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Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Just call me Bessie...On the Go!

This post is part of the first Humor in Parenting (and Breastfeeding!) Blog Carnival inspired by the anthology "Have Milk, Will Travel: Adventures in Breastfeeding", a collection edited by Rachel Epp Buller and published by Demeter Press in August 2013. The anthology looks at the lighter side of nursing. All of its contributors found something funny to say about their days as a non-stop milk shop, even if it was a tough job to have.

This carnival celebrates the craziness that is parenting and asks the question of how we use humor to get through our days, or minutes, or years. Just what's so funny about being a parent? And why is it so important to make life with kids funny even when it doesn't exactly seem hilarious?

Please share widely and connect us with other funny parents who are blogging and Tweeting. Use the hashtags #funnybreastfeeding and #humorcarnival along with whatever witty originals you come up with. Those ought to be worth some laughs, too!

See below for links to the other contributors. And, as you might have said to your nursling once upon a time, enjoy the buffet!


When I was a younger version of myself, I never had much of an opinion about my boobs.  My pear-shaped figure gave me fits starting in high school, but mostly I spent my energy taking issue with my butt.  I guess that makes me more of an 'Ass Woman'?   
Then I had children.  And now my fun-bags are under the sole proprietorship of a toothless, hairless, non-verbal sub-10lb person with zero patience and no desire to sleep through the night.  I am a slave to him and thus, a slave to my breasts. 

Yup, like any other dutiful nursing mom, my lady-lumps are at the beck and call of this insatiable little man from the time I arrive home in the evening to the moment I drop him and his brother off at the sitter the next morning.  And the fun doesn't stop there.  I spend my commute and my lunch break and any spare moment in between tethered to a merciless little wooshing, whirring and sucking machine.  The breast pump: it's a contraption used solely by women, but undoubtably designed by a man.  

I will give credit to my youngest because he doesn't treat me like a 24-hour all-you-can-eat buffet, which was my experience with his gluttonous big brother (who I once nursed for nine hours in a single day).

Still, when you're a working mom of two under the age of two, who's husband frequently clocks in 60+ hours at work, you learn to nurse on the go.  My childhood best friend is the oldest of five. Her mother jokes that she spent so much time nursing on the move that her youngest was served mostly 'milk shakes' rather than the standard variety of breastmilk.  I'm thinking my little guy is having a similar experience (minus the chaos of four older siblings...can you imagine?).  

I will now bestow upon you a brief list of dos and don'ts for the nursing mom who doesn't have the luxury of kicking her feet up for every baby meal.

Nurse and...

1. Do the dishes.  But then don't expect spotless plates.  And certainly don't later criticize your spouse for his/her poor pre-dishwasher scrubbing habits.  You are now equally responsible for the less-than-ideal state of your flatware.

2. Do the laundry.  Because babies might be tiny, but we all know they somehow triple your laundry volume.  Maybe it has to do with the fact they can't seem to keep their bodily fluids to themselves.

3. Prepare a meal.  Clarification: I am not a skilled chef, not by any stretch of the imagination.  So by 'preparing a meal' we're talking about punching buttons on a microwave oven and/or slicing up lunch meat and bananas for my toddler, not parleying a falafel or snarking a roast (see? I know so little about cooking, I had to make those words up).

4. Run the vacuum. Quick tip for those who may not have discovered it, babies love vacuums.  Vacuums and blow dryers.  Turn one on the next time you have a screaming infant.  It's pure magic and I will happily take credit for the peace it will restore in your home (unless you already knew this trick). 

5. Comfort a screaming toddler who still hasn't quite mastered the art of ambulation and moves too fast to notice little things like rugs or toys or say, furniture that may cause a face-plant situation.  

Do not attempt nursing and...

1.  Changing a diaper: Leave that sh*t to the professionals. And since no one is paying you to breastfeed (and I'm fairly certain that wet-nursing is no longer a 'thing') and you probably don't enjoy having someone else's urine in your lap (not judging if you do...wait, judging a little) I say don't do it.  But still, raise your hand if you've tried it.  This is me: sheepishly lowering my hand in a crowd of alarmed and disgusted faces. 

2.  Drinking a beer (in public).  You'll get some serious looks from passers-by who don't know that it takes 30 minutes for alcohol to hit your milk supply with any significance. Unless you're the type who enjoys stirring up trouble. In that case, drink away my friend.  You deserve a cold one ;) 

Short of the obvious safety violations (nursing and driving, nursing and swimming laps, nursing and skydiving, etc), I can't really think of any other tasks that can't be accomplished with an infant latched firmly to your nipple.  

Happy nursing, my friends.  As they say, breast is best...probably because it frees up that other hand to keep your world running at the requisite 90 mph.



Please check out these the other submissions to our humor carnival:

I will sleep when I'm dead:
Zoie at TouchstoneZ needs some sleep but her kids have other ideas.

Boobs are in the House
 Jenny of Half Crunchy Mom shares how her love affair with her nursing breasts was hindered only by the act of pumping, but she found a way to party with the pump.

Send in the Nipple Clowns
Pickle Me This shares a story in which a mother who hasn't slept more than three hours in a row for six months reflects back on the comedy of her breastfeeding life.

And, from Have Milk contributors:

The importance of laughter
Jessica Claire Haney of Crunchy-Chewy Mama gets serious about looking for humor with her kids where her own parents didn't.

Underwater and Excuse Me Adriann Cocker of Cockerchat muses on the absurdity of parenting while leading a hip loft lifestyle in downtown Los Angeles.

To learn more about Have Milk, Will Travel, or to buy a copy for your favorite mom
(or the people who love her), visit the Have Milk, Will Travel: Adventures in Breastfeeding site

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