I am a run-ragged mother of two toddlers and one tiny, precious nursing baby. She is a very content, happy baby- except when it comes to nursing. She doesn’t want to nurse in public. Or in front of her siblings. Or while I hold her. In fact, she won’t eat at all, unless I am lying down to feed her. She won’t eat if she can tell I’m reading or holding my phone. She won’t eat unless I lie there, doing nothing.
Which got me to thinking,
“Man! This is relaxing! I LOVE laying down while I nurse. It’s like a mini break or tiny vacation. Like, I can almost take a nap and not even feel guilty!”
Which led to a simple hypothesis.
What if… we were made to nurse that way? What if….. God knew what an exhausting ordeal childbirth would be. What if He knew mothers would be up all night feeding, swaddling, rocking, and changing their babies, all the while expected to do our normal duties during the day?
Could He, perhaps, have engineered us so that being a mother of an infant comes with built-in breaks? Time so that we could nap and relax in the midst of all of our duties?
Because, like many women I know, I have a hard time taking care of me. My kids? No problem. Husband? Of course! Neighbors? Friends? Acquaintances? Random people at the grocery store?? You’d better believe I’m sharing meals, baked goods, babysitting, and being friendly and helping out every person I possibly can. It’s easy to make time to help another person.
But myself? Permananet back burner.
And could it be that God, knowing the proclivities of women, knowing our desire to nurture and love, made a way for us to take a break without guilt? Because it’s difficult to feel guilty about taking care of your baby.
So what if…. What if those nursing breaks were created to help us, too? Allow us to rest and recharge. Because if I’m nursing laying down, you’d better believe it’s not too tough to get a moment or two of shut-eye.
And yes, I know the battle cry that comes from this. “TIME? I don’t have time to just lay down every time my baby’s hungry! What about my other kids? Other duties? Internet? E-mail? I CAN’T just LAY DOWN and REST while feeding my baby?!” And perhaps it takes a bit, just a bit, of planning to give yourself a break while feeding your baby.
But maybe, just maybe, God wants us to have a moment of rest when we feed those little ones. To recharge. To breathe. Nursing or bottle feeding, perhaps He is OK with me napping.
And maybe I should be OK with that, too.