Whether you're exclusively breastfeeding, or supplementing with formula, when you're connected to your trusty pump you're bound to experience more than a few arguments with your partner. My pump was my lifeline when breastfeeding didn't go as planned, so I know I was irritated, impatient, and just on edge anytime I was attached to it. In other words, if I were to look over the list of fights every couple has when a mom is pumping, I'd have to admit that my partner and I probably endured them all.
I tried very hard, for very long, to make exclusive breastfeeding work. In the end, though, I couldn't, and pumping became my solace. It wasn't my initial plan, but it. at the very least, provided me with a way to feed my daughter breast milk, even if it meant being attached to an annoying machine for hours on end each day. No, it wasn't fun, but I made it work and pumping became a part of my daily routine. That doesn't mean it was easy to adjust to this new addition to my schedule, though.
On the days I was tired, still recovering from childbirth, and still trying to reconcile with my inability to breastfeed as planned, my partner and I fought about everything. It always started with the pump and, before I knew it, we were arguing about where the baby would go to college and how we'd ever save up enough money to afford said college. Yeah, our arguments escalated that quickly. So if you're in the throes of pumping and finding yourself butting heads with your partner, here are some of the fights every couple has when a mom is trying to get her pump on. Hey, at least you're not alone!
Of course, a fight while pumping wouldn't exist without a little pre-fight tomfoolery. My partner and I warmed up for the main event by blaming each other for misplacing the damn pump in the first place.
I have absolutely no idea why my pump was never where I left it, but when I'm tired and engorged I don't want someone to remind me that they "had nothing to do with it." I know my partner cleaned the pump on occasion, so I know damn well I'm not the only person to touch the thing.
Once my partner and I located the pump (it was stuck in a couch cushion once), we'd thoroughly look it over to figure out it if was clean. Usually, it wasn't. I had a hand-pump that was particularly difficult to clean, and even when I cleaned it thoroughly it retained a scent. So an inevitable argument would ensue as to who cleaned it last, who should clean it now, and who was cleaning the damn thing more often.
I don't usually love having people in my face when I'm expressing milk from my body. There were times when my partner had the best intentions and wanted to be present as some form of moral support, but his presence still irked me. I realize my hormones were irrational at times, but pumping, and in the beginning especially, was more of a private affair. I didn't want help or peering eyes. I didn't want to feel crowded, and I didn't want to answer bizarre questions I didn't know the answers to. No, I have no idea how much milk a human body can produce. Now go away.
Yeah, so, if I'm attached to a pump for who know's how long, I'm not making dinner. The endless "what's for dinner?" debate wasn't solely pump-related, but it sure as hell felt like it at the time. Like, can't you take care of that while I dutifully get all the milk out of my swollen body?
Bless my partner for being an involved parent, but he was also easily distracted. I get that scouring Instagram for hours on end is satisfying, but maybe when I'm pumping you can just hold the hungry baby? You know, the one we created together? Thanks a bunch.
If I'm attached to a pump, I damn well get to decide what's on the television. I mean, I'm the one stuck in one position for an extended period of time, so I should get to decide what helps me pass the time.
I'll blame this argument on the early days of motherhood and all the sleep-deprivation, hormones, and self-doubt that go along with it. Yes, for the most part I wanted to be alone when I pumped, but I also needed someone there to encourage and support me. My partner would never knowingly hurt my feelings or leave me feeling abandoned, but pumping, breastfeeding, and being a parent are all complicated. Just be there. Unless I tell you otherwise, of course.
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