I fully appreciate that pumping allowed me to provide breast milk to my first child even after returning to work. And, in the case of my third child, pumping has allowed me to give him breast milk even though he is too damn lazy to work for his food (kid got a taste of the bottle early on and never looked back). That said. Pumping still totally sucks.
Pumping is uncomfortable, if not down right painful by the four or fifth round of the day. It involves zero baby cuddles. You can’t text or check Instagram if you accidentally leave your phone across the room. Sometimes nothing comes out or not as much as you were expecting, giving you one more thing to feel like a shitty parent about. Because that list needs to be any longer, right?
Let’s face it. I’m a human dairy cow. And not even a very good one most days.
With my first child, I pushed myself to nurse and pump through his first birthday. This time around, I’m just taking it day by day. I’d play the twin card but it’s not even that. It’s mostly just that I’m finally starting to feel comfortable making decisions about my family from a place of equality rather than martyrdom.
I will happily sacrifice my sleep, immune system, back, shoulders, belly, and more for the sake of my babies. But I will not sacrifice my sense of self or my belief that I am entitled to be happy, too. It’s a tricky tight rope to walk but I think my balance is getting better.