Breastfeeding Quiets the Multiple Minds

Parvati Breastfeeding Ganesha

Parvati Breastfeeding Ganesha

I was feeling stupid in the middle of the room with martini-drinking, well-coiffed, pencil-skirted women. They had the vocabulary for our conversations readily available to them. I needed an extra tick or two just to recall non-child words for contemporary issues. And it was reflected on the faces of the women I was talking with. I noticed that I was subtly being cut out of the conversation. Even though I could hit the occasional lob, I wasn’t worth serving to because I was an inevitable ace for the other side of the net.

I went home dejected with a serious blow to my ego. I couldn’t recall the parts of my brain being excised, but they were no longer there for me. My experience felt expanded, yet my ability to think with facility had been pruned.

But, then I realized that the flip side of this was that I wasn’t able to sleep some nights because I had so much on my mind. When I focused on it, I saw that my simultaneous processing power far outreached anything I was remotely capable of even comprehending in my pre-child days.

I remember feeling overwhelmed then, but it was nothing compared to the amount of things plates I had to keep spinning after children. I was the server instead of the user.

Aside from not being able to sleep, another downside to this multiplicity is that I have trouble being present with my children at times. Fortunately, I have a built-in meditation timer. That’s where breastfeeding comes in. It is a periodic, enforced time to sit and just be. Both my sons and I slow down then physically and emotionally reconnect.

It’s a reboot to update the software.

I believe in a multivariate universe where each individual’s voice has intrinsic value. I value the pencil-skirted, martini drinkers for their whipsmart tongues. I bring a different approach to the conversation now. It may not always be honored or even heard by others, but I don’t really find that important to me anymore. I’ve got too many other things on my mind.

And the precious programmed breastfeeding time to deeply inhale of the many meanings of what is significant.

9 thoughts on “Breastfeeding Quiets the Multiple Minds

  1. This is a wonderful post. You articulated the feeling of being in a situation like that better than I ever could. I know that feeling – the fogginess that settles in like a haze and prevents you from really being present.

    Now that my breastfeeding days are done, I find myself missing my pumping breaks more than ever. Not only were they a way for me to stay connected with Levi, they were also much-needed downtime for mama.

    Thanks for linking up to the hop. I hope you’ll join in again this week.

  2. I found myself with an acute case of “mama brain” about two months after my boys were born. I knew I couldn’t easily pull up the words I wanted, I knew that I couldn’t uphold my end of a whip-smart conversation, and I had a job interview! Luckily, the Universe’s plans didn’t line up with mine, and all settled into place with me as a stay at home mom. Whew!

    I’ve also found that I much prefer the conversations I have with other nursing mamas… sometimes even while nursing! They feel slower but also more deliberate, with time to breathe and think built in.

    Thanks for a great post!

    • Thank you for commenting, Mama Mo. I hadn’t thought of that, but now that you mention it, I have come to truly enjoy the more gentle paced conversation with other nursing moms. It’s always a pleasure to talk with someone also experiencing those wonderful prolactin and oxytocin feelings.

  3. “time to deeply inhale of the many meanings of what is significant.” Gave me the chills.

    I find, too, that I am a much better listener now in those situations with martini-drinking, pencil-skirted women. I no longer babble, but I listen and speak when I can actually find the words to put together. And it’s nice not to always be giving my point of view and opinion anymore. Having children (and nursing them) has made me more patient and a better listener for the reasons you describe in your post!

  4. “Fortunately, I have a built-in meditation timer. That’s where breastfeeding comes in. It is a periodic, enforced time to sit and just be. Both my sons and I slow down then physically and emotionally reconnect.”

    I love this!

  5. Oh Zoie, I totally agree with you here! In the past , it was ME as the one cutting someone else out of a conversation because I assumed she would have nothing relevant to add. And now to be on the receiving end of the cold shoulder is sometimes a huge blow to my ego.

    How succinctly and elegantly you’ve described the experience and also the reflection of how you calm your mind and fully take in the moment while breastfeeding.

    • Agreed, Patti. I remember doubting whether a mom had much relevant to add or being impatient if she took a little longer to respond. I tried to overcome that feeling when it arose, but it was there and I was half-ashamed of it.

      Whenever I forget it and my eyes drift over to my cell phone or laptop, my kids have their sorcerer’s ways or resort to fistacuffs to snap my attention back where it should be-long, deep staring into the eyes that last for days and just being without time. They get it!

I love comments and try to reply to each one. I look forward to connecting with you. Namaste

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