This post is a part of The Leaky B@@b blog carnival “Perspectives: Breastfeeding from Every Angle” for World Breastfeeding Week 2010.
I’ve wanted to share some giggle-worth perspectives on breastfeeding but for the life of me I can’t find my funny bone lately. Well, I have, it’s been in my head. I’m constantly cracking myself up, unfortunately all anyone hears of that humor is me laughing at myself because I can’t get it from out of my head onto the computer screen. Which is fabulous. I walk around and giggle from time to time because I mentally write a line or develop a concept that I find funny. A frazzled looking woman walking around laughing to herself, what’s so odd about that? Where I live, you see it all the time, particularly near that one part of town. Fortunately I’m regularly upstaged by my children so I think the crazy lady laughing and mumbling to herself goes mostly unnoticed.
To shut-up the voice in my head telling me funny stories and to make myself seem at least a little less crazy, I wrote down some of these under-developed perspectives. I feel I need to be clear, none of these are things I know personally, these aren’t my personal perspectives and experiences here. No, I’m sure I can’t relate to these perspectives at all. Ever. In all the years nursing 5 kids. Nope. Ok, maybe a little…
Perspective #1: The Cheap Lazy Mother
Ladies and gentlemen I’m a cheap, lazy mother! No, not that way, get your mind out of the gutter. Don’t you love how by saying that your mind totally goes in the gutter? Ah, the delights of cheap humor. But it is true, I am a cheap, lazy mother. Yeah sure, breast is best… ok, normal, we’ll go with normal, since I’ve had a thing or two to say about getting rid of that terminology. Human breastmilk is normal feeding for human babies. It is also cheap. And easily available, as long as everything is working normally. I love that. It can be kind of difficult sometimes for the first few weeks maybe but considering you’ve either pushed the equivalent of a human Smart Car out of your vagina or had your belly opened up and pulled apart to remove the human Smart Car, you understandably have some laying around to do anyway. May as well get the cheap feeding machines up and running while you lay there. A few weeks further down the road and you’ll be well into not just the cheap part but the “OH-MY-GAH-WHY-CAN’T-EVERYONE-IN-MY-FAMILY-EAT-THIS-WAY?” mode. Particularly if you’ve been down this road before and those former happy b@@bie customers are now little (or big) people that constantly say any variation of “I’m hungry” or “What’s for dinner?” And then complain about the options. (Consequently, our bilingual home is proof that you do not have to speak a language well to understand “I’m hungry.” “I’m hungry” whined in any language sounds just as annoying as it does in English. Even when that other language is French.) But when you have a regular b@@b customer it is over and done with just a lift of your shirt and best of all, no complaints. Those little buggers love it every time! The original fast food and infinitely better for your customers, b@@bie juice is ready and available to customized perfection whenever, where ever and however. Nothing can make that claim no matter how it is packaged and marketed. (HA! Take THAT Nestle!) When 4pm rolls around in my house and I realize I never threw “something” in the slow cooker and I have to actually figure out “something” to cook, I have found myself wishing I could just park my butt on the couch and feed my family without having to get up. It’s not gross or disgusting. It’s lazy and cheap but still better than McDonald’s. And just because I’ve wanted to do that doesn’t mean I have.
The big girls have turned me down every time, dang it.
Perspective #2: The Vain Mom
I’ve heard women say they didn’t want to breastfeed because it would ruin their breasts and make them sag. Aside from the fact that they are wrong about that and obviously haven’t researched if that is true or not, they are missing out on so much! And, it’s not, by the way. Blame pregnancy, gravity and genetics, if your breasts are going to sag they are going to sag. Look around, there are plenty of older women who have never even had children that have their knockers knocking their knees. These women that don’t breastfeed to spare their breast, I have to wonder what they are thinking. Breastfeeding is awesome! Burn 500 calories just by breastfeeding! That’s like eating a whole giant slice of chocolate cake and it doesn’t even count. HELLO! What in the world am I going to do when Smunchie weans? Plus, breastmilk b@@bs are firm but soft, full but natural, bouncy but expanded. They look great in a low top, in a t-shirt, and drop-dead stunning in the nude. Ruin my breasts with breastfeeding? Heck no! Breastfeeding did me a FAVOR!
Perspective #3: The Diaper
Now why should you give a crap what the diaper’s perspective is on breastfeeding? Well, for starters, I get to use an obvious pun. Secondly, it’s a valid perspective. Diapers deal with the other side of breastmilk and formula. (Score, another obvious pun!) Whether you’re changing it, near it when it is being changed, washing it or taking the sausage links of plastic wrapped fecal packages to the trash can, there are no ifs, ands or butts (I am on an obvious pun ROLL!), breastmilk poop looks better, smells better and cleans up better than the formula variety. People, I’ve dealt with both and here is the cold hard truth (or should I saw the warm, soft, sort-a-sweet smelling truth?): breastmilk poop is way better than formula poop. Formula poop is nasty, stinky, ugly and just plain a load of sh*t no matter how you dispose of it. (And the puns just keep a-coming.) The color of breastmilk poop is even better, I love the color- check out my walls. And if you cloth diaper, breastmilk poop is like a mustard color lazy pass: you don’t have to rinse, spray, dunk, swirl or flick just toss the soiled dipe in your wetbag and go on you merry way until the next time it is time to wash diapers. Wash. Hang any stained ones on the line in the sun. Voila, done. You don’t have to flush all your time away (YES!) trying to scrape off sticky, stinky formula rejects. The diapers will thank you for breastfeeding, no matter what kind of diapers you use.
