Every day in my life as a mother, I am reminded of all the fragility of the human body. My children are alive as they work hard at it. We do not take for granted our health. We are constantly reminded of the gift of each day. I feel that along with modelling a positive outlook on life and death, breastfeeding my children has been the best gift to them. The love I feel through the connection of nursing is deep and real and draws me closer to them than I ever could have imagined. It has opened the door to a lifetime of attachment and closeness. There is no perfect - no perfect life, no perfect family, no perfect body.
Breastfeeding can be hilarious and awkward and messy. It can come along with conflict, exhaustion, elation, intense joy, physical pain, sogginess, resentment, wet t-shirt contests, judgement, beauty, and loveliness. Choosing to nurse my children has been a choice to accept my body as is and feel proud of the way it's built and what it's capable of. Before children, I spent a lot of time worrying about where I fit into ideals of women. I wanted to be athletic and soft, buxom and skinny, considered funny, smart, and hot.
Now, even though I still care, I am more than a woman with a body, I am a woman who created two lives, grew them and nourished them, loved them deeply and gave all I could to them. I have given myself a great gift, too. I accept myself and my complicated contradictions as I want my daughters to accept themselves and their beautiful healthy bodies.