Tuesday, August 9, 2011

breastfeeding part 3: wonderfully made

photo from Bellies and Babies

This is part three of my reflections on breastfeeding.  You can read part one here, and here is part two.

In part two I wrote that breastfeeding brought me back to life, and I know that it was motherhood that became the role I would most treasure and embrace, but it was breastfeeding that released the sense of inadequacy and shame that came with being female.  

I am not blaming anyone- I don't think it was a message that anyone meant to communicate- but somehow just showing up on this earth as a female often implies that we are already too much.  We are afraid of talking too much, needing too much, being too passionate, displaying too much emotion.  There are so many parts of a woman that need buried, and especially in the Church it sometimes seems like what God really wants from women is two things: to look pretty and keep her mouth shut.  I have never been very good at either.

But somehow in the act of feeding a baby I felt finally accepted- affirmed- breasts, emotions and all.  Woman are born to be too much.  God gave us deep wells of emotion, creativity, courage, passion . . . what would the world be without our too much?  Nursing a baby reveals a glimpse of it- the way God created us.  We leak life.

And yes it is good for women- (and men)- to live soberly, temperately, quietly . . . but in the way of peaceful waters that can pull great gushing buckets of love or emotion . . . femininity. . . to the surface.  Or as a woman is most discreet of the ways she is most generous, nourishing, life-giving.

Related: A Woman is Life

I love Megan's post at Sorta Crunchy, Responding to Our Ezer Calling
That Mama Bear instinct that takes over when a child is in danger, that unique sense of fulfillment you get when you empower the powerless, that overwhelming urge to stand up and fight for the one you love - all of that is inherent to the nature of women because of the way God created us! Does that not just change everything for you?


Fijufic said...

I can say that the world would be an absolutely awful place without women.

I don't pretend to understand everything about them yet I know my favorite people on the planet are my mother, wife , daughter and sister...


Ruth said...

This brought tears to my eyes. Jess, I love your blog. Every time I see you have posted I get happy.