I will be a stay at home mom in a few days but for the first 3+ years of my son’s life (2 of which he nursed) and 6 months of my daughter’s I have been a working mom. A working mom who breastfeeds exclusively. Which of course means pumping. Pumping is time consuming, inconvenient and at times awkward.
I am so blessed because I have the most ideal pumping situation possible yet even then it is a total hassle. Let me explain. I work at a school located in a church which means down the hall from the education wing is a nursery which is deserted during the week and has a private nursing curtain with rocking chairs and natural light filtering in from the windows. It’s pretty perfect. I am a Kindergarten teacher which means my specials are half an hour though so the one half hour break I have each day to lesson plan is spent racing down there, setting up my pump, cleaning up, labeling and storing milk in a cooler in the staff freezer. If I’m really lucky I have time to go to the bathroom! The other time of day I pump is on my lunch break which of course means scarfing my food down and racing down the hall.
It also means my planning needs to occur before and after school on my “own” time. It means sometimes I am making the long walk from the nursery to the staff room with milk bags in my hands when I awkwardly encounter students or adults. It means occasionally I leak through my shirt. It means I get really uncomfortable if my body doesn’t want to wait for my pumping break. It means my poor husband has had to drive 30 minutes each way to bring the pump I forgot at home on more than one occasion. It means remembering to take milk bags to school with my little pranciss everyday.
So why do it?
I know breastmilk is better for them but I also know formula is pretty close so that’s not a good enough reason for me. I know it’s free but my time is worth something to so that’s not why (although let me tell you with our insurance providing the pump and milk bags for kid #2 it has literally been FREE not a dime ya’ll!).
I do it because the bonding experience I get while nursing my sweet little angels in the silence of 2am, or under a cover at the zoo for that matter, is so amazing. There are tons of ways to bond with your kids so if you can’t nurse (or I guess don’t want to) then take heart but if you are a fellow mother like me who just truly enjoys nursing your kids, including those bleary eyed night feedings woohoo sister it’s something special ain’t it!
So yes pumping is an impractical pain but, for me, it is more than worth it!