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"Brexting? You bet I do. Every single day."

Earlier today I fleetingly entertained the thought that my mothering credentials were in tact. Believe it or not for about 15 minutes I couldn’t find a reason to castigate myself in the maternal stakes. Naturally enough I was mistaken.

Brexting was the term that brought me out of my misguided stupor. Just when I thought I was doing ok, I learn that I am guilty of brexting. Yes, I breastfeed my infant daughter while texting.

And I’ll confess: that is the least of is.

I am also guilty of branking. Of bremailing. Of bracebooking. Of branstagramming. Of brweeting. Of breading. (Also breeding). Sometimes I even speak on the phone while breastfeeding.

Basically there isn’t a single function on my phone that I don’t combine with breastfeeding.

Basically there isn’t a single function on my phone that I don’t combine with breastfeeding. (Image: Supplied)

Some argue this interferes with bonding with my baby. I’d argue the only person capable of mounting that argument is someone who has never had a baby.

Feeding a baby – with a bottle or a breast – isn’t a short, discrete once-a-day kind of task. It’s a many-many-many times a day and night proposition that takes time. Stacks of time. And despite the sheer hours that are required, life goes on.

Which is why I don’t just combine breastfeeding with my smartphone. I breastfeed while doing puzzles with my three-year-old. While doing my five-year-old’s home readers from school. I breastfeed while eating dinner. Sometimes while serving dinner. I breastfeed while watching tv, while chatting to my husband, while watching our girls scoot.

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And I don’t feel one iota of guilt about it. The truth is when I stop and think about the task of nurturing a newborn all I feel is pride. Truly. Not just in myself but in all the women I know who have done it.

If you've never done it, you've at least thought about it. (Image: Pexels/Supplied)

Nothing can prepare you for motherhood. It is the cliché to end all clichés but it’s true. Nothing can. Particularly not the giving birth and taking possession of an infant for the first time bit. It’s a physical and emotional exercise like no other. The conditions are medieval: little to no sleep, around the clock demands, no breaks, often endured in relative isolation, with the heady expectation that one is living in some blissful bubble.

And it’s largely invisible. Mums who emerge from the first six weeks in the trenches with their first baby deserve a ticket-tape parade. It’s a colossal effort that is very rarely recognised.

Which is why I was going to write an impassioned defence of mums like me who dare to brext. I was going to explain that despite the multi-tasking we still drink in our baby’s deliciousness every time we feed them. That when we’re not on our phones we are cuddling and cooing. That the sheer hours we spend feeding means we can afford a little phone time.

Mums who emerge from the first six weeks in the trenches with their first baby deserve a ticket-tape parade. (Image: Supplied)
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That our phones help us stay connected with friends, family and the outside world during a time we need those things most. That reading the news or scrolling through Instagram helps us stay awake at 3am.

That half the time we’re probably Googling “How to settle a baby”, “Is it normal that…” or watching Youtube clips on getting the latch right.

But I’m not going to. I don’t need to justify any of that and no new mum needs to read that. They know it already.

The reality is smartphones do make certain parts of having a baby simpler. They mean we have support at the touch of our fingers. They mean we can pay bills, put reminders in our diaries, record feed times, speak to friends, make plans, check up on the world, all while we are feeding our lovely living breathing babies. The value in those things cannot be understated.

So rather than defend brexting, I’m going to promote it. Anything that makes the life of a parent easier in the first year of raising a baby is something to celebrate, not castigate.

Brexting? You bet I do.

The Motherish team share their first thoughts upon seeing their new baby...

Tags: children , current-affairs , motherhood , parenting-2
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