Read this on galpod.com.
For my research, I was looking through The Attachment Parenting Book By Sears and Sears. It was the closest I've ever been to throwing a book across the room. I felt anger, real anger, at written words. My first reaction was that there's absolutely no research. Sure, there's a lot of research about attachment, but attachment and attachment parenting are two very different things (you can read previous railings here).
Then, I stopped. I wondered why was it that I felt such strong emotions? I think it's because I've felt betrayed by all these books and parenting trends that promised maternal bliss. The truth is that young mothers face impossible choices, impossible expectations, and then they are abandoned. What if you don't feel complete bliss every time you nurse your baby? Are you a bad mother? A bad woman? A bad person? Those books made me feel all of the above. Everyone--books, nurses, lactation consultants--all said that I should just give it time, try again, have patience.
I nursed both my kids until they were nearly a year old. With my first, I had severe pain, cracked and bleeding nipples, and we never got a good latch, not for long. It came and went, and up until he stopped nursing on his own when he was 11 months, I was still having sharp pangs of pain every time I stepped out of the shower. But I didn't feel like I had the right to stop nursing him, not when "breast is best". Luckily for me, my second came not long after, and I knew what I was doing a bit better. I'm not advocating not trying, but our society shames new mothers into hurting themselves, ignoring their own needs, cancelling themselves for their children. That's unhealthy, unsustainable, and really unneccessary.
Here's something that will not be surprising if you ever raised kids: motherhood is not complete bliss all the time. Even if you chose to be a mother, even if you love your kids more than anything else (I firmly believe most parents do), even if you feel that being a mother is the reason you were put on this earth. Kids are demanding and ungrateful and--let's be honest--aren't great conversationalists, at least in the first few years. What frustrated me (and still does, apparently) is that, at least in my experience, these feelings were not "allowed". They were glossed over, denied, or belittled. But these are legitimate feelings that I daresay most mothers feel at some point.
There's apparently a lot I have to say about this, and I might return to this in the future. In the meantime, I would love to hear your thoughts and experiences if you'd like to share them.
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