Providing for a baby is hard work. Deciding to allow someone else to care for them—even if only temporarily—is a very difficult decision. And as if making that decision wasn’t hard enough, making enough milk for those one or two days a week is nearly impossible for a just-enougher.
It means pumping between feeds. It means tandem pumping as she nurses hoping she doesn’t pop off after 4 minutes and need your undevoted attention. It means pumping while she sleeps; naps and overnight. It means not being able to “sleep when the baby sleeps” because you gotta pump, and not being able to fully enjoy yourself when you do happen to be baby-free for a short while. BUT it doesn’t always have to be that way!
Never before a daycare day or she actually will starve while I am away, but the day after the last daycare day of the week is technically too far away from the next daycare day to keep the milk in the fridge and needs to be frozen, so it becomes my stash day. Therefore, I have an opportunity to decide to take a nap, or go out and enjoy myself, or have a few glasses of wine after she’s gone to bed. I don’t always take it, but it is my little beacon of pumping freedom, my motivation to keep persevering.
Being a just-enougher is a full-time job for any working mom, and it takes a shit ton of commitment to make it happen. I cannot even imagine having to pump exclusively!! All the kudos and salutes to you mamas! And may you have a smooth recovery of your likely damaged nipples (teeth aren’t the only thing that rips them apart!).
That being said, the knowledge that that stashed freezer milk eventually gets me a night out with my friends or networking is often enough motivation to keep going. Sometimes mama needