Milk Tears

The hormonal tidal wave that took over my body as my milk transitioned from colostrum to mature milk was intense. I knew the things I was crying about were not entirely rational, but they took me over nonetheless. Every time someone tried to comfort my screaming daughter I broke a little inside. The idea that other people could do what I could not added to my suspicion that somebody had made a mistake in letting me take a baby home. I cried over what I perceived as my own inadequacy. I felt a rage that I could not explain whenever someone offered to take her for me. I shared my feelings with my husband, who immediately told his parents how I was feeling. With time I have come to understand why he thought that was helpful, but when my mother-in-law came into my bedroom to give me a pep talk, I was surprised by how intensely angry I felt. I never expected the shame I experienced in those early days, the feelings that I was not cut out to take care of this helpless child. That other people knew more, and could do better.

Soon, my hormones settled down, and I learned to accept my feelings of ineptness as a universal truth. We all feel like we were thrown into a cage fight with no protection. Our feelings are complicated and overwhelming, but valid. It is a wave we must ride, with willingness to seek help if it starts to pull us under.

Rhiannon Giles is an overwhelmed mother who only occasionally considers giving her children to the circus. She has a sarcasm problem and writes regularly at To keep up with new posts and see some of her favorites, join her on Facebook and Twitter.