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Most of what I share is factual information and research based education with a little of my personal experiences sprinkled in.
That’s changing today. Not forever. Just today.
Today, I’m going to be transparent. Today, I’m going to be real.
I am sometimes considered “one of those” breastfeeding moms. Super pro-boob. People assume that I automatically judge a mom holding a bottle (I don’t, by the way). People assume I love breastfeeding with my entire body, heart, and soul.
And I do.
But there are days. Days like today. Days when I just want to say “F*** it” and mix up a bottle of formula.
See, my four month old seems to be going through yet another growth spurt, plus he’s easily distractible and needs help focusing on nursing. The past 48 hours he has nursed more than a newborn it seems.
My boobs are tired. My nipples hurt.
Add in a two year old who thinks he needs to nurse every time the baby does…
Now, I’ve nipped that in the bud and I limit him to about 3-4 times a day (morning, bedtime, and maybe once or twice during the day if he’s having a rough day). But last night, for some reason, he insisted on nursing about 3 times. The baby nursed about 4 or 5 times between 10 and 6.. So you do the math.
Add in the fact I’m trying to pump because I didn’t build a “just in case” stash this time, and I’m going to be gone for most of the day Saturday, and I’m ready to explode. See, I normally am someone who can pump about 5 ounces in 2 minutes. However, with the frequent nursing that’s not so much the case now. Then there's the fact my flanges are too big, and I am not sure I have time to order smaller ones. I’m lucky to get an ounce or two total in a pumping session. The issue is it’s almost impossible for me to add in pump sessions on top of frequent nursing and dealing with an infant and toddler. I need a second set of hands… so the only time I get to pump is when my husband is home in the evening and *someone* is cluster feeding already… I feel like I dropped the preparedness ball. I feel like I should have planned better.
It’s hard. It’s frustrating. I know my body is doing it’s job, but some days it feels like it isn’t. Some days it feels like it’s just too much. Some days I just want to run away and never breastfeed again. I’m exhausted. Physically and emotionally. But aren't we all?
Then.. As I dreadfully sigh, about to nurse Baby Bear once again, I look down and see those big blue eyes staring back at me saying, “Thank you, Mommy, I love you,” as he wraps his little hand around my finger and so eagerly, and happily drinks up. And in that moment, I remember that This Is Motherhood; acknowledging challenges, but toughing them out for your little one. Feeling… feeling so much...so much love and awe at the same time as you want to hide. But love wins this battle.
One day... One hour... one minute at a time...
Pushing through this aversion, or whatever you want to call it isn’t going to kill me. It’s going to be hard, but I’ve worked through much harder challenges to get where I am. This baby is what matters. This breastfeeding relationship does matter to me. It is important to me. And I can keep on keepin’ on.
But damn. Sometimes Breastfeeding is Hard. Sometimes Motherhood is Hard. Sometimes Life is Hard. But that’s okay. I’m going to take it one day… one hour… one minute at a time. Because that’s the example I want to be for my kids. I don’t give in just because something sucks sometimes (haha - literally and figuratively). And that’s part of what breastfeeding is about right? Mothering through breastfeeding. It’s not just feeding your baby. It’s so much more. So. Much. More. And I’m just going to keep that in mind today, each time Baby Bear latches on. Each time I turn on that pump. I will tell myself that this won’t last forever. And this won’t ruin my day if I don’t let it. I think.
So, I will nurse on.
Why am I telling you all this? Because I want you to know this is normal. This is okay. It is okay to hate breastfeeding sometimes, or even all the time. I want you to know that even the most rah-rah “Boobies for All” moms struggle with these feelings sometime. You are not alone. You are a beautiful and strong warrior for pushing through those emotions, because they are some of the most complex emotions a parent can feel, it seems.
Please, do me a small favor and share this so that another mom out there knows she is not alone on this journey.
Tell me about how you pushed through aversions. I could use a little encouragement, and I know I’m not the only one.
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