As my regular readers will know, I suffered terribly with breastfeeding guilt after not managing to feed J. Though I only managed to feed N for a few weeks and it was quite upsetting for me to stop even though it was my decision, I haven’t suffered with it half as much. One thing I have suffered with though, is breastfeeding envy.
As the definition above goes, I definitely don’t agree with the latter in this respect – I don’t wish that anyone else lacks it and cannot do it as it is a horrible feeling when you can’t. The former though is certainly true for me.
I so desired to just be able to do it this time. Well, not even ‘just do it’; even if it took a few days. I was still struggling after weeks. It just didn’t come natural to me. Or N. Though the times we did manage it, it felt completely natural.
It upsets me when I see that people that seem to take to it like a duck to water. Like it is so easy for them. Natural. Like they just never get that feeling of failure. That they don’t even have to try.
I realise that maybe, just maybe, they have struggled but don’t tell anyone on the outside. But then there are those who tell everyone just how easy it was for them. (Here I will add that nobody has ever made me feel purposely inferior, it’s just something in my mind that tells me I am).
Every time I see someone breastfeeding, I am overcome with a mixture of feelings. Happiness; that their child is getting the most natural food and that they are doing the most natural thing. Disappointment. In myself, for the fact that I quit, again. Envy. Because one thing that is supposed to be so natural, just didn’t come natural for me when I so desired it to.
I’m not sure I will ever be able to brush this feeling off.
Guilt, yes, in time.
Envy, I just don’t know.