The motherhood paradox

By 09:30

I'm at Squeak's beck and call. I attend to his cries immediately. I used to take him with me wherever I went because I knew Squeak wouldn't survive without his boobies.

To the outsider, it looks like I'm that mom who never wants to leave her child. And it's true; I don't. But caring for Squeak is also a chore that I've had to do ever since he was born. That chore soon became tasks that I enjoyed doing.

But there are things that I just have to do without Squeak. I've been trying to get him to take a bottle and the easiest way to do that is to have someone else do it. If I'm within seeing or smelling distance, he will refuse the bottle because well, why must he put strange things in his mouth when the breast is right there.

So off I went to Starbucks before he got hungry. When I told some moms the story, they empathised with pity. "Shame you must have been so heartbroken." "I bet you couldn't think of anything other than your child." "You probably couldn't enjoy yourself."

Actually, I was relieved! For the first time in 4 months, I parked on the opposite end of the mall away from the stores I planned on visiting. I didn't need to map my route of things I needed to do based on stroller navigation. I walked up and down levels several times. I took my time in browsing through the menu and even had time to think about opting for a non traditional milk in my mocha latte. I had my coffee and sandwich at leisure and I could Google and tweet without distractions. I was free!

When I got home, Squeak whimpered at me as if to ask why I left him when he needed me the most. I held him so tight and gave him free reign to my bare chest. As he yelled at my boobs and tried to comfort himself, tears welled up in my eyes. How could I find relief in being away from my child whose only need was to be with me?

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