Saturday, January 1, 2011
Part-Timing It In Mommyhood
Admittedly I generally only post once per day. However this topic begs to be discussed right away. I have many friends who have complained to me of breastfeeding and claimed they plan to quit (or never start) because it is too difficult, namely at work. Therefore, I would like to discuss the topic of "Part-Timing It" in mommyhood.
Is it best to cloth diaper full time? Yes! Is it best to breastfeed full time? Yes! Is it best to babywear full time! Of course! Is it realistic to think that, as a working mom in particular but a mom in general, you can do all of these things full time? NO! The reality is that these days moms are busy! I'm not saying they never used to be busy, but these days moms not only raise their kids and keep the house up but many of them also hold down at least part time if not full time jobs. That makes for one busy momma! Now, in addition to this, moms are still feeling the pressure to full time cloth diaper, babywear and breastfeed!
I was discussing this with a friend of mine recently who is hoping to become a mommy-to-be soon. She told me that as an elementary school teacher in her particular district she will not have the required time to pump more than once each day so she doubts she will breastfeed her baby at all due to the hassle. You see, as she pointed out, there is an all or nothing mentality these days. Either you do or you don't. Nobody discusses with you that there is in fact a third option: Part-Time!
As I already stated, it is best to do all of the above full time. However, if it is not realistic for you, then try part time. Give formula while you are at work and breastfeed your baby from the time you get home until the time you go to work. Pump once at work so that while you are gone your baby gets one bottle of breastmilk and the rest formula. Some breastmilk is better than none! On the weekends and vacation days you can breastfeed full time if it works for you and your baby. If you want to cloth diaper but you can't find a daycare willing to accept it, then use disposables at daycare and cloth diaper whenever you are with the baby. While the baby will not receive all the benefits of breastmilk, cloth diapers, or babywearing if you part-time it, they will receive significantly more benefits than if you didn't do it at all. Babies that are part-time breastfed are still healthier in general than those who are formula-only fed because they still get some of their mommies immune system and that human-made milk. Now, if you or your baby need the formula, it is not a bad option. If you have the option, though, consider part-time!
Part-time is better than not at all, but yet moms feel such a pressure to do all or nothing. I admit, I push for "all" a lot. I think that if you work you should still give pumping a try...see if you can fit it in. However, if you can't or simply don't want to, why not tell moms that part-time is an option! As I was discussing this with my friend, she admitted that she had never even considered part-timing it when her time came. Hopefully now she will consider it, and maybe you will too!