Aly's Angle: Phone Timeouts with a Baby


9d281821-bd88-4304-9365-73b97b51cf02Aly’s Angle: Phone Timeouts with a Baby

It is 3 a.m. as I look down at Cooper’s adorable mouth and listen to her grunts and squeaks as we nurse in her dimly lit nursery. I remember finishing the final touches of that same nursery just 10 weeks ago, eager for her arrival. I struggled to envision how life would change, but I knew it would.

I was so curious as to whom our daughter was going to look like: Mom or Dad? Was I going to be a natural or struggle at this whole mommy thing? The answers to these questions were complete unknowns as I touched my oversized belly. Now as I feel her soft feet and watch her fingers moving while she eats, I reflect on how lucky I am to have my growing little family.

It is a crazy feeling, described by many mothers I encountered while pregnant: the feeling of pure love for someone you have only known for days/weeks. It speaks to the power of selfless service and how, when serving someone else essentially 24/7, your love for them grows exponentially. My time with Cooper thus far has been exactly that: servicing my little growing daughter to the best of my ability. When she cries, I pick her up and offer snuggles, hugs and kisses and, most importantly, my boob. When she smiles, I give her a supportive and overjoyed grin right back. Along with my husband, Cory, when she’s dirty, we change her. We do everything possible to provide for her at the expense of sleep.

Two things in my life have changed:

I can’t sleep longer than four hours straight. I either feel the need to check to make sure she is breathing or my breasts hurt, telling me that she needs to nurse.

I am forced to slow down because of nursing. During the day, Cooper eats almost every two hours for about 20 minutes. That is about 2½ hours of nursing during the day, where I need to stop what I am doing and feed her. That does not include the two to three times she wakes up in the middle of the night.

So what are my multitasking options during three hours of nursing?

  1. Eat/drink

  2. Watch TV

  3. Scroll on my phone

  4. Talk on the phone

  5. Play on my phone (apps)

  6. Respond to emails on my phone

  7. Best option: Don’t multitask at all. Be present in the moment of nursing and connect with my daughter.

As you can tell, many of my activities while nursing involve my phone, so this week’s #bebetter52 challenge has inspired me to put my phone aside, especially during nighttime feedings. I have learned that you will never regret the time not on your phone. It is meditative, liberating and allows you to be present. The inability to move around while nursing has forced me to be present.

Without my phone next to me, there is nothing I can do but connect to the reality of motherhood. To be completely honest, a couple of times I have been so at peace thinking about Cooper and Cory that I shed tears of happiness. None of those moments could have happened if I were scrolling on Facebook or Instagram.

I am not perfect, and my reality doesn’t allow me to be without my phone at every feeding. I am now a mom passionate about my family, in addition to being passionate about my work. So during the day some feedings involve phone calls and emails.

But to the best of my ability, I want to carve out a couple of moments daily when I am nursing and playing with Cooper without my phone nearby. I never want my daughter to know the back of my phone more then my face. I want her to get to know my eyes and smile. I want us to grow up talking to each other instead of sitting in the same room silently distracted by our phones.

I am grateful for this week’s Be Better challenge. #bebetter52