These four longreads reflect on various aspects of motherhood, from a personal essay on the challenges of breastfeeding to a writer’s exploration of her mother’s life as an immigrant.
As soon as the baby latched on, I burst into tears — of relief, of rage. I’d had this idea of what breastfeeding would be like. Not the physical experience, but the lived reality, the timing, the way it was supposed to fit between other things. I thought it would be something happening in the background while I went about my actual life. How else would it be tolerable? The faint sucking sound of a breast pump during a conference call, a shirt lifted up on the subway, so seamlessly nobody really notices it. Baby legs kicking in the aisle of an airplane, his head and my tits hidden under a gauzy blanket. I wanted to be one of those women who, without missing a beat, pull out a boob at a restaurant, mid-conversation. That’s how they sell it to you: It’s so convenient! Always with you. Natural. Completely free!