I’ve been a mom for a little over six weeks now, and I’ve experienced numerous joys that come along with a new baby. Holding my daughter, seeing her smile, hearing her adorable baby noises, and most of all seeing the love between her and my husband when they look at one another. She can’t even sit up by herself, and already I find myself thinking that she’s growing way too quickly.
I’ve chosen to breastfeed my daughter both because I feel it is the best thing for her and because I don’t see any reason to buy formula when my body already produces food for her, naturally and for free. Before I made this decision, I did a lot of reading and talking to other mothers about breastfeeding. Many of them talked about the health benefits, but what came up more often was how much I would love nursing because it is a time to relax and bond with my baby. “It was my favorite part of the day!” one mom raved.
I have a confession to make: I don’t like nursing. Granted, my daughter is not a very good nurser. She has problems latching and staying latched. She is easily distracted and often falls asleep. Rather than a calm, enjoyable time, feeding her is almost always a battle. It is not relaxing. But even on the rare occasion she isn’t fidgety and stays awake for an entire feeding, I simply don’t enjoy it.
This causes me to feel some guilt. Am I doing something wrong? Am I somehow depriving my daughter of some special connection with me because of my own attitude? Am I a terrible mother? Alright, I know that’s a bit extreme, but my exhausted, hormonal self isn’t always reasonable.
So, there it is. I love my baby, but nursing to me is just another necessary-but-no-fun parts of taking care of her, like changing diapers. Actually, I’d rather change a nasty diaper. At least that’s quick, and I can always ask daddy to do it.