September starts with Labor Day: honoring the value of the everyday work people do we so often forget. September is also back to school: for teachers, for kids and for many moms themselves.
Perhaps when you were pregnant you imagined your beautiful baby in your arms, smiling & sleeping…a fresh, new layette at the ready and perhaps some handmade quilts decorating a cozy nursery or baby’s corner of your bedroom.
It would be nice to drift into that idyllic picture. And there are idyllic moments. Those are the ones you just want to freeze frame and hang onto forever. But you have to find them inside the complicated world that is real life. Sleep deprivation, worry about enough milk, nursing on demand, what can I eat? The list goes on and on.
My purpose here is not to bemoan the difficulty of new parenting. It is to embrace, credit, and celebrate the amazing ways moms do cope with the semi-chaos of work, school, car pools, day care and the reality of things just not going the way you planned.
Hooray for moms who pump when they’d rather be holding their baby, for moms who have to work hard to build a milk supply, and for moms who keep breastfeeding when the people around them aren’t supportive. Hooray for moms who breastfeed through Boy Scout meetings and parent/teacher conferences. Hooray for moms who have to carry their pumped milk through airport security and find refrigerators and ice when traveling. Hooray for the moms who have paved the way, lobbying for lactation rooms and laws to protect moms’ right to pump at work.
Moms are amazing.
Sue Petracek, IBCLC