who refuses to share her mother.
"Tomorrow I’m Going To Do All The Things"
You know, the dishes and the laundry and the returning of phone calls and the showering and the sheet-changing. All the things I meant to get to today, and yesterday, and the day before that…