I’m totally strung out on coffee. When it starts to get low in the mug, I frantically fumble around the counter in a fit of panic until I get my shaking hands on the bag of grounds and clutch it to my chest for dear life mumbling, ‘Thank God, there is more.’
But how does anyone do this without coffee? Motherhood, I mean. I am about to seize the nearest mother I see and desperately, wildly, pleadingly shout: ‘HOW DO YOU DO THIS?!? HOW DO YOU DO THIS?!?!?’
I have so much respect.
And I swear my breastmilk tastes like French roast.
It’s just that sleep deprivation causes me to start having those scary thoughts that mothers talk about: The thoughts of handing my baby over to my husband, wishing him luck with the car keys in my hand and then just leaving on some journey of selfish discovery where I never return and end up backpacking the pacific crest trail with a pet dog. It’s still something to take care of, but at least the dog isn’t breastfeeding.
Horrible. I know. But breastfeeding in particular is so demanding on my selfishness.
let’s just be real, having a little mammal attached to your nipple around the clock can feel a little invasive. How often does THAT happen? Every 2 hours or so, there is this little mouth searching beneath my clothes asking for more. more. MORE!
In the wee hours of the morning, the thoughts run rampantly unchecked:
‘Haven’t I given you ENOUGH child?! I spent nine months growing you from pieces of my own blood and bones. And then I pushed you out of… well… I had to push you out (we’ll talk about the details LATER), and now 20 of the 24 hours in my day SINCE then are spent ensuring you are warm, well fed, and clean. You require most (if not all) of my money, my time, attention, and resources. My body, my love, my applied mind. And to top it all off you’re intolerant to cow’s milk (bye-bye cheese and yogurt for mommy.) CAN YOU JUST GIVE ME A DAY OFF?
And when can I have my body back?’
I know what you readers are thinking, go ahead, say it: ‘How dare you, she is only a BABY.’
To which I bang my fists on the table shouting, ‘Well some days, SO AM I! WHERE IS MY NIPPLE??!?’
And then I go fumbling around for the coffee.
Motherhood is the most selfless thing I have ever done. While I haven’t confiscated the van keys yet, my act of rebellion and declaration that ‘THIS IS MY BODY!’ is to go out and buy a pack of cigars and get a latte with real milk.
I haven’t bought the cigars yet, I’m just thinking about it. But I’m drinking the latte.
(pause for dramatic effect.)
She doesn’t have a serious milk intolerance, it’s only a rash and some diarrhea… But before I justify this too much, I’ll just admit that drinking a latte isn’t my best choice as a mother.
Why am I so addicted to myself? To having autonomy over my body, my time, my choices? So much so that I would choose to bless only me because I’m tired of blessing someone else. Woah.
This is bad.
The thought occurs to me; What if my body is only a vessel through which God intends to bless the world? haven’t I believed that? And I am choosing to say no to that calling today and yes to a latte. A latte, people. I would throw away my calling for a latte. Is it worth it?
Now don’t shun me and pretend you’ve never done this, that you don’t do it every day.
We choose to keep a fight going because it feels better to be RIGHT than to be LOVING.
We choose to be impatient with the waitress because it feels better to be PISSED OFF than to be KIND.
We choose not to reach out because it feels better to stay in our COMFORT ZONE than to HELP SOMEONE FIND COMFORT.
I choose (fill in the blank) because it feels better to (fill in the blank) than to (fill in the blank.)
And every time we choose ourselves, someone else pays for it.
I think it’s time to stop poisoning my breast milk with this latte, skip the cigars, and go home to thank my daughter for teaching me the most basic of things: How to be a blessing.
What do YOU need to do?