Category Archives: Motherhood

Breastfeeding at Chipotle

My son is now six months old and in the last six months I have breastfed in a lot of places. Breastfeeding in public is one of those things that most people don’t think about until they have a child or come across a mother breastfeeding at, say Chipotle. And usually that’s when people decide it’s okay or it’s awful. But before you make an assumptions, I want to explain why I choose to breastfeed in public.

You should first of all know that it’s not because I want anyone to see my breasts. They’re large and real and nothing like what you’ll see on-line or in a magazine. And, honestly, after thinking of them as a food source for the last six months, I have trouble remembering that it’s a body part that people like to look at. I don’t much fancy checking out a cow’s udders or a dog’s teats either.

Nursing Mother

I breastfeed in public because I was determined to incorporate my child into my life rather than letting my child own my life. I love my son and I would do pretty much anything for him, but I don’t think it does either of us any good to hide away all the time. So we go out. To restaurants, stores, church services, public meetings, movies, and he’s even been to a stage production. There are obviously times I have chosen not to go somewhere because I didn’t feel like it was a kid-friendly place. But I also sometimes redefine the places that are kid-friendly.

Also, babies get hungry A LOT. And sometimes they want to nurse for reasons outside of hunger. They’re scared or cold or uncomfortable or upset or in pain and nursing makes them feel better. And I’m of the belief that my nursing my son is a lot more enjoyable for fellow patrons than hearing him scream.

One last thing: it’s not really fun for me to breastfeed in public. Because I’m busty it can be really tricky trying to get it ready without showing everything off to everyone in the room. It can be uncomfortable. At home, I have a nursing pillow and a rocker or a couch. At a restaurant I’m usually supporting all of his body weight and I’m hunched over him. And then there’s the dilemma of whether or not I should cover him while he nurses and am I offending anyone and what do I do if he rips the cover off. It can be a stressful event. For me. He’s just blissfully eating away.

So today I met my husband at Chipotle for lunch. I generally don’t love going to places as crowded as Chipotle at lunch time, but they’re running a promotion and we wanted to get free Chipotle. My son was napping when we left and he woke up after we arrived and was, of course, starving. Sadly he hasn’t yet graduated to having burritos for lunch, so I nursed him. Again, the toss up between Nursing Baby versus Screaming Baby.

Chipotle

My husband headed back to work, so it was just the two of us. Him nursing and me people watching. And, I sort of have to give props to the diners. There were all kinds – business men and women, hipsters, tech guys, families, folks of all ages – and I didn’t get one dirty look. And I actually only got a few scared, swiftly moving eyes. In general, people seemed unfazed by this nursing Momma. As I sat there I wondered if Chipotle had any type of policy on breastfeeding, but couldn’t find anything on-line. Most states protect breastfeeding Moms. (Find out about your state here.)

I will say, for the record, that nursing in the booth was fairly uncomfortable. And if you have a child that is easily distracted, it can be a little bit over-stimulating. But for my son, the hum of noise that you find in a busy restaurant was soothing. And he nursed himself right back to sleep. I then quietly slipped him back into his bucket carseat and finished my lunch.

So, if you’re looking for a place to lunch with your breastfed baby, you might want to give Chipotle a shot.

Photo Credits:
Arturo Sotillo
hunsonisgroovy

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Stay At Home Mom

It is a quintessential day to stay in my pajamas with a piping hot mug of tea. To curl up on the couch with a blanket and a book. To watch the last of the golden yellow leaves on the tree outside my window blowing in the wind. With the addition of a few diaper changes and a newfound love of peek-a-boo, that’s exactly what I’m doing. This is a perk that being a Stay-at-Home Mom affords me.

I never dreamed of having children until I got married and even then the thought gave me nervous butterflies for a while. Our pregnancy was planned and, by God’s grace, well executed. Aside from some early food aversion and fatigue, my pregnancy was easy-going. As it turns out, I’m pretty good at being pregnant. But even for the nine months I was incubating my son, the reality that I was going to be solely responsible for a little tiny human was not present.IMG_1380 (2)

Now I’m not only a Mom, but I’m a Stay-at-Home Mom. And I know how blessed I am to be able to be home with my son. I know there are so many mothers who would love to be home with their children but are unable to financially. So I feel almost callous examining the pros and cons of my current occupation. But for me, a woman who at one point used to very much judge the idea of not going back to work after having children, it seems like a necessity.

As with anything, there’s usually a positive to every negative and vice versa. With that in mind, I present to you the split persona of the Stay-At-Home Mom.

If you so choose, you can stay in your pajamas all day.
If you’re not careful, you could go days without leaving the house.

You are home to make home-cooked hot meals for yourself and your family.
You feel guilty if you don’t feel like cooking.

You can get lunch with friends any day of the week.
Except most of your friends are at work and eating out has to be planned around feedings and naps.

You don’t have to go to a job everyday.
You also don’t really ever go home from your “job”.

You have more time to keep a tidy house.
There are days you won’t have time to tidy. These days might make you feel like a failure as a homemaker.

You will have lots of cute anecdotes to tell your spouse when he comes home.
You will feel the need to list all of the things you did that day just to prove to yourself (and in theory your spouse) that you were productive.

You are the one raising your child.
Your child may have separation anxiety whenever you’re not at home.

A common myth about Stay-At-Home Parents (one that I naively had myself) is that we have lots of time to take up hobbies. This is a lie. Some days you might find time to scrapbook for a bit or knit part of a scarf or bake some bread. But it took me two days just to write this blog post.

blog 2All of those things aside, I do love being able to play with my son all day long. I love being able to nurse him on demand. To get to see his sweet smile every time he wakes up from a nap. In fact, I’m tentatively planning to return to the working world within the next few months and the thought, surprisingly, leaves me with a sense of melancholy.

I’m not sure I’m a lifer in the Stay-At-Home realm, but I am certainly loving it for the moment. Even when I’m washing spit-up out of my hair and sing Jesus Loves You for the fifteenth time that day.

Is 28 Old?

In my head I am still young. Like, a “young person” which is why it’s okay that I’m still figuring out my career path and that I’m just starting a family. Because I’m still so young, right? I am barely out of college. That’s right, right? (If barely means I graduated almost seven years ago.)

The universe seems intent on informing me that twenty-eight is not really as young as I – apparently – like to think. Like when I got the invitation for my ten-year high school reunion. Or got a card from a college roommate and realized I hadn’t seen him in over five years. When Mindy Kaling in The Mindy Project said she cries when she realizes a celebrity is younger than her. And when I was watching Top Chef and one of the contestants was an acclaimed chef at twenty-eight and was not the youngest contestant by far.

So now I am asking myself, am I old? Did I blink and ten years passed?018

I have to sometimes remind myself of the things I have accomplished. I have traveled to five of the seven continents and yet I’m taunted by all the places lurking on my bucket list. I got married to the person I’m planning to be with for the rest of my life. (In fairness, if I thought otherwise I wouldn’t have married him.) I discovered the joys and difficulties of pregnancy and childbirth and now motherhood. I have a lovely diploma informing the world that I attended college for four years. I’ve been heartbroken and hospitalized. I’ve worked for a variety of employers – some of them even had benefits. And I have been in possession of a driver’s license from three different states.

In the grand scheme of things, this may be more than many people accomplish in a lifetime. And it also may be a pitiful comparison to that of a peer’s list of accomplishments. Which basically tells me nothing.

So what is it I thought I’d need to have by twenty-eight that I haven’t obtained?

