Dates, Work Trips and Breast Milk – OH MY!
Posted By: Mike Schaffer
Your eyes are not deceiving you! Mike Schaffer is here to provide our first-ever male breastfeeding perspective.
Anyone thinking about having a child should know one thing. (Well, there are obviously MANY things to know, but only one pertains to this blog post, k?)
You will be a parent first – and everything else second.
Love spending quality alone time with your partner? Enjoy random nights out with friends? Do you go on frequent trips for work?
Every one of those items is much more difficult when you have a baby.
Life is a constant tangle of logistics, and when you add in breastfeeding, including pumping, storing, defrosting, bottling, transporting and actual feedings, it only gets blurrier.
However, all is not lost.
Date night can still be on, but with two options.
1) You take the baby to the [fill in the blank: French restaurant, double-feature at the movies, ice skating rink, etc.].
2) You get a babysitter.
Option #1 sounds great, but you will likely only make that mistake once. Caring for a baby, especially in unfamiliar territory, can be a messy situation. Literally.
So, that leaves you with Option #2: The Babysitter.
You and your partner must have some keen self-awareness about what you want from a babysitter. Some people will trust a neighborhood teen with their baby. Some people stick with family.
Luckily for us, we’ve got heaps of family in the area, so we can leave our 7-month old with a relative whenever we need to.
Preparing food for the baby (and preparing the sitter for feeding the baby) takes some time, but is well worth it.
Days or weeks before a family member will be alone with the baby, we have them come over to our house for an orientation, of sorts. We walk them through all of Hava’s stuff – toys, changing area and how to feed her, from how to warm a partially frozen bottle properly to how to minimize gas-inducing air bubbles.
On the big night out, we leave pre-made bottles in the fridge, check in a dozen times, and try our best to have a great evening just the two of us.
It can be stressful, but while we are parents first, my wife and I are partners second.12:12pm on Thursday January 26
Taking a baby on a date night can work well for many families. It is good that you have figured out something that works for you, but "checking in a dozen times" would make our evening a lot less enjoyable. We have found many very nice places that we feel comfortable taking our baby on "baby dates". I think that implying that taking baby out is a "mistake" is short changing babies and families and adds to the cultural pressure that mamas MUST leave their babies -- pressure which can start almost as soon as they come home from the hospital. There are many families who are not willing or able to leave their little ones even when the babies are much older.