As a mother, one of the joys we have is fulfilling a need in our children. Kissing a boo-boo and making it all better. "I had a bad dream, Mommy", and we make them feel safe. One of my children was the neediest, challenging kids, but was an extremely fulfilling and mutually rewarding relationship because I could always make everything okay for him by just being his mommy. It is what keeps us going when we are tired, sad, or scared about whether we are doing a good job.
Imagine, now, you give a child a bottle. Then you give her a hearty breakfast. At the end of breakfast, she asks for more. You give her more. Then she asks for more. Then when she finishes that, she asks for more. Then you get her out of the highchair, and hand her a cup of Cheerios. When it is empty, she asks for more. Then she finishes that one, and asks for more. Then she finishes that one and asks for more. Endlessly, all day. No break. Sandwich Mommy. Cheerios Mommy. I just fed you, but you are still not satisfied. I failed. I couldn't make you happy because the food ran out. It always does. So there is literally no way to satisfy this need of hers. So I just keep giving her food, even though her body doesn't need anymore. I feel guilty for letting her eat way too much for her little stomach. For watching her stomach get bigger and bigger, but yet she still isn't satisfied. I want more, it's not enough. I want more, it's not enough. You didn't give me enough, I want more. I want more. The shock that hits me every time she finishes a cup of Cheerios and looks at me and asks for more, knowing that she has been eating non stop since she woke up 4 hours ago.
If she was happy and playful while all this was going on, I would feel differently. If she was very active and I knew she was burning it all up, and wouldn't become too heavy, I would feel differently. If I had one person in my life that understood how hard this is, or whose shoulder I could cry on, I would be stronger. But I have no one that even listens, let alone understands.