THE SURPRISING THING I'LL MISS ABOUT PUMPING - TAKE 2
Updated: Mar 12, 2019
Edited - I accidentally deleted the original version of this post. For some reason, Wix has no way of retrieving accidentally deleted posts, so I've decided to try again. I feel like the topic of this post - moms and the extreme guilt we feel when it comes to taking time for ourselves - needs to be talked about and needs to be heard.
So, we were talking about the arduous task of pumping. Over the last 9 months, I've spent countless hours attached to the pump. I'm pumped on airplanes, trains, and even in the back of an Uber. I've pumped in restaurants, public bathrooms and hotel lobbies. At some point, I lost my modesty and even pumped at work meetings and family events (surprise Nana! I was totally pumping at the table during your birthday brunch). I’ve missed playdates and dinners, and time with my friends. It was a labor of love and those 40 or so gallons of milk are my gift to Avi. A sacrifice that I would do again in a heartbeat, and one that he will never really appreciate.
But I have a secret. Yes, for hours every day, I’ve been attached to a pump. I won’t deny that I’ve missed a lot. But being attached to the pump is a great excuse to NOT do anything else. For 30 minutes every evening, I’ve allowed myself to watch TV. For 30 minutes during the workday, I allowed myself to shut my office door and focus on getting through emails. And on the weekends, I allowed myself to read a book. Somewhere along the way, pumping had become my justification for self-care! Because I couldn’t do anything else, I allowed myself to just be. But as I’m beginning to wean, I can’t help ask myself WHY I needed that justification. I never felt guilty reading a book on a Saturday afternoon because I was being productive at the same time. But WHY do I feel this need to be productive every minute of every day?
I’ve talked to a lot of moms about self-care and the theme that comes up over and over again is the feeling of guilt. Guilt for choosing to take some time away from our babies or our partners. And even though we know that we are actually better mothers, wives, friends and colleagues when we take care of ourselves, we just can’t get rid of that guilt.
I’ve thought a lot about what I’ll do with my newfound time once I’ve finished weaning. There’s certainly no shortage of dishes, laundry, and cooking that I could be doing. But I’m going to challenge myself to keep those 30-minute blocks in my schedule. At least some of the time. And I invite all the other moms out there to join me - whether you’ve been pumping or not! If I was able to carve out 30-minutes for pumping, why shouldn’t we all be able to carve out 30-minutes for ourselves? There should be no shame in taking care of our mental and physical health. And sometimes, the first step is just making that time and claiming it. For one half-hour, those dishes can wait.
My personal pumping journey has inspired me to become a Lactation Counselor and Pumping Expert so that I could help other moms have successful and positive experiences in pumping. Click here to learn more.