breastfeeding, encouragement, parenting, raw reality

Sexual arousal and breastfeeding

There is this big elephant in the room. No one wants to really see it and talk about it.

Yet, it is an important subject to discuss seeing that our breasts and specifically our nipples are an erogenous zone. It is in fact VERY common for a woman to feel aroused while nursing. Some can experience orgasm. There is nothing wrong with it per se. However, the idea of it, make us cringe, feel ashamed and for sure if it happens we are not going to talk about it! Most likely a mama will promptly decide that breastfeeding is not good for her and switch to formula.

As this study says:

One issue rarely mentioned is that the breastfeeding experience is very sensuous in itself and some mothers may become aroused during breastfeeding (Hotchner, 1979Lawrence, 1989Mueller, 1985Reamy & White, 1987). This is a normal phenomenon. Yet, mothers may feel guilty if they have these feelings. Consequently, some may decide to stop breastfeeding. Should a mother decide to speak about such feelings, both lay people and health care professionals may be shocked, may ridicule her, and may even report her to child protection services (Huggins & Ziedrich, 1994).

It is a sad truth! Women are feeling guilty, thinking something is wrong with them and quitting breastfeeding for the way our bodies are wired. In breastfeeding, oxytocin and prolactin are released to help us bond with the baby. The same hormones are released when having sex to create (a different) bond with our partner.

It is important that such issues are spoken more often, especially to new mothers. It not only starts stopping stigma for having natural feelings but it prepares a mum. Knowing it might occur, would definitely help accept such feelings without fear and guilt.

However, despite accepting such feelings, they will probably still make you uncomfortable, so here are 3 tips to help if such a case occurs:

  • Stop breastfeeding for a few minutes if possible
  • Think of mundane things, like the laundry or cooking
  • Look at your child. It reminds your brain you are nursing

Women be reassured that pelvic arousal while breastfeeding, is not unnatural but normal. It does not happen often but it is still a common occurrence.

parenting, raw reality

Understanding emotions with boys

“I don’t think I am doing it right” , I hear.

“All your tips to understand my emotions and let them out are not working”, I am told.

“This is useless! I am not stopping being angry”, I listen.

But, he is not really hearing himself telling me…

“I am feeling disheartened today. It was hard at school and I feel so angry at you”

“I feel so sorry for what I told you earlier, but I truly was angry”

“I am feeling so sad and angry right now….I am not sure why!”

Yes son, boys..men…find it difficult to express and let go of their emotions and you might think you haven’t understood it, but you are doing it. I know you still don’t believe me when I tell you this, I know you expect instant results, but, it took me 35 years to get where you are now!

Be proud of yourself, you got this!

raw reality

Life can be harsh at times

Sometimes I feel I am in a fog

No matter what I do everything seems wrong.

The kids are angry and I don’t know why.

I try my best but it feels it is not enough.

I want to understand, but the fog does not lift.

Old patterns start running high again.

Disappointment, frustration and anger are welcomed back at home

Peace and joy and love have gone out of the door.

I wonder at myself. Looking drawn and tired and detached.

The face of motherhood no one wants to talk about, no one wants to see.

The face of motherhood hidden out of sight, out of fear of judgement.

discipline, positive discipline, encouragement, family life, parenting, raw reality

Sleeping the night

One of the most common question posted by parents on Breastfeeding Matters is : “When will my child sleep the night? How can I get my child to sleep the night or My child is x weeks/months old and still doesn’t sleep the night why?”

Well children are not meant to sleep the whole night and when they do….they are unwilling to do so alone for a while!

However, all children will eventually sleep the night when they are ready! Or rather, they will be good to go back to sleep alone at some point.

My youngest, B, is on his 3rd week of sleeping the night – yay! He is now 4.5 years old. If I look back on my oldest two, they slept the night a bit earlier than him. He, himself had asked to be moved into his bed and room at 2.5 years but to sleep the whole night there – it took him another 2 years! For over a year though, he’d just come to our bed at some point at night without waking us- just squeezing between us….

So there you go… now you have a perspective of when your child is mostly likely to really sleep the night!

Please don’t forget all children are different and night sleeping will vary per child and per family.

parenting, raw reality

Letting my soul speak

This morning I was feeling completely demotivated.

I did not feel like cooking, working or doing something to please me!