And when one of those diapers can’t possibly hold the entire package of goo one day and you and baby are both wearing it smeared all over your white Easter dresses, you’ll thank yourself for breastfeeding just because yellow mush smells like buttered popcorn or yogurt. You will not thank yourself for the white ensemble or the lack of a change of clothes for yourself. Not that I know this from personal experience or anything…
Perspective 4: The Sleep Deprived, Harried Mom
To get air to her nipples as they toughen up during the first few weeks of breastfeeding her new baby she took an old stained tee of her husbands and strategically cut 2, 2 inch holes in the chest. A needy and upset tiny infant hasn’t slept more than 20 minutes at a time for the last 9 days. Her head itches constantly from needing a shower, her hair having been in the same ponytail since the shower she had after giving birth, now drooping and creating a halo of frizz around her head as though she stuck her finger in a light socket. Just as she was going to get in the shower for the first time in 5 days because that little person finally fell asleep and let her set him down, the doorbell rings. Knowing she looks like a meth addict but craving adult interaction, she stumbles to the door, hesitating for just a moment but far too exhausted to figure out why. They are going to leave and you’ll not have spoken to another adult other than her husband for who-knows-how-long if you let this moment pass! Flinging open the door with a little too much fake enthusiasm she sees a twenty-something man in a brown work uniform holding a digital clipboard and a box. Somebody thought of her and sent a package! Suddenly she is 6 years old again, filled with glee, A PRESENT! Controlled by fatigue still, she gives a lopsided bounce and weak clap, croaking “yay!” The expression on the attractive (hey, she’s tired, not dead) delivery man’s face difficult to read, she reminds herself to not act so desperate and takes his clipboard to sign for the package. Avoiding her eyes, he awkwardly takes the clipboard back, pushing the cardboard package away from him. She takes it and reads the label, her best friend from out of state sent the hand made blanket they had planned together for the baby. Even more excited, she bounces up and down a little more and needing to share that excitment with someone she calls out to the UPS guy retreating from the house “Thank you so much! You don’t know how much this means to me? What’s your name? Joe? Joe, thank you so much, I could hug you!” Like a cornered puppy desperately looking for an escape, he nearly trips over a flower pot to bolt to his truck. He must have a lot of packages to deliver, he’s in such a hurry. Inside she opens the box and admires the beautiful handmade blanket with her son’s name stitched into it and reads the card 6 times, having to wipe the snot and tears from her face at least as many times. The clock is ticking though and she knows the angle sleeping in the co-sleeper will wake up soon and become the swirling vortex of screaming. Shower. Still smiling slightly thinking of the blanket and note from her friend, she walks with a little more energy now into the bathroom to shower. Walking past the closet door with it’s full-length mirror, she sees someone. Oh, that’s me. Wow I look… Oh. My. God. Smile gone. The hair, the eyes the red nose and blotchy skin, they are nothing.
All the blood drains from her face. For just a minute she sees how it looked from the other side of the door. How she looked. And it totally makes sense.
For just a few seconds she feels a little sick.
Then she snorts, chortling at the image and the memory of the scene. She rushes to the shower to start the water and laugh without waking the baby. Silently giggling she tugs the ponytail free and looks in the mirror. With a bray, she’s laughing hysterically, tucks her hands into her shirt and jabs her fingers through the nipple holes. She has to lean against the wall and hold her side when she suddenly realizes she’s about to pee, she takes her seat and remains on the toilet until the uncontrollable laughing subsides and mops her the snot and tears from her face once again. Stripping down, she gets in the shower and shrugs, oh well, who cares, she’s just happy she’s actually getting to shower. And, as a bonus, she peed in private. When the baby wakes up she’ll have to tell him all about it.
I have more. Oh yes, I talk to myself all the time and think up funny and even some not so funny perspective about breatsfeeding. And other subjects too, actually. Here are some I’ve written before.
Lactating b@@bies and I have a conversation. Well, I talk to them really. I let them know how I see things on a few issues. More on b@@bies, A-DD, here. I talk about b@@bs a lot.
This could be called “The Smart-ass vs. Polite response to Stupid Breastfeeding Comments Perspective”
For a colorful perspective on breastmilk, particularly on The Piano Man and Earth Baby’s first poop experience you should check out “Holy Crap.”
My friend Sue takes a look back at breastfeeding now that her youngest is weaned. Talking about the experience of giving her 4 children the “sweet nectar of life,” Sue brings humor to even the most, um, interesting experiences she had breastfeeding.
Earth Baby has shared her personal perspective on breastfeeding already, but all of my girls have very vocal opinions on breastfeeding.