Guys, the day my breast pump got packed away was one of the happiest days of my life. Maybe that’s a slight exaggeration, but the fact remains that I’ve never met a mom who liked pumping (although shout-out to any of you that are out there, you are goddesses). While breastfeeding can be a sweet time for mom and baby, there’s hardly anything sweet or gentle or loving about inserting your breasts into a motorized machine. That said, there are (believe it or not) some terrible things about pumping that are actually funny, if you really stop to think about it (and if you're, probably, no longer breast pumping).
Breast pumping is mechanical; it’s awkward; it’s necessary in a cyborg kind of way; it makes weird noises that are as strange as they are annoying. We’re talking about machinery and nipples and tiny bottles of super-important liquid and a willing participant just sitting there, waiting for it all to be over so, honestly, how could hilarity not ensue? Wait, please don’t answer that.
Now that I’m on the other side of pumping, hindsight has given me a sense of humor about the whole thing, as well as the ability to actually appreciate the entire act and everything that it entails (even the not-so fun parts, which is pretty much all of it). Please allow me to share some of the worst parts about breast pumping, that are now pretty damn hilarious. Trust me, moms; once you're out of the best pumping trenches, the grass really is greener. (An extra special shout-out to any of you who happen to be reading while pumping. I see you, ladies. I see you.)
Opening Your Shirt At Work
I mean, I can think of a few valid reasons why opening one's shirt at work might be a common occurrence. However, none of those reasons have ever applied to me or my workplaces, so it always felt strange. At least I was behind a locked door, but still.
The Exhausting Scramble
It felt like I could never get my breasts to cooperate and produce when I needed them to, especially when they were abundantly full and I was in pain and pumping was most inconvenient. Add the need to leave my desk, set-up and hook up to my pump, do my thing, then get presentable again and make it back to my desk in fifteen minutes? I had to put some effort into it. We're talking Gretchen Weiners trying-to-make-fetch happen kind of effort.
How Carefully You Held Your Pumped Milk While You Tiptoed Around
DO NOT BUMP ME. If anyone bumps me I will (paper) cut you.
The Random Ways You'd Stay Entertained While Hooked Up
It was during this time that I became a master at a few key iOS games, and was completely and one hundred percent up-to-date on irrelevant celebrity gossip. As you can imagine, it was a good time to befriend me because I would never have been available and would have only sent periodic texts about Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez (moment of silence for their expired union.)
Keeping Breast Milk In A Communal Fridge
I didn't like it either, colleagues, but thank you all for being adults about it. I know you know what was in that black canvas bag, but I'm glad we rarely had to speak of it.
Knowing Your Colleagues Can Hear Your Pump Motor
If there was anything I disliked more than the sound of the pump, it was the sound of the pump reverberating off of tall ceilings. Someday, someone should make a silent motor for breast pumps the world over. I mean, if we can put a man on the moon and a member of N Sync can seriously consider space travel, I think someone somewhere can make this happen.
Fighting Supply Issues Because Of A Wonky Schedule
I have very distinct memories of texting my partner in the middle of a workday, giving him a bleak update about the results of my pumping efforts. Before I became a breastfeeding mom, I never imagined news about my body fluids would be so relevant and so important.
Leaking During Meetings And Other Work Commitments That You Couldn't Just Leave In The Middle Of
Here are words to live by: layers, patterns, dark colors, and droopy scarves. Picture some fall fashion inspirations (no matter the season) and you'll be ever-so-slightly more protected when it comes to shirt spillage.