As an exclusively pumping mom, my pump and I spend a lot of time together. So much so that I have even given her a name. (It’s Barb by the way) Most of the time our relationship is amicable. She provides a service and I try to be nice to her. Today I don’t want to be nice to her. I don’t want to see her.
Today just happens to be one of those days when I wish that I wasn’t breastfeeding. When I wish that my body (my boobs) can be my own. When I wish that my time did not have to be spent attached to a machine for half of the day.
Today I want to be me. I want to wake up when I want to wake up. Not because my boobs hurt from a full night of milk. I want to be able to leave the house without having to carry extra luggage around. I also want to be able to leave the house and not have to watch the clock and worry about when I need to pump again.
It’s days like today when I have to be strong. When I have to remember all of the reasons why I am breastfeeding. All of the reasons why I am subjecting myself to having my boobs tortured several times a day. All of those reasons are really just one reason. My son.
I do this for him. I do this because breast milk is healthier for him than formula (supposedly). I do this to build up his immune system so that he will be strong. I do this because I love him and want the best for him. And let’s be honest, I also don’t want to spend the money on formula.
I did not choose the life of an exclusive pumper. That decision was made for me. (You can read more about our breastfeeding journey HERE) Though it may not be what I wanted, I have made my peace and I am making it work.
So when I’m having days like today, I sit back and remember why I’m doing this. I also accept that I will have good days and that I will have bad days. I know that it is okay to take it easy. I know that dropping a pump today is not going to affect my supply if I add it back in tomorrow. I also know that love is not measured in ounces. Just 1 bottle of breast milk a day provides all of the antibodies that my son needs to thrive. So I know that should my supply drop and I need to supplement, that it is okay because I am still providing for him.
I also know that should the time come when there are more reasons for me to stop pumping than there are to continue, that that is okay too. I will know that no matter what I decide, that I am doing what is best for my family.
Today though, is not that day. Though today is a bad day, I will not quit today. I will not let the bad day beat me. I will not quit on a bad day. I will only quit on a good day. Because a good day is the memory that I want to have of my pumping journey. I don’t want to always remember the bad day that decided for me. I will decide for myself.
So if you are having a bad day, know that you are not alone. We all have bad days. Just remember, never quit on a bad day.
Being a mom is like being on a roller coaster. It’s a fun filled, and slightly terrifying, adventure where you never really know what’s going to happen next. Thankfully though, I’ve managed to pick up a few things along the way (like wine) to help make life easier. So if you’re ready, grab a glass and let’s go!