  • A Master’s degree. Maybe even a PhD. I really expected to continue my education further than a Bachelor’s. And I still intend to do so, but I’m getting kind of old, right? Won’t most of my classmates be young whippersnappers fresh out of undergrad? And I’ll be that student with the husband and kid at home.
  • A career. My current occupation is as stay at home mom and that was nowhere in my dreams. I never anticipated spending whole days in my pajamas making meal plans and changing diapers. And yet, that’s where I am. Not working for a publishing house or running a study abroad program or writing best-sellers. Nope. I’m a professional – okay, let’s be honest still pretty amateur – homemaker.
  • A clear path. When I graduated from high school I had a 5, 10, and 15 year plan. I derailed about a semester into college. Those plans, as it turns out, fell short in real world execution and currently I feel accomplished if I know what we’re eating for dinner tomorrow night. So, a year from now? Ten years from now? No idea.
  • Purchased real furniture. This one is almost embarrassing, but it’s true. The only large purchase my husband and I have made for our household is a mattress and box spring. (And I am seriously in love with our bed.) Everything else in our apartment is a hand-me-down. From the kitchen table and chairs to the couches to the spare bed and dressers.
  • Traveled the world. Or, at least, more of the world. I have yet to visit Australia or Thailand or Peru or Egypt or Honduras or Israel or Vietnam. And that is a very small sampling of my list.
  • Learned a foreign language fluently. For this I have no excuse. I’ve lived abroad and live with a man who is trilingual. What can I say? Other things just got in the way – like Facebook and YouTube and books written in English.
  • Lived in New York City. Truly. I thought it would be my future home. In retrospect I’m not sure it ever would have worked out. It doesn’t really fit me. It’s a remarkable city – just not my city. I don’t like crowds or traffic or cold weather. And yet, I definitely saw living there as some definitive move into adulthood. Or liberation. Or freedom. Or something.

I am twenty-eight. I have no notoriety to my name. I’m not at the top of any career field. I don’t have any letters after my name. I don’t live in an exciting destination city.

But then, I’m only twenty-eight. And I’m going to stick to that old saying that age is just a number. It is, after all. It doesn’t have to be a milestone. It can just be a number like any other.

Or, at the very least, I’m not thirty yet, so there’s that…

Aimless Ramblings

I have been meaning to post for weeks. As you can tell, it’s gone really well.

A friend of mine recently started a blog and has these very well thought-out posts with some sort of theme to them. I was inspired and decided I should start doing that too. The result, well, as you can see the result was not to post at all. So here I am, finally, posting. And I decided since I wanted to be inspired by her blog, I would do a spin-off.

She recently wrote a post on an unfortunate bird-pooping-incident. The aforementioned bird landed its defecation directly in her open eye. It sounds horrifying, right? Well I too recently had a bird-pooping-incident. It is not nearly so interesting, so don’t be disappointed. And first I should give some background.

My husband and I were recently married and prior to our marriage I traveled across the Atlantic to Nigeria to meet his family. In Nigeria most couples wait until they are both finished their education and settled in their careers to marry. This is all fine and well for Nigerians and any couples from other nations that are responsible enough to follow that life-plan, but I was a vagabond traveler after my Bachelor’s degree and my husband took off on an internship in South America. In short, no Masters degrees to speak of and no set career momentarily. Ah, c’est la vie. BUT that is what led my now mother-in-law to believe that Lanre and I would become impregnated quickly after marriage (as is their custom). While I was visiting she told me she expected twin boys by next Easter (that would now be this Easter). My response, “Well thank you for that burden!” I laughed – she didn’t.

We are not pregnant and not expecting children any Easter any time soon. The curse of twin boys, however, follows me where a fetus has not. Last Spring my grandmother had a very vivid dream about my future children. Two boys – two little halfrican boys – were in a playpen. One was sitting quietly playing with a toy while the other desperately attempted to climb out of the playpen. My grandmother had no prior knowledge that my mother-in-law had already predicted twin boys.

So, back to my bird-pooping-incident. Lanre and I had a rendezvous in New York City recently where, unsurprisingly, I had a bird poop on my shoulder. I didn’t know until I went back to work that Monday.

When one of the members saw that a bird pooped on me he said, “Oh! You know what that means? When a bird poops on a newly married young lady that means she’s going to have twins.” After my death glare he apologized but assured me that was indeed an old wives tale.

So here I am newly married with the pleasant prospects of twins on the future (yes, future) horizon. I think if any more birds try to poop on me they might get a taste of my slingshot skills.