I first read about the evils of using your cell phone while breastfeeding from an article I was reading on my cell phone . . . while I was breastfeeding. It was back in September, when I was just a few months shy of my one-year anniversary of nursing my baby (also known as her first birthday). I was damn proud of that accomplishment, and although I didn't want to let some flash-in-the-pan headline undermine the wonderful thing I was providing for my infant, I also couldn't help but click it.
It was a mistake.
I didn't need an expert with multiple PhDs to tell me that checking email on my iPhone while nursing wasn't ideal.
I live in the world. I know the things.
It makes perfect sense that if I'm distracted, I might not pick up on cues from my newborn that they're hungry or full or poorly latched or choking or dying or dead. I. Get. It. I understand this fact of life just like I do that having a glass of wine before I realized I was pregnant was a big-time no-no. And I'm aware of that as much as I am how arguing in front of my kids will turn them into high-strung sociopaths . . . or was that effective mediators? Oh, that's right: two different studies revealed two different outcomes on that one.
And this week — months after my now-toddler weaned off of breastmilk completely, I didn't need yet another wave of headlines about the dangers of "brexting" — a term the internet coined so that moms could more easily shame other moms for partaking in the practice without wasting valuable characters on Twitter — to fill up my news feed as if I didn't get the memo the first time around.
Yes, breastfeeding is a miraculous time to be cherished, but the essence of "time" is a bit relative when it's happening every three hours, for upwards of an hour a pop, around the clock.
In those first few months, moms are exhausted. They need a distraction — from the pain, from the monotony, from their cluttered thoughts. They've also got a lot on their plates. So if they decide to reply to an email, read an article about a study that confirms that moms who read articles are better moms, or take a "Which <b>Friends</b> Character Are You?" quiz, they are just trying to stay on top of that living, breathing to-do list that they're currently feeding with life-saving milk.
That doesn't mean breastfeeding is a form of torture we need reprieve from. I loved nursing my daughter — it's legitimately one of my life's greatest joys. But I also love television, which is why I spent many a session with earbuds and an iPad cued up to Netflix (it's called "breastflixing," FYI). Although no study will come to my house to confirm it, the result of all this is a very happy kid who's pretty smitten with her mildly absentee mother.
I might be done breastfeeding, but if I ever have another child in all this free time, I can guarantee that while that baby is on my breast, my phone will be in my hand.
I'm a mom, yes, but I'm also human, and I won't apologize for being so.