I admit it. When I first started learning about br.eastfeeding, I was judging moms who didn't. ESPECIALLY those who didn't even try once. It seemed terribly lazy to me for any mom to not a least try when you learn about the benefits to both baby and mom. A friend who was a SAHM gave up after eight weeks and I was like, "Really? You don't even WORK and you gave up?" I was full of plans about pumping at work once I go back after twelve weeks (I have an office door I can shut and have complete privacy). I was going to MAKE it happen for myself and my baby.
However, as the time to actually DO this BFing thing approaches and as I learn more about it, my opinions have changed. Apparently, this BFing thing is HARD. It is time-consuming. It is messy. It is super challenging if you have problems with the latch of the baby. It is inconvenient. And it adds a LOT of stress to the life of the mom, especially a first-timer.
I have now changed my plans. I am no longer going to try to attempt to BFeed once I go back to work. I am happy and confident in this decision and have no regrets about making it. To me, having to take 20 minutes out of my day, at least three times a day, and worry about storing and transporting the milk, pump and accessories just sounds awful. My days are never the same due to the nature of my job and I need to have flexibility to deal with emergencies, attend meetings and rearrange my daily schedule at the last minute. A co-worker and new mom who tried doing this very thing said it was a good decision - she only lasted a week.
Yes, it was mostly a selfish decision on my part and I am comfortable with that. I work from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. every weekday and my commute is at least 45 minutes each way. I do not want the added stress.
Plus there are many other things that lead me to think stopping is ok: not worrying about having enough stored and frozen and letting others be able to easily feed the baby, being able to eat and drink what I want without worrying about it affecting the baby in any way, not having to worry about leaks and stains during the day, not stressing over my supply and if the baby is getting enough, being able to make love to Mr. M. without spewing all over the place, etc. Also, just generally getting control of my body back. I have been so restricted on what I can do this entire pregnancy, and I am ready for my body to be MINE and mine only again.
These are my reasons, and I neither expect others to agree with them or judge other people who have chosen differently. I am, however, much more relaxed now that I have figured out my plan. I won't be buying a pump but will be renting one from the hospital for the few months that I am at home. So flame me if you will, but I am firm in my plans and while I appreciate the concerns you might have, they will not sway me. If I was a SAHM, it would be an entirely different story.
Speaking of being a stay-at-home-mom.
Will you think me a terrible person if I told you that I never, even for a second, considered being a SAHM? Because I haven't. I have always planned to return to work.
I do have some experience with staying at home, albeit not with a baby. After Mr. M. and I got married I was still trying to find a job (tough in my market with my degree) so I stayed home every day with the dog, making trips out to the gym or the bookstore or whatever.
I was miserable. Despite my tendencies to be kind of a private person who enjoys being alone, I hated it. I felt guilty that I wasn't contributing to the household income and Mr. M. had to carry us both. I was depressed that I couldn't find a job after all my years and expense of college. I was bored with no one to spend time with during the day. I slept in until 11 after staying up until the wee hours of the morning, consoling myself with junk food (in a very sneaky way since Mr. M. would already be in bed) and occasionally (I am hesitant to admit it) taking a painkiller of some sort to dull the ache of loneliness and uselessness.
I know that staying home with Baby would be a completely different thing, but I still don't think I would enjoy it. I have watched my friend who is a SAHM and she seems to alternate between exhaustion and desperation to find entertainment for herself and her young daughter. She always looks tired and harried and it just doesn't seem like she is enjoying it at all. I admire her a LOT for sticking with something she feels so strongly about.
I have a pretty strong feeling that after 12 weeks of being alone with baby I will be happy to return to work. Happy to be able to work and accomplish things for my organizations and to interact and socialize with my wonderful co-workers. Happy to have an hour lunch break with no baby to run errands or make a trip to the employee gym without having to go before or after work while hauling baby around. Happy to have the peace and quiet of my little office around me and no thoughts of formula, diaper changes or naptime.
This is the best path for me, and I know it.
So there's my two cents on bfing and being a SAHM. What are your thoughts on these issues when applied to your life? I welcome thoughts and ideas, but please don't be nasty. Show respect for the choices others have made just as I show respect for those who choose opposite of me.