I felt it deep in my soul this fallout and had no idea what to do with myself (apart for scrolling social media uselessly).

But tentatively, I decided to play the piano for my own pleasure. It felt good but still in the dumps. So I went to cook and I am not sure the food will taste good parents! I could not muster any enthusiasm to preparing a loving and flavourful plate for the family. Lastly I started to work…..lastly because I was procrastinating!

I hadn’t done much work recently and with many ideas whirling yet no motivation to start it felt really difficult this morning. Yet, my heart is singing….it is feeling complete now that I got going. As I got myself to think about what I want to bring to you all, I remembered what my soul aches for. To be of service to you all and help you in this parenting gig. To guide you to a different path, that feels more wholesome for your family. A path were it need not be riddled with guilt but with pockets of joy and peace.

discipline, positive discipline, encouragement, parenting, raw reality

Parental Win!

I read many times that you need to listen more then talk to children.

I read many times that you should not offer solutions many times and just show that you are listening without commitment of any kind, without input.

Today I realised that I am doing just that – well many a time not all the time!

I tell you parents it is tough doing this bit!! Your children tell you things (and you feel blessed that they feel comfortable enough and bonded enough that they can trust you with these feelings), and your heart breaks into a million pieces. You wish to show them the way, to lead them but you KNOW they need to get there on their own.

All you can offer is a few guiding pieces to help them with their own self-care- nothing else! and you wish to go and speak with the persons that are making them feel like that. You want to shout at them: “Look what you are doing to my child? Can’t you see?” But instead you tell them that they will find a way to figure it out. You hug them tight and let them fight with their torment, hoping and trusting that they will see how best to deal with such situation.

I realise, that most of the time we do not listen because on a deep, possibly unconscious level, we know how this will play out! We know it will be hard hearing these things and doing nothing. So we cut them short, we talk, instruct, order, advise – anything but listen….so our heart remains intact.

Yet, we forget, that for our heart to remain intact, our children are getting more frustrated because they are not feeling listened, not validated, not loved, note cared for. They feel all they do is wrong, they do not know how to take a decision, how to interact with others, how to solve conflict…….

….and in the end it is what will truly happen! They become adults who can not listen and can not take real life decisions and solve conflicts and validate feelings of others and the cycle continues to the next generation and the next.

It is tough though…..very tough!

family life, parenting, raw reality

The Perfect Mother

I remember being pregnant with my first and read blogs of parenting and believe I will be perfect just as the depicted posts showed. I forgot, that blog posts glean only on bits and pieces of the lives of people!

I remember myself being quite smug that I was near perfect with G. There were a few things you know, but in the grand scheme of things I was a perfect mum. I was also the rebel mum, because I knew no one else who breastfed, wore their child, cloth diapered and co-slept! It made me smug more then ever!!

Then came baby number 2 and the perfect mother was shattered into a million pieces. I remember pouring into books and more blogs to try understand what went wrong and how I am to right it but nothing worked!

And at that point we can despair and see ourselves as failing. But the mothering journey does not, cannot, stop that day; even though we feel we cannot continue. And it is in overcoming these moments that we find ourselves as the mothers we truly are. In these moments we have to let the perfect mother die, and embrace our quirky, impatient, silly, messy, deeply loving mother selves.

Pearce, Lucy H.. Moods of Motherhood: the inner journey of mothering . Womancraft Publishing. Kindle Edition.

It actually took years for me to let go of the perfect mother. It took years of tears and frustration to understand that the perfect mother does not exist even if it is pushed upon us in society.

In those years since, I started gathering my wisdom. I re-learnt what being a mother actually means and though I have been a mother for 10 years now, I am not an expert. I will never be an expert – at least not in the way society expects me to be.

I am a mother, struggling with the rest of you. I am a mother who has built up her wisdom bank and from it can show you some tricks that HELP to keep the chaos to the minimum; the craziness contained. I will not teach you to be good parents – because you already are! I can not teach you how to change habits – only you can do that willfully. What I can do is show you how messy being a mother is, how to right it and keep it real for your children so the bar for them isn’t unreachable but doable when their time comes to be parents.

The journey of motherhood is never ending. Our children show us our faults through spotlights so we can heal and change and embrace motherhood in all its mess and in all its glory.