Thursday, November 13, 2014

Nursing Babies: Sweet Angels or Essence-Sucking Skeksis?

Dear Ann Abler,

So cute not sucking out your sanity
My son has a cold and has been attached to my boob for no less then 8 hours in the past 24. When does the La Leche League come to my door with a prize (like french fries or beer)? 
Also, at what point is it no longer milk coming out and just particles of my sanity?


Barnacled Maid

Dear Barnacled,

I just did the emotional math...and 8 out of 24 equals almost 100% of the time that you feel like you have a precious little parasite attached to your teats. That is the emotional truth of the matter, and we may never know the “real” answer because I grew up in the era when Barbie told me, “math class is tough” and “let’s go shopping,” and I wanted to follow in her footsteps because she was an astronaut/nurse/doctor with a Dream House. 

Back to you and your baby boob barnacle. Am I right in saying that you feel you are nothing more than udders? A 24 hour lactation station? An all boob banquet? The milk-making MVP? These are all valid feelings, and you are right in wondering where La Leche League is with your beer…or your fries…or your beer-battered fries. Mmmm. If La Leche League included beer and french fry delivery in their menu of services, imagine how much more powerful their political presence could be. Until La Leche League jumps on this genius idea, you’ll have to rely on friends and family for sustenance. You could also try wearing one of those hydration hiking packs with a long straw, but that might make you feel like you’re plugged into some sort of milk-making Matrix of mere survival. And what is survival without sanity? Motherhood. Apparently.

You, right now. Image via
So let’s get back to solving your problem. I’ll start by giving you kudos for identifying your nearly null neural activity on your slippery slope to total brain drain. At this point, your baby is much like one of the skeksis from The Dark Crystal, sucking out your essence, and you must be saved. Your grey matter matters to me.

My usual approach of avoidance and denial don’t do the trick in this case, so we’ll have to skip to shifting the blame – the other go-to skill in your dear Ann Abler’s toolbox. It is imperative that you make sure everyone knows you should not be held responsible for remembering anything or behaving normally at this time. If you forget to put the gas pump back in its place, you can blame the baby. If you tell your family Thanksgiving is cancelled, no one can get mad; they should just toss scraps of food at you from a safe distance. If you don’t to do the dishes, no worries! You kept a baby human alive another day. You’re a goddess! If you accidentally serve your husband with divorce papers, he should take it in stride and have a hearty chuckle over it as he does those dishes you didn't do. You can do no wrong right now. All you need to do is use this post like you would a doctor’s note. It will excuse you for everything. Promise.*

Now go say three Hail Mommies and attempt to unlatch and unwind...or if you can't, then call another breastfeeding mom and talk about how this is all really gonna pay off once your babies are grown and ace those SATs. 

Always right,
Your Ann Abler 

(*Promise like how 'literally' means 'not literally' nowadays. Also, I am not a doctor.)

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