In the first few days after Kiara was born, I posted on Facebook and twitter, "I always thought writing was the hardest thing. Nope. Breastfeeding is harder."
It was true, and although it got easier, those first weeks of breastfeeding drained me physically and emotionally. Now, as I struggle to get myself back to the page, I'm thinking about all of the connections between writing and breastfeeding.
1. Starting is the hardest.
I hate staring down the blank page, not knowing what to write about, or just unplugging from the internet and getting to real writing hurts.
|Where the milk goes.|
Same with breastfeeding. Getting a good latch, engorgement, and the godforsaken nipple pain! I'm already dreading having to start breastfeeding again if we have a second baby.
2. It gets easier.
Despite how awful the beginning is, thankfully writing seems to get easier once I have something written to start and the trick of stopping a writing session mid-sentence is great for getting me back into a piece.
Where blogs and books begin...
There is a learning curve for new mother and baby, but after a few weeks, we seemed to figure things out. And thank goodness.
3. The only way out is through.
If there is a problem with a work in progress, the only way to solve it is to keep writing. Read it. Reread it. Reflect on it. Revise again. Come at a different angle. Read it.
If there is a problem breastfeeding, a plugged duct or diminished supply, the solution always seems to be, keep breastfeeding. Just keep at it and it will get better.
|Where blogs and books begin...|
4. Keep at it.
No matter how long I stay away from the page, the words always seem to come. They might not be the best words, and they aren't always in the right order at first, but they come. They have yet to let me down.
Somehow the milk keeps coming. If I latch/pump, the milk comes.
Words and milk are weird like that.
They say (and they are pretty loud about it) breastfeeding is best for the baby for the first year. Well, if you're a writer and a mother, my guess is writing, even in the exhaustion of these early months, is probably best for you too. So take care mother-writers out there, whether you are breastfeeding or not.