This year I got the opportunity to attend a national conference. For a teacher this is often rare, so when asked I said “Yes.” Even better? It was in Orlando. So instead of attending it solo (boy did that sound attractive), I took along the whole family. After doing the important work I was there to do it was family time and for us that meant bringing a 5, a 3.5 year old and a baby not yet 6 months old to Magic Kingdom! Disney was in our five-year plan, but I’ll be honest – it was most magical and well worth the work it took to get there.
We all know vacations are a lot of work for parents. We did it all. Packing, organizing, schlepping, baby wearing, comforting, mediating, planning and plan-b’ing, but you know what I did most of all? I breastfed my baby all over Disney World. I mean it too. Holly got feedings and extra-feedings:
- On the bus we took to get to the gates of Magic Kingdom
- On the monorail we took to get closer to Cinderella’s castle
- While waiting for the Peter Pan, the Winnie the Pooh, Ariel, Pirates of the Caribbean and Buzz Lightyear ride
- In the shade at Gaston’s Tavern
- Under a poncho on a bench. Ok fine – many, many benches.
- All over Animal Kingdom (including the safari and the Baby Care Center…did you know there are Baby Care Centers there????)
- And of course in the TSA line, the waiting room and many, many times while flying among the clouds.
I’m missing some, but you get the point.
and the kicker?
To my knowledge I did not get many weird, uncomfortable or judgmental stares. I mean at some points I was actually dizzy, as I was either breastfeeding or sweating so I could have missed things, but overall Disney World may be the most comfortable place to be a nursing mom. In fact, the few times I was truly “caught” all I actually heard was a chorus of praises from other mothers about how “cool” I was. I am? Actually I am just getting by and trying to make this baby happy in 100 degree heat, but I’ll take it wherever I can get it. Plus, kudos to you for recognizing how hard this is and giving me the support I didn’t know I needed. You are actually the cool ones and I promise to pay it forward.
After we got home my husband and I were so proud of ourselves. Our kids were so happy (who wouldn’t be) and we got through it with really only positive memories (except the time we thought we lost Lucy which I AM NOT READY TO TALK ABOUT). However, I have to say I think I am also really proud of others. If people can remain unfazed while they wait next to a hot (not sexy), tired, nursing mom in line for the Winnie the Pooh ride then maybe we are a lot farther than we think.
Till next time Disney – stay cool!