If you choose and are able to breastfeed, during the early months of parenthood it can feel like that’s all you’re doing. Forget about sleeping or taking care of yourself; it feels like it’s never going to stop and your entire existence is now one feeding after another and you’re at your baby’s beck and call. It’s exhausting, yet all we really hear about breastfeeding is that it's "magical" and beautiful" and natural." Yes, it's all those things, but it's also tiring and being exhausted by breastfeeding a newborn doesn’t make you a bad mom or make it impossible for you to see the good, wonderful parts of breastfeeding. In fact, I’d argue the opposite to be true. Clearly you’re working (and by working, I mean lactating) your tail off, which obviously counts for something. Any effort you put into caring for your child is obviously a check in the “Good Mom” category, despite how it makes you physically and emotionally feel.
Still, the portrayals of breastfeeding moms as blissful, relaxed, and not-dying-of-thirst goddesses continue, leaving breastfeeding women to feel like they're somehow defunct if they don't love absolutely every aspect of feeding their kid. And sure, there can be moments of relaxed bliss and you are a goddess for housing and birthing and sustaining human life, but the reality of breastfeeding, at least for me, was a fluid-filled marathon of sleepless nights, which, as gross as it sounds, is the best way I can think of to describe it. I’d probably be able to get more creative, but hey, my kiddo was thirsty at an ungodly hour this morning, so that’s the best I can do.
So if you, like me, think breastfeeding is exhausting and don't absolutely love being that tired, know that you're not alone and know that you're not a bad mother. Honestly, you're a hard working mom who is exhausting herself to do what she knows is best for her kid.