Breastfeeding: why I'm working time-and-a-half
Someone, in the past few months, told me, "breastfeeding is a part-time job." And as I've crossed the line from "baby" to "toddler" with Truman, passed the all-important first birthday and found myself re-committing to the various non-profits and extracurriculars that occupy my time when I'm not working for my "day" job ... I've started to wonder: am I violating some part of my employment agreement here?
Truman, like his brother Everett before him, is a night feeder. I turned to co-sleeping as a crutch when the boys were still tiny infants, and I'm still rolling over at 2 a.m., 5 a.m., 6 a.m., 7 a.m. to feed Truman. We usually finish up our last feeding around 7:45 and I fight for that last few minutes of sleep before I hit my computer. Often, I find myself stealing time "away" from work to catch up on my sporadic sleep.
Instead of a lunch break, I take a breastfeeding break, sometime between 11 and 1, after which my energy is sapped and I long to join Truman in his daily nap. Later, I'll give him his bedtime feeding. Before baby, I'd return to my laptop around 9 or 10 p.m., raring to go for a latenight writing jag. Now? I'm lucky if I can keep my eyes open as long as Truman does. I'm losing four or more hours of "productivity" a day thanks to the endless (but nutritive!) sucking.
Really, it's hardly a part-time job. It's an all-the-time job. And I don't blame moms a bit who stop nursing before their babies are a year old. Despite my emotional commitment to nursing as long as Truman wants (his brother weaned at 18 months, so when I think of "what Truman wants" I'm really saying "what Truman wants as long as it's less than or equal to 18 months old"), sometimes all I can long for is a bottle and that old perky feeling at 10 p.m.
I'm glad no one's paying me to breastfeed. Otherwise, I'd certainly be violating that clause in my employment agreement where I've been asked to serve only one employer.