- Radical Self-Love by Gala Darling
TBR: Fuck all.
Greetings from the other side! I am here to tell you that, thus far, motherhood is not the end of reading. I know what you’re going to say. “Rachael, you didn’t read anything this week!”
Au contraire, my friends. I read a bunch this week.
At this point, my life lines are two devices. The first is a breast pump, because little man is not a fan of the boob, and the second is my Kindle. Now, I know all of this is more than any of you want to know and I would be annoyed if some random person started telling me about their trials and tribulations in breast milk BUT this is my blog and this is my life right now and you’re just going to have to deal with it. Maybe skip the next paragraph and pick back up at the Kindle stuff.
I assume that if you actually breastfeed your baby, you probably spend that time bonding with them and staring at them adoringly and doing little else. However, after three frustrating says of fighting with LM (Little Man) for sometimes two hours and knowing that he wasn’t getting enough food and that we were not enjoying each other because all we did was fight while I grew increasingly upset about my complete and utter failure at motherhood and he became increasingly frustrated with his hunger and his mean mom who kept shoving her boob in his face, I started pumping and bottle feeding. It may seem like this doesn’t actually save time. I mean, I have to get the pump ready, pump for 20 minutes, break the pump down (I put it away every time), bottle the milk, clean and sanitize the pump stuff and any empty bottles, and then adore my baby on my own time. It still takes less time than fighting for two hours.
Basically, my Kindle has made this process a million times better. If you pump both sides at the same time, which just makes sense to me, you are literally handless for 20 minutes at a time. There are options here. You could watch TV but, really, how much of a dent are you going to make in the X-Files at 20 minutes at a time. It will add up over the course of the day but if you’re like me you don’t really enjoy having a TV blaring all day and it’s a hassle to start and stop an episode. Plus, with Hubby home the first week I pretty much let him have free reign over the remote. (I have watched sooooooo many guitar videos, you guys. And now I want a new guitar even though we have fucking 10 between us.)
What you can do pretty much hands free is read a Kindle. Now, my set up here is not perfect. I basically am sitting on the couch with a Kindle on my lap and my neck bent at an uncomfortable angle. Still, so much good has come from this.
I have spent a lot of time this year thinking about how pointless reading is. I hate to admit when I have these thoughts but it comes up once in a while. I’ve read and I’ve read some stuff that I liked and I enjoyed some of it but the spark was pretty well gone and I was beginning to wonder if it was ever there to begin with. Last week when I was laying in the hospital, hooked up to a morphine drip, feeling vulnerable and scared and in pain and kind of harassed, I would pick up my Kindle and read and it always made me feel better. It helped me sleep in a strange bed. It calmed me down when I had a meltdown. I read to LM when we were having skin-to-skin time.
I started reading War and Peace on my Kindle at night at the beginning of February. This week I read as much as I had up to the point that I went into the hospital. I went from 15% to 31%. I’m really, really enjoying it and LM seems to enjoy it too. (Hubby commented that I was filling his head with drivel but he hasn’t broken out the Tolkien yet so his opinion doesn’t matter.)
Now that I am really into the reading of W&P, I am having an easier time keeping characters straight and I really care about them. I love the scenes at home, not on the battlefield, but even the war stuff has the ability to draw me in. This morning (3 AM feeding) a character died who I adored and then I realized that I adore most of the characters, even for their flaws. Way to go, Tolstoy. I think I get it now.
This week I imagine that I’ll read even MORE than 15%. Hubby is back to work and the TV is off. I’ll readily admit to watching with him once in a while. Do you know why? Because time with the people I love is important. And right now I am lucky enough to live in a house with a husband and a baby and four cats who I love like ridiculously.