It's no secret that breastfeeding is wonderful and astounding and beneficial to both the mother and the baby. In fact, most women are told they should breastfeed as soon as they become pregnant, and for good reason. Still, the need to #NormalizeBreastfeeding has kept some honest conversations from occurring; conversations that are necessary; conversations that let women know that there are things no one actually likes about breastfeeding, so if they find themselves not enjoying every single aspect of feeding their child, they can know they're not alone. They're not "bad mothers" or somehow "defunct," they're just normal human beings who value space and body autonomy and, you know, sleep.
I know it's not necessarily the "right thing to say" but, in my experience, breastfeeding isn't all it's cracked up to be. The benefits are undeniable and I'm certainly glad I chose to do it. However, and like anything beneficial and helpful and pretty great, there were certain parts of breastfeeding I definitely didn't enjoy. Nobody really warned me about the not-so-fun parts, though, because encouraging women to breastfeed has become so pervasive that honest conversations about using your body to nourish another human being, have fallen by the wayside.
If I were to do it all over again, I absolutely would choose to breastfeed. However, the next time around I know I'll be better suited to deal with the ups and down of breastfeeding, because I know they actually exist. Instead of getting frustrated, I'll know that the following things will, in time and eventually, pass.