When I was breastfeeding my newborn son, I don’t remember having a lot of alone time. As he got older and as feedings got further and further apart, I could finally start taking moments to breathe between feedings. Still, there was a while at the beginning when it seemed like those days would never come. On the off-chance a few minutes of alone time were magically available to me, I definitely did the things every breastfeeding mom does when she’s finally alone. Well, I'd like to think every breastfeeding mom does them, otherwise things are about to get real weird.
Of course, it’s crucial to remember that this alone time, however precious, only lasts for a few minutes at any given time. Personally, breastfeeding my newborn was an around-the-clock endeavor, so the windows of time I did have were blissful, glorious, and definitely way to short. You know, kind of like the time I made eye contact with Joseph Gordon-Levitt when he was in my hometown filming 10 Things I Hate About You. Like, as soon as it was over, I was left wanting more (and I also haven't stopped talking about it).
I suppose everything works out for a reason though, because I’m not sure I would have been trusted to keep my cool whilst making extended eye contact with my "good friend" Gordon-Levitt. As for more alone time, or longer breaks from breastfeeding? In that case, you’d have found me doing the following:
She Wears A Shirt & Enjoys Keeping It On
On a typical day, I don't normally think about the fact that I'm wearing a shirt. When breastfeeding, on the other hand, it was a constant source of mental energy because I was consistently opening that shirt, closing that shirt, lifting the shirt, unhooking the shirt, or changing the shirt due to leaks, spills, spit-ups, or various other body fluids that it comes in contact with when holding my newborn sideways (no diaper is perfect).
When I'm alone? The list of reasons why I have to care about my shirt goes way, way down, and I'm not complaining.
She Closely Watches The Clock
What's tricky about alone time when you're still breastfeeding is that you typically have a countdown going in the back of your mind, waiting until you either need to go feed your baby or pump. It's not my favorite, but for those looking to feel more festive on an otherwise regular day, I might suggest counting down like New Year's and having some confetti ready to when your break is over.
Please imagine that I've inserted the "raised hand emoji." Is there, honestly, a single new parent on the face of the planet that doesn't covet sleep?
When I was in the throes of newborn and breastfeeding life, I was stealing 20-minute naps whenever possible.
She Continues Eating & Drinking Like A Camel Stocking Up For Whatever It Is Camels Stock Up For
Even when breastfeeding wasn't on the forefront of my mind, I couldn't exactly turn off the thirst and hunger that came with it. Although, I have to admit, this wasn't exactly the worst part of the whole process. I never mind an excuse to have some snacks.
She Checks On Her Breasts
By "checks" I means "occasionally grabs self and feels for clogged ducts and leaks."
She Thinks About Her Baby
I mean, my kid is usually in the back of my mind to some degree, so finding him there even when I'm enjoying some oh-so necessary alone time isn't exactly surprising.
She Reads All The Articles Saved On Her Phone That She Felt Weird Reading With Her Baby Close By
Yes, logically I know that newborns can't read, and they're also probably not processing the images that go along with the current events, political rumors, and personal essays that tend to be my guiltiest of pleasures online and while nursing. At least, I hope not.
Still, that doesn't mean some topics are best left to ponder when a newborn isn't hanging out in your lap, like Backstreet Boys reunion tours, the next time Justin Trudeau will be in the USA, and where my spouse and I are going to go on our next/first vacation alone.
She Lives In A Constant State Of Fear About Leaking
Even while constantly checking on my breasts and remaining diligently about exactly what's going on inside my shirt, I still couldn't shake my lingering concern about leaks. It's like an ominous rain cloud forever hovering just beyond the horizon, threatening a flash flood.
She Marks Every Single Thing Off Of Her To-Do List
I mean, if you're not going to do it when your baby is otherwise occupied, when are you going to do it? OK, OK, it's possible to do chores while a baby chills in a swing or while you're wearing them. But if you're anything like me, you'd rather lay on the floor and play with said baby, so that makes the choice fairly obvious.
She Thinks About How Exhausted She Is
Oh, right. I almost forgot what happens after a burst of productivity following weeks and weeks of interrupted sleep and sharing of all the nutrition and calories one has taken in. Almost.