It´s almost 6 months ago that I stopped breastfeeding. After stopping, the only random thought I often have is that now I understand why people keep going for years and years because honestly, what you´re left with after stopping is a pretty sad situation. Yes, you have your “freedom” back: no more pumping machines, no more looking at the clock to see if a tiny glass of wine is allowed, no more feeding or pumping schedules making your working life quite a logistical nightmare… But where a lot of people say “you have your body back”, I am not sure I agree, because that part of my body is almost non-existent now!
Dear single mom,
I have always had this special admiration for you for doing most of this motherhood thingy alone, but this month that admiration went to a whole new level. Let´s face it, being a mom can be freaking hard and I really had to adjust to this new life but I did have someone to share the load with. You probably didn´t, single mom.
Being a first-time mom can be hard, freaking hard! You have no clue what is going on, what you need to do, why your baby is crying this time and how you can keep functioning on 3hours of sleep a night. Everything is new, you don´t have a minute to yourself anymore and you can´t remember the last time you showered or got properly dressed. So yeah, being a new mom can be quite overwhelming!
It took me quite a while to get breastfeeding well established and to really start enjoying it. In the first months it was quite difficult (understatement..), not only painful (don´t get me started on cracked nipples or mastitis) but also the pressure of an underweight baby who needed to eat very often (and took his sweet time meaning you were basically only having 1 hour breaks in between feeding sessions) and not knowing how much milk you actually have and whether he was eating enough. By now I can say I loved breastfeeding but it took quite some tears and screams to get there.
A few months after the bichin was born someone gave me a (Dutch) book called “This is the book for parents with a life” (Dit is het boek voor ouders met een leven) which in a brutally honest and direct way describes how radically your life is going to change. Boy, I wished I had read this before becoming a mom!