August 12, 2010

Absentee Parenting

I’m an absentee parent these days. For the last few weeks, my life has consisted of airports, cab rides (a significant percentage of which have been frightening), hotel food and single-serving toiletries.

I know this schedule won’t last forever, and may only persist for a few more weeks. I know it is a positive and career/business-building experience and that I am opening doors and building important relationships. I know my kids will not be scarred from my periods of disappearance.

But, oh. My kids.

I yearn for them every minute. I keep looking at pictures of them on my iPhone so I can smile back at them and marvel at how we made such beautiful creatures. I watch videos of Version 1.0 yammering on about her crazy ideas and plans. I watch videos of Version 2.0 gurgling and cooing and melting my frigging heart.

I’ve written before about role reversal and how my husband and I have decided to divvy up household responsibilities. Nothing’s changed much, except we keep adjusting as we go.

When I had my son 3 months ago, I essentially delivered him on Friday and was back to work on Monday, taking calls, writing documents, doing what I could. I never really stopped. I’ll admit the first couple of months were very, very hard for both of us. Version 2.0 was so colicky I would end up crying myself, or yelling out loud to no one in particular. Hubby was stretched to the max as well, and we were living in this periphery to our normal selves, wondering when things were going to get easier.

Well, they did. A bit. We can breathe now. Thanks to formula. Version 2.0 has a voracious appetite and once again, I didn’t make enough to keep him satisfied. Within days of being able to feed him formula to supplement, we noticed a marked difference. We were both at such a level of crazy that it just had to be worth it to get that sanity back. Unfortunately, he is a fussy one when it comes to what’s in his mouth (aren’t all men?) and he soon refused to breast feed anymore.

Toss in there the unfortunate timing of an excellent business opportunity that has me away a lot and breastfeeding doesn’t stand much of a chance. I feel sad about this, and guilty, but I know better. I know the scary level of crazy we had become and I know how badly I do not want to be caught pumping in a public washroom again, or having to deal with breast milk on my suit jacket in front of a client.But mostly, I know my son is fulfilled and healthy, no longer hungry all the time because of my measly supply. I have made my peace and I hope no one gets all lactivist on me again because I just might get physical with my fist. I understand, to those women who have never had a problem, they can’t imagine that low to no supply could ever be real. Well, I assure you, it can. And lo and behold, finally… a few others can relate:

Breastfeeding: No Milk At This Store

A Breastfeeding Guru Who Uses Formula

Crap. That was a bit of a tangent. Where was I? Right. I miss my kids. My healthy, beautiful, thriving kids.

Who have both had formula.

That is all. I’m home now and need to go snuggle.

Also, it’s my anniversary. So, I need to go and… um, snuggle.

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