My tongue is in my hand…

So glad I have a blog, that very few people read.

Posted on: February 24, 2010

I have a different kind of blog tonight. Tonight, I am glad I have a place to blog because I have a string of thoughts going through my head that I’d much rather just editorialize than get into a conversation about at this point. Besides the fact that there is not one to have this conversation with, at least right now.

A friend of mine joined a group on facebook. It is this group:

Hey Facebook, breastfeeding is not obscene! (Official petition to Facebook)

I was curious, so I went to the group. I scrolled through hundreds of pictures, read comments, browsed discussions. And I can’t shake this feeling. It’s an uneasy feeling.

I did not nurse, at all. I did not want to nurse, at all. I do not regret this at all. Because I knew that I so strongly opposed leaching my child to my breast that it would not be beneficial. Even so, I researched before making this decision, just to be sure, and felt that ultimately, I would not be doing my daughter a major disservice by not breastfeeding. When I gave her a bottle, I would hold her to my chest, let her cheek rest on my skin. I never propped her bottle and walked away. She also stopped taking a bottle around 10 months. I felt like this skin contact in the early months was the most important part of the feeding process (besides actually eating, you know?).

I almost always consider emotional health first in any situation, but particularly with parenting. So I felt comfortable with this. I didn’t feel that I was depriving her physical or mental health benefits in the long run either, truthfully. I feel like I nurtured these things by not baby talking her, challenging her, and not keeping her in a sterile environment, and feeding her a variety of solids. Natalie went with me everywhere, I didn’t make people slather up with antibacterial gel before they touched her, I paid attention, I let her cry it out, I did things I felt were best to acclimate her to the world, to life, to self soothing, to me.

For what I can remember, all of my friends that have had kids so far are breastfeeding. I’m super fine with this. I was breastfed. I don’t care if they nurse in front of me. I’m all for it. It’s free. It’s natural. It’s you feeding your kid. Have at it. Your life, your kid, you choices.

It is so extremely unappealing to me though. And I KNOW that breastfeeding is the natural course of things. But no matter how many pictures I look at, I can’t shake this really disturbed feeling. First of all, it does seem related to sexuality. That is honestly one reason I did not want to breastfeed. I can’t really be okay with my breasts have multiple purposes. I KNOW. Also, it’s just too much for me, too needy, too intimate, to demanding. I hate the idea of this little person literally sucking something from my body whenever they need to eat. That makes me cringe. I do not want to be needed like that. I do not want things sucked from my body by little people. Even if they are my little people. Even if it’s food. I KNOW. I mean, if I had to do it, I would do it. But I didn’t have to. So I didn’t. Gladly.

So then, I began wondering if women who nurse are actually more sexually open or more intimate with their lovers than those who don’t. Is there any kind of connection between the two?

I’ve always considered myself open sexually and a person desiring and capable of intimacy…but am I?

It almost seems to me that I am sexually willing, open to sexuality and I am willing and open to intimacy, but I have a gap between connecting the two. I know my experiences, my train of thought, my defense mechanisms have me in that place. And perhaps, I’ve known I’ve been in that place for a while…I just wonder, how does it relate to my mothering? (Obviously subtracting the sexuality from it). Am I as intimately connected to my daughter as I “should” be? Is there really a level to which this can be measured and compared? Do I have a distance within me that I will not even allow my daughter to cross? Will this hurt her in the long run?

I’m not domestic. I can’t really find it within me to give a shit about “homey” things on a regular basis. Yea, yea, I want my house to be clean, comfortable, safe. I want it to be full of things that reflect my life and make me feel “at home”. I want to eat decently ( most of the time) and don’t mind cooking when I feel like it and can take my time and enjoy it. But life is so big, so much other stuff comes first, stays forefront in my mind. I find it much more important to hang out with friends or family or talk or write or think or experience something than to play house.

And I’m finding, now that many of my friends are having kids and our lives are carving themselves out a little more, I’m afraid I’m being reminded again at how different I am. I don’t diminish how hard it is to be at home with your kids, to run your home while being with those kids, and never getting to have an excuse of being too busy with work, or getting a break from being mom while at work  (like I do). And on some days I think, damn, “If I could just stay home, maybe I could finally get my shit together around here!” But I know I would feel like I was wasting myself on motherhood alone. Is that horrible? Isn’t raising a child like the most important job, ever? But if that were *all* I was doing, I would be so disappointed and dissatisfied with myself. This is in no way to say that’s how other moms should feel, seriously. My mom stayed home. I would never say she should be disappointed with this, she was a major player in what was a kick ass childhood for me. But I would say she needed more. She needed to be more than “mom” for 20 years.I believe she would be happier now, if she had pursued something for herself beyond motherhood then. And honestly, I think that would have only done great things for us as well. The better you feel personally, the more you can offer. And maybe that’s where I am when I make whatever decisions I make that don’t seem very “mom”. I know I have to do what’s best for me if I’m going to be worth a fuck as a mom.

Maybe part of it is that feminist in me. I don’t want to depend on someone else to bring in money. I can do that. I will do that. I also don’t need anyone else to run my home. I can do that. I will do that. As I see fit. Maybe it’s just my pretty fierce sense of independence. Maybe it’s the overachiever in me. Maybe it’s ADHD. I know it’s not just that I want to be making a change in the community because if I were an at home mom I could be volunteering like crazy and involved in so many things around me…so… maybe I’m just me.

I love my daughter. I loved her before I met her, before she was formed in my womb. I want to teach her to be loving, kind, compassionate, full of belief, and joy and peace. I want her to be strong, to be able to pick herself up when she falls down, to be able to reach out to someone else who has fallen down. I want her to be able to ask for help, to be connected to a large community. I want her to seek out her dreams, to be active in creating the life she wants. I want her to make her own decisions, with intelligence and passion. I want her to seek guidance and wisdom. I want her to know I love her, deeply and fiercely and to the very best of my ability , all the time, every second of her life, screw ups and successes all the same. I want her to have fun, to breathe and live and enjoy life, no matter what comes her way. I want her to be able to make the best out of situations, to know obstacles are opportunities. I want her to have intimate relationships. I want her to never settle for other’s standards, but to seek her own.  I want her to accept love, to claim hope, to possess peace, to ride joy. I want her to look at my life and admire it more than she criticizes it.

This is why I needed to write tonight. To get here.  Who cares if I formula fed and am made uneasy by breastfeeding. Who really gives a damn? This previous paragraph is where my heart is, where my intention as a mother is. And I am almost positive the 10 months of bottle delivered Enfamil won’t make a goddamn difference.

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1 Response to "So glad I have a blog, that very few people read."

I just wrote this huge comment about how I was working at quiznos the first time i saw a woman whip it out and pop it in and how it felt weird being in the same room but taboo is whatever society determines blah blah blah.

And then my internet went offline and I clicked submit and my browser told me to get frakked and I lost it. 😦

The short of it was that you’re the thing that decides what is and isn’t awkward or weird to you. And that she’s going to be just fine. She’s got a mother that loves her. It’s the most valuable thing in the world and the best the world is ever going to give her. Be confident in yourself. You’re an awesome possum.

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