There are plenty of benefits of breastfeeding, but more parents are getting real about just how hard the process can be. To no one’s surprise, new mom Keke Palmer isn’t afraid to go there.The Nope star welcomed four-month-old Leodis “Leo” Andrellton in February. Since then, she’s been on the rollercoaster that is motherhood—and for her, breastfeeding has been “a doozy,” she recently told People.“Although breastfeeding is ‘natural,’ it’s not instinctual,” Palmer said. “I really went through the journey of just trying to figure out how to do that and how to support my baby—how to deal with the pressure of trying to do that right.”Breastfeeding requires practice, patience, and often lots of guidance, as the American Pregnancy Association (APA) notes. Many parents seek the help of a lactation consultant, a trained professional who provides technical and emotional support for parents who are figuring out how to best feed their babies. But, as Palmer pointed out, these experts aren’t always accessible or easy to find.“You don’t even really know what to search,” Palmer said, “and how to really prepare yourself for something like that. So shout out to all the lactation consultants because mine really, really made the difference for me.” She continued: “I wish that everybody had access to lactation consultants. It sucks that it’s kind of like a luxury. They have people saying, ‘Breast is best, breast is best.’ But not everyone can even get support. That’s a mess.”Instagram contentThis content can also be viewed on the site it originates from.Palmer also recounted the guilt she felt when starting out. “It ends up making you feel like shit…it’s like tying your shoe,” she explained. “Tying your shoes is easy, but you had to learn how to tie your shoes. So it becomes easier. In the beginning, your fingers were like butter fingers—and that’s the same thing with breastfeeding. It isn’t that easy. And if it is for you, wonderful. But I think more often than not, it’s difficult.”Despite these struggles, Palmer has felt a positive shift since becoming a mom. “I think before I even had the baby, I was really actually quite self-conscious,” she recently told The Cut. “After having my baby, I’ve gotten so much more powerful. We’re going to lean into this new body, and I think that is the whole aura of what’s happening with me in this ‘Big Boss Era’: As I come into my 30s, and I have my baby boy, and I’m just continuing to spread my wings as a young woman.”Related:
Pedro Pascal spoke about losing his mother at a young age—and how her loss changed his family dynamic—in a new interview with Esquire published on Tuesday. He was just 24 when she passed away in 2000, and two of his three siblings were even younger. (Pascal’s younger sister, Lux Pascal, is 18 years his junior, and the age of his younger brother, Nicolás Blamaceda Pascal, isn’t publicly known.) Pascal said that, upon first hearing the news of his mom’s passing, he flew to Chile, where he was born and where his mother was when she died, in part to try to comfort his younger sister and brother. “They were very young kids, so much younger than me and my older sister, so even if they hadn’t lost a parent, we would still feel parental toward them,” Pascal said. “And I didn’t naively think I could fill a space like that, but I just always wanted to be like, I’m here.”He added that more than two decades after her death, he’s still extremely protective of his loved ones. “It could have to do with the fact that I don’t have my own family, and that my siblings and my chosen family are where I invest all of my emotional energy,” Pascal explained.Pascal said his recent success in The Last of Us—and the subsequent global attention it has garnered—helped him realize he’s still in communication with his mother. He explained that he spoke to her recently while preparing to host Saturday Night Live. “I was so scared that week that I was talking to her,” Pascal said. After rehearsals on the days leading up to the show, he added, “There would be that terror waiting for me—that practical fear of bombing in front of the world. And then I talked to her, and it was really comforting.” When asked what he said, Pascal replied: “I love you. I miss you. Thank you. I’m scared. I would love if you would help me believe in myself, because I know you do.”Related:
Again, if you feel that a family member poses an immediate threat to you (or your child, partner, or pets), you’re well within your rights to cease contact immediately. If any of the additional examples above sound familiar, it’s okay to choose to step back from interacting with them entirely—either for a sustained period or temporarily, while you figure out a plan to reset your boundaries and your expected frequency of contact. As Tawwab writes in Drama Free, “healthy boundaries give you peace even when the other person hasn’t changed.” Is their behavior “toxic” or merely annoying? As Tawwab puts it, “Is this situation persistently harmful, or is it just annoying?” For example, if you try to share bad memories of your childhood and your sibling always interrupts to tell you—or even other family members—that you’re lying and it never happened, that’s harmful. But if they always cut you off mid-sentence because they possess poor listening skills and it’s their turn to talk now? Their self-absorption is annoying and frustrating, and while that doesn’t mean you can’t or shouldn’t say something, it’s not necessarily “toxic” behavior. Learning to deal with others’ aggravating personality traits is part of life, and as Tawwab points out, “many of the people we love annoy us.” A few of the strategies outlined below—sharing how their actions make you feel or, if that’s unsuccessful, rethinking how often you see them—can also help you learn to accept nontoxic, if extremely irritating, behavior.Have I had a direct conversation with them about the problem(s)? When someone has been in your life since the day you (or they) were born, they might assume that they know everything there is to know about who you are. This can be a comfort in some instances; maybe you’ve always been encouraged by your grandmother’s observations about your artistic spirit, for example. But it can also feed into family dynamics that leave you feeling suffocated and resentful. Maybe you have a sibling who seems to take pleasure in sharing childhood stories that embarrass you. Or a mom who brings up your weight if you even look at a birthday cake. Perhaps your sister-in-law thinks that, because you’re single and child-free, she can show up at your door on a Saturday with a last-minute unpaid babysitting gig. Whatever the situation, once you’ve identified a pattern that you’d like to put a stop to, it’s time to get vocal. By letting them know the effect their behavior is having on you, “we can give people an opportunity to change,” says Tawwab. Just remember that your end of the conversation is the only thing you can control here. “It takes some willingness on the other person’s part to admit, ‘I hear that, and here’s what I’m able to do about it,” Tawwab says. But in truly dysfunctional families, she adds, people are often unwilling to even hear your grievance, let alone take action. “They may say, ‘Eh, let’s just move past this,’ or try to make you believe that the problem is you, not the situation they’re creating,” she says.