As a mom, there are moments that take your breathe away, moments that leave you feeling vulnerable, moments when you dread the steps you have to take. Last Saturday I faced one of those ‘moments’, there wasn’t anything exceptional about my circumstances, however, it was:
- My first major outing with the little people without my husband to entertain the toddler.
- First time out and about on the bus since the baby.
- Our first feed in public without the car for privacy.
- My first time shouldering a sleeping toddler while feeding a baby in public.
I guess you’re wondering why this is even worth mentioning, I will try to explain. Getting myself ready isn’t much of a problem on a good day, but now I have to remember to put breast pads on to avoid a breastmilk map soaking through my outfit. And believe me, I have come close to forgetting them several times. Secondly I have to get my little girl ready, again this is not a huge task. I have to ensure she goes to the bathroom at least five or ten minutes to leaving the door, to avoid a ‘wee’ dance on the bus. Then I have to pack snack and drink options, for the journey back home when she’s bored and exhausted, but fighting sleep or relaxation with a scary determination. This all pales in the light of getting baby ready and convincing myself it’s safe to go out.
Our checklist for him looks something like this;
- pack baby bag
- feed and burp baby (this can take an unimaginable turn at any point)
- change nappy
- dress baby
- set pram up ready to go ‘cos if he starts feeling too warm in there his alarm bells go off … leaving everyone feeling slightly frazzled. This actually happened a week before, he protested so loudly, his sister and I had to abandon our usual weekend stroll. We were both disappointed, thankfully though the day was rescued by a game of bubbles in the garden. It was freezing and the bubbles nestled in the grass l rather than sailing off in the wind. Regardless, we had some outdoor fun during the frigid December weather. Back to the checklist…
- Finally run out of the house, hoping toddler does not need another visit to the loo.
Yipppeeeee! Out and about we goooooooooo!
Amazingly we had a lovely time in town, baby didn’t cry and toddler L was happy to have a day out on the bus again. I did forget to take drinks and snacks so I had to make it up to her by getting this
Now about that dreaded moment; having been out for two hours I knew the baby would need a feed soon. Faced with dropping temperatures and dark clouds, I had two options one, sit in a shop and feed him while my toddler gets bored and night time draws closer. Or two, get on the bus, feed him whenever he wakes up while getting closer to home. I decided to go with the second option, we made it through the first ten minutes before baby L woke up demanding a feed at the top of his lungs. For some unknown reason, I got nervous.
You would think that having fed my daughter for fourteen months this won’t be an issue. I had fed her on the bus, in the park, in town, on a flight, at playgroups etc All that experience didn’t make any difference in that moment. Having her asleep on my shoulder added to my state of unrest, but it also reassured me that I had made the right choice to get on the bus. More importantly, it served to remind me that my children’s comfort always comes first before anything else. I fed baby, pillowed my daughters head on my shoulder, managed a chat with family friends (who we bumped into on the bus)and a lady on the opposite aisle who dropped her glasses, all the while maintaining my composure.
Yes, this girl can!
I did take a picture, but sadly it wasn’t a good angle.
I almost didn’t take them out, there were so many excuses; the weather, baby’s age, managing both kids without the car, etc. I did it though and I learned something from it, take a risk, but always weigh the factors. For example, I made sure to pick a day with the best weather outlook, I also set out with an objective(s) no matter how small or simple. I wanted to break the mold, to take the children out even when the conditions weren’t stellar. I also wanted to get back to taking my toodler out and also return items to the store. Sometimes comfort zones prevent us from appreciating our basic strengths and ability to make good judgement calls.
Trust yourself, trust God in 2018.