Is Nursing Making Me Crazy?

Since having my first baby three years ago, I’ve had my ups and downs with nursing.

When we first brought Henley home, I felt I had absolutely nothing to offer. I was chapped, bleeding, and I never heard her swallowing anything. She was HANGRY and I was exhausted. With some help from my sister-in-law who is a milk machine, I figured it out. After going back to work part-time, my supply went down and we decided to switch to formula. In some way, I felt like a failure for not being able to do what I felt my body should have been able to do. But we survived, and she’s a thriving three and a half-year-old.

Fast forward a year when I brought home my second, Ashton. Things were pretty similar, and I did it as long as I could. But something was also very different with him. I felt an anxiety that I never experienced when I was nursing him. The whole time, I felt nauseous and tense. My toes would curl and my shoulders were up to my ears. I felt so uncomfortable! Like I said, I did it as long as I could, and again, I felt horrible when we decided to formula feed him. But he was happy and fed, and I was able to feel like a normal person again.

Fast forward to yet another year when we brought home our third, Marlie. Nursing was a bit easier and she was good at it. I was able to relax and didn’t feel the anxiety I felt with Ashton. Yet, she got thrush after about a month and I then got mastitis. Holy smokes. Talk about pain. It started with flu-like symptoms and then came the intense pain when nursing. That cleared up with antibiotics and I have to be honest, that whole ordeal made me not want to nurse anymore. We switched to formula and all was well.

Enter baby number four, Addi. She and I clicked, and nursing was a breeze. I fully enjoyed it! Until I felt like I was losing my mind every time I sat down to feed her. 

Yes, I have four children under three. You can imagine the chaos. You can imagine the fighting, screeching, and constant demands. You can also imagine how hard it is to sit down 784 times a day to nurse a hungry and growing newborn. I feel amazing for being able to feed her, yet I also feel overwhelmed and out of control. Because the other three caught on that I am basically helpless and full of threats {if you hit her one more time, you’re getting a timeout!} every time I sit down to feed the little one. They know I won’t get up to follow through!

I didn’t put two and two together until recently. I noticed that I was feeling out of control in regards to my house and kids every time I sat down to nurse. I thought I was just an angry mom who felt the need to shout and threaten my kids with meaningless consequences to silly toddler arguments. WHY did I care so much that they dumped out every block we own onto the floor, or want to burst into tears every time I sat down to nurse and the other three ALL needed a refill in their sippy cups?

I felt handicapped. When my husband is home I feel like I’m just barking commands that I can’t currently get to. {Marlie needs her cup! Ashton is about to fall! Henley needs her butt wiped! I just got spit-up on, grab me a towel!} And I feel horrible! My wonderful husband does his best to keep up with me, and each day I’m trying to learn to let the little things go.

If you’re someone experiencing these feelings and struggles, know you aren’t alone. I apologize that this isn’t one of those articles with a list of things to try to fix it. It’s a battle I face every day. But, I’d LOVE to hear from you. If you’ve felt or are feeling this way, know that you’re not alone.

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2 Responses to Is Nursing Making Me Crazy?

  1. Lisa September 27, 2017 at 4:39 pm #

    I hear you! I am going on #5 in 7 years (I will have 3 under 3 and a 5 and 7 year old come April). I breastfed every baby but am wondering if I am crazy to consider not doing it past six months with this next one. I try to set the kids up with some busy work before nursing or letting them watch a ‘quick’ show or threaten them if they come in while I’m putting the baby down but really I’m not sure how effective any of that is. While Baby #4 latched quickly even after my c-section he was a sloppy eater to begin with and now is one distracted baby. I know the distractions will be worse with my next one. So, I don’t have any solutions either but solidarity sister! And good job having 4 under 3!

    • lynziegrimshawsorenson November 7, 2017 at 10:03 am #

      Thank you!! It’s always nice to hear you’re not the only one struggling. As terrible as that sounds!! I hope it all goes well for you. The kids all adjust eventually, but there are still always moments where I’m about to pull my hair out!