No one would breastfeed for a year (which is really just the minimum recommendation) if we could not continue with our lives while doing so. If we were stuck at home, unable to go shopping, eat at restaurants or play with our older children, it would be impossible.
I've always known that becoming a parent changed your life, but I didn't realize how until I had my own child. There's a big secret that nobody tells you before you have kids: Parents have superpowers.
I know what you're thinking. We were together every night for a week and then I disappeared. How could I just break it off like I did? The long and short of it is that you all got me through a really awful transition in my life. To be blunt, I used you. Let me explain.
In the night, when you're sitting on the hard floor with your crying baby and your crying self and your despair because you want to just stop it but you don't know how, I wish you could zoom out and see that you're one of an ocean of mamas rocking on the floor in the night.
For the first year of my daughter's life, everything was big: big love, big frustration, big anxiety, big mood swings, big me. Not since I was a teen had I been so transfixed by my own now-shriveled navel.
I'm one of those women who has "prescription sleep aids," but I'm careful not to take them every night. Since my daughter was born, eight years ago, I've slowly cobbled together a group of coping mechanisms to get me through the night.
I'm well aware that some people get uptight when other adults help with the parenting. There's a conventional wisdom that folks have the right to raise their children however they see fit. In fact, I'm sure many people see this as a fundamental right of being a parent. Sorry, but it's not.
My third child was still a toddler when it became clear he was the punker his older siblings weren't. If they said something that even slightly smacked of pandering to his diminutive size or age, he'd look them right in the eye and tear up the artwork they'd just brought home.
Traditional monikers like Fido have virtually disappeared, to be replaced by popular people names. In fact, looking at the list of top names for dogs might make your head spin as it's so similar to the top babies' names lists.