The work of feeding babies
In my backyard, I have 2 robin nests with babies. The one nest that I can most easily see from my kitchen window has 3 baby birds, who are looking pretty old now and I suspect they'll be flying away from the nest soon.
I was feeling sorry for that poor mama robin; it looks like all she does is feed those babies. Flying away to find food, then flying back into my apple tree to feed 3 rapidly growing and very noisy mouths. Then I realized that this is probably what nursing looks like to non-nursers. When our babies are very little, we ARE constantly feeding them. When we are looking at what the mama is doing, it always looks like she's feeding. I don't notice the mama robin when she's feeding herself, I only notice her trips in and out of the tree. I think that is what people are noticing when they see a mother & nursling - nursing, feeding, nursing, feeding!
And while it can sometimes feel like quite a lot of work, when I think back to the newborn time, it doesn't seem that bad. Mama robin, she doesn't know any different, so she just keeps on flying to and from the nest.
I can understand now why people are so quick to offer bottles when they don't really understand (or have the patience for) how breastfeeding operates. It really does look like a lot of work. But the investment is worth it.