Ahhhh, the miracle of life. The breastfeeding journey. That liquid gold. The cure for everything – from hunger to acne to third degree burns. We are all very aware that the ONLY way to sustain your baby (if you CARE at all about your baby) is by breastfeeding them. If this is news to you or if you’ve been *cough* using alternative *gasp* forms of milk… Please just let the internet know and someone will step up and shame you back into being a good mother. Typically, the only acceptable way this miraculous act should come to an end is by a freak accident that severs your breasts from your body (obviously try everything to re-attach – for breastfeeding’s sake) or when your child can articulate in full sentences that he adores this time together, but he would like to start eating sandwiches. If these events do not occur, it is your duty – nay, your privilege – to persevere no matter the circumstances.
Unfortunately – much to everyone’s disappointment, I have never felt thrilled about the prospect of severed breasts and it turns out your son doesn’t need words to express he wants that sandwich and he wants it now. I also have this bizarre respect for personal choice and preserving mental health at all costs… An unpopular opinion to be sure, but there it is.
I have been very blessed by the ease of my breastfeeding journey – after slamming up against one painful and engorged hurdle (tears, blood, syringes, dark thoughts, PROFESSIONAL HELP) – we were back in business and it was smooth sailing going forward. We have breast fed for almost eleven months, using formula when Mum isn’t around, Mum is tossing back some drinks or Mum is straight up just Not. Feeling. It. *GASP*CHOKE*SPLUTTER* DID SHE JUST SAY SOMETIMES SHE DOESN’T FEEL LIKE GIFTING HER BOOBS TO HER PRECIOUS BABE!? SHOULD I COMMENT PUBLICLY ‘Oh, poor baby!’ OR SOMETHING EQUALY PASSIVE AGGRESSIVE!? Oh you got that right, Karen. Not feeling it. Save your passive aggressive comments for when you encounter a true emergency – like an adorable video of a dog licking a baby.
My breastfeeding experience has been a smooth ride… But far from an enjoyable one. I know many mums find feeding to be a bonding experience… One that they mourn when it’s over. Personally? Can’t wait for it to be over. Here are five reasons why:
- I have come to resent my very curious and social breastfeeder. Hard to believe, as what is not to love about a very mobile child squirming against your lap, feeding for six seconds and then cliff diving backwards so he can take in/interact with his environment. I want to support his curious nature… I also want to avoid spraying milk all over the elderly man beside us.
- I have this fantasy of becoming more than ‘boobs’. I watch my son settle and cuddle with my husband and if I naively attempt to do the same, he morphs into a bucking/searching/frothing/desperate/wild animal who resents my very existence if I choose to EVER withhold The Nectar.
- Nipples were never required to have ‘snot-masks’. They just never were. *Sobs quietly*
- I take issue with breastfeeding a person who bites down gently on the breast that feeds him, makes direct eye-contact with the giver of milk, and then continues to bite down – maintaining sadistic eye-contact at all times. It’s extremely unnerving – oh, also effing painful.
- I’m very much looking forward to reclaiming my physical self. I’m all for sharing, but when you are constantly doing someone ‘a favour’ and you are left with a squirmy, whiney, nipping, insatiable base jumper – having your body parts all to yourself starts to look pretty divine.
Breast-fed, formula-fed, feed-your-baby-like-a-mama-bird-fed… Your baby thriving? You thriving? Yes? Amazing. Also? None of my business.