My handsome and fun little Brooks is 10 months old today. Born on Christmas night, he will forever be my favorite Christmas present. And today marks the day that my husband and I will take our first trip away from our babies. I can’t wait to get away from all of the stress of work, home craziness, and responsibilities. Having said that, why am I sad? There are a few reasons I have in mind.
The first: Yesterday I posted on Instagram & Facebook about how I reached the end of my exclusive pumping journey this week. We made it 10 whole months! Holy cow! Add up the hours, product, and washing, and you’ve got some serious emotions running through this Mama. Sad. Grateful. Worried. Happy. Proud. Lucky. Ecstatic. If I’m lucky my Type A personality will sometimes think about logic, so we kicked those emotions to the curb this morning and put some concrete numbers to this whole thing. This means that I’ve spent:
Approximately 2 hours a day (4x/day, 30 minutes each–setup, pump, disassemble ;)) for 300 days. That’s 600 hours of pumping!
Approximately 80 oz. a day output between pumps (oversupply). That’s 24,000 ounces of breastmilk!
Approximately 30 minutes a day washing bottles, pump parts, and sanitizing. That’s 150 hours of cleaning!
Mamas! This math is not made up. It’s real. And it’s tangible. So why on earth am I feeling sad about all of this time that I’ve spent when now I have this newfound freedom? I’m so two-faced! I like to believe it’s because we are Mamas are just so willing to do whatever it takes for our kids. No matter the length of time or the stretch in our nipples. I’m sorry. I had to go there. I am not going to miss watching my nipples be pulled through those shields. I still remember the very first time they were sucked through the shield so fiercely. First, I was like Ouch! And then I chanted and prayed, Dear Lord, please don’t let them stay this way…
This week, aside from all of the craziness with the “end of an era” pumping, I also got this super crazy, weird, eye inflammation. I looked like Cyclops at work, and my students were so filterlessly pointing out that my eye looked horrible. So between parent-teacher conferences this week after work, I also had to throw in an eye doctor visit. I text my husband while I was waiting: “I’m on the verge of tears right now. This is not how I wanted to spend tonight.” I felt so incredibly guilty for being at the eye doctor instead of snuggling my kids and soaking up their hugs before our trip this week. I knew deep down though, that I needed to take care of myself. But it’s so hard…
I’m learning though, that being two-faced is not always a bad thing. It just shows the many sides that we have once we become Mamas and experience all of these new feelings. I know that when I’m gone, my heart longs to be with my kids. I can’t wait to get back to them, let them know how much I love them, and be there for them. But I need to work on the other side of things–enjoying that time away and being in the present in that moment. Because I think those moments are what make up for that lost time and make us be better, refreshed, and rejuvenated when we return.
So I’m going to own this newfound side of me. I’m flaunting my two-faced, full-of-freedom-behind right on to that plane with my husband, and I’m going to enjoy every second of our trip. And if I catch myself feeling any twinge of guilt or longing, I’m going to reflect on the math I just shared with you. Those hours… I can’t ever get back, but they were worth it. And the hours away from my kids on this vacation, well, I can’t get back either. So it seems that logic would say I should enjoy every hard earned minute while I’m away.
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