Breastfeeding is not a unique parenting experience. It’s the first give and take interaction that we have with our children. It’s not just about food. It’s a relationship. For me it was the place where I had to learn that I can’t force my children to do something and that in some ways I’m as dependent on them as they are on me (you can not force feed a baby at the breast). I learned that change is the normal state of children (breastfeeding a newborn is totally different from a 3 month old from a 9 month old from a toddler). I learned that stages of parenting end — no matter what you do (all babies wean sooner or later, easily or with tears). So when I ran across this blog post (which is not at all about breastfeeding) I thought this mama’s words were good breastfeeding advice:
We think our children and their lives are about us, when really it’s about them. And that’s where we go wrong…While having babies doesn’t come with a “contract” like marriage and business relationships, the act of conceiving, birthing, and keeping your baby creates a binding contract. You promise to love that baby unconditionally, treat it fairly, and set it free when it’s time.
Successful breastfeeding sometimes takes a lot of letting go of our own preconceptions about what mothering will be like and accepting our babies for the unique people that they are.