Monday, March 8, 2010

Bad mommy

By MamaM

My new mama confession: I sometimes watch TV when breastfeeding. Okay, I often watch TV when breastfeeding.

For the first few weeks, I diligently sat in my glider in the nursery, feeding Olive. I had read that this was the time to bond with your baby as you gaze into each other's eyes and are belly to belly. But Olive didn't really look into my eyes; in fact, most of the time, her eyes were closed. And even if she were to stare at me, with sessions lasting upwards of 45 minutes (people, she's a total piglet) I think I'd still be nodding off in the dim light of her nursery. My hands were tied up, so I couldn't hold a book to read (I don't know how some moms do this). Plus, I was constantly worried that I would fall asleep while feeding Olive, accidentally drop her on the floor and give her some horrible disformity.

What was a new mom to do?

One night when my hubby woke up to put the baby back to sleep, he went downstairs and watched TV to pass the time as he rocked her.

How come I never thought of doing that?

It was about this time that the Olympics started and I often found myself on the couch, Boppy in lap, baby on Boppy and remote control by my side. Sometimes I would get so caught up in that crazy giant slalom (or whatever it's called) that I didn't notice my nipple had fallen out of Olive's mouth and I'd start apologizing to the little one for being such a bad mommy.

But really, I don't feel like a bad mommy. Breastfeeding has not yet been a bonding experience for Olive and me, and I'm not sure it ever will be. In fact, I kind of dread it because my nipples still haven't adjusted and give me a good deal of pain when Olive latches on hard (she gave me a blood blister the other day!).

Don't get me wrong: I feel good that I am able to give my baby sustenance and I like holding her close to me, but I think I will fall in love with her as we spend time together doing a variety of things every day, not just breastfeeding.

My point is that I initially felt a little guilty about my nursing technique, but quickly got over it. I'll continue to have the boob tube on during some of our nursing sessions, at least while she's still new. (Olive's facing me and I keep the volume on the TV barely audible, so I don't feel like I'm rotting her brain just yet...)

There are so many expectations of women and mothers, but we each need to find what works for us. What's important to me is that I'm nourishing my daughter while finding a way to keep me satisfied as well.


MamaD said...

In my opinion, when she is that little, the TV is just background noise and she won't even notice it. As she gets older, her nursing sessions get shorter, and she starts paying more attention, I think that the TV can be a distraction because it was/is for Lucy.

MamaQ said...

its so hard not to judge yourself and how you spend your time as a mom. it is a tough adjustment - to balance the multi-tasking high expectations side with the part of us that just wants to hold our babies and give them 100% of our attention and marvel at every beautiful detail. but sometimes you just need a little down time... and quite frankly this may be a rare opportunity because as they get older they require more attetion and then you have more kids and you realize you should've never felt guilty for taking a moment to veg out in front of the tube. hope you're watching fun stuff!