How do you feel about the importance of breastfeeding? Do you think it matters? I’m trying really hard to keep nursing, but I’m really tired.
Nursing in Norwood
This is a very personal topic… You sound so tired. You probably need someone to let you “off the hook” and tell you that it’s OK to bottle-feed your baby and allow your spouse or other adult take over some of the baby’s care so you can rest. The fact that you are trying really hard to keep nursing, however, also tells me that it’s really important to you. If you stop doing it, therefore, you might feel like you have failed.
It is so difficult to determine the fine line between pushing yourself now, so that you can enjoy having achieved something you value, versus being a martyr to perfectionism. And I know that it’s not cut and dry.
Here’s the difference: if you push yourself out of perfectionism, your baby will sense that you’re consistently not enjoying him or her. I have seen plenty of cases where mothers couldn’t bond with their babies enjoyably because of their anxiety about “good” parenting. If you are really at the end of your rope, a prisoner to resentment and exhaustion for more than a week or two, I suggest you just let go. Let go of pride, let go of “shoulds” and let go of the goal. Many mothers find that taking warm baths with their baby, napping with their baby and gazing into each other’s eyes provides the satisfaction they need to know that they are wonderful, loving mothers.
If you push yourself out of wanting to feel successful and give your baby what the baby needs, keep going. You will feel a glow of pride, of satisfaction and success. If these feelings come, you’re on the right track. Otherwise, stop.