**This is an archived blog post from April 5, 2012**
Two days ago my daughter, Ava, turned two months old. In these past two months I have gone through – and still am going through – this enormous transitional period that all mothers go through after the birth of their child. This period of time can be even more life altering if they are breastfeeding and staying home with the child, as I am.
I feel compelled to speak truthfully about how I feel about these first two months with Ava, specifically involving breastfeeding – or I will use the more inconspicuous term ‘nursing’. I’ve heard from so many women, read in so many magazines and on so many websites, that nursing is such a beautiful thing and can be this amazing time for you and your baby to bond and just bask in the extraordinary sense of love between mother and child. I would like to admit I feel none of that what-so-ever.
I plan on nursing my daughter until she is at least one year old, so I have quite a way to go with this. I just can’t fool myself into thinking that I love the act of it and how much time it takes every day. I am glad to give her the perfect nutrition for her to grow healthily – not to mention all the money I am saving by not having to buy formula. However, I am a person that draws a lot of satisfaction out of my days by simply getting things accomplished. And when you are exclusively breastfeeding…good luck getting even your basic responsibilities done sometimes.
This all plays into the general misconceptions that are fed to mothers about how they should feel about their child and all that it entails. It is supposed to be magical from the moment of conception until you keel over from old age basically, right? Each stage of their life is supposed to hold illusive keys to your happiness. I find that is half true. Each stage holds its own wonder, yet it is often riddled with difficulties.
I must admit Ava’s infancy has been infinitely easier than J.J.’s, as he cried inconsolably ALL the time – probably due to sensory issues. Ava is a good baby, but she does love to be held all the time and loves the comfort of nursing on top of having a very healthy appetite. Those are the extent of my troubles with her…just her wanting to be loved really. So what is my problem? I’m a person, a complete and separate person with my own wants and needs…and I can’t help but feel discontented at times when my sense of being a complete person seems to be lost in the process of being a mother.
If I live the average life expectancy, or hopefully longer, then my current sacrifices of self and time are minute compared to the grand image of my life and those of my children’s. And I love my children more than myself…so I will continue to do what is best for them, even if that means losing a few pieces of myself in the process.