As previously mentioned, Littlest S&S is a hungry wee girl, and likes to eat a lot. She also likes being cuddled a lot, and will frequently wake up and scream if she’s put down, and need to be fed to relieve the trauma. So, I have been more adept at finding things I can do while feeding that aren’t reading and watching DVDs. I’m doing quite a bit of both of those, but the attraction fades after a while – yes, I can have too much reading time! Who’d have thought? I do find it frustrating sometimes, as having another person attached to you is quite limiting. My house is not at all how I’d like it, the garden is running rampant and I’ve not a seed sown, the children are watching more TV than I usually allow and my husband is usurping my role as cake baker (he’s annoyingly good at cakes already), so in true ‘counting my blessings’ style, here’s a list of the things I can do:
1. Daydreaming. I do a lot of this, especially during night feeds when it’s dark. So not really daydreaming, but still. At first it was frustrating to have to think rather than do, but after 4 weeks I have elevated daydreaming to an art form.
2. Talking on the phone. I now schedule my chats with my mum and my friends for the times I’m going to be feeding, as it feels like a waste of non-feeding time otherwise.
3. Crocheting. I can’t knit, but I’ve discovered that I can crochet. Reasonably quickly if Madam is dining on the left, more slowly if she’s eating on the right. I’ll show you what I’m crocheting later.
4. Reading to the older children. I can’t really play with them much, but I can read to them – as long as they fetch the books. And turn the pages.
Thanks to the sling (a babycarrier), there are some other things I can do – the sling gives me both hands free and allows me to move about, but I can’t do anything that involves a lot of leaning forward (so no hanging laundry or doing the dishwasher). But I can:
5. Vacuuming. I can’t sweep or mop, as bringing both hands across my body squishes the baby and causes protests, but can push the vacuum with one hand.This has the added bonus of being white noise, which the baby finds very soothing.
6. Walking the dog. The dog appreciates this, and getting out of the house for fresh air is very good for me, too.
7. Typing. I’m not actually feeding as I type, but I could!
8. Eating a meal sitting at the table. This is very useful as we’re trying to keep our routines and family meals are very important to us, and the sling means we can all eat together.
9. Important self maintenance: I can go to the loo and make a cup of tea, for example, or get some food. When the baby is 90 minutes into a 4 hour milk-bender, this is very important.
10. Nothing. I’m usually pretty keen to be doing something, so I’m surprised by how much time I spend doing nothing. Apart from gazing at my baby and stroking her petal-soft cheeks and nuzzling her silky hair. Sometimes she seems to know I’m looking and opens one eye. She really is alarmingly cute, and although the long feeds can be frustrating and exhausting, I look at my older children and it is clear how short this phase really is. Someone once said that when you have small children, the years are short and the days are long – and it is very, very true.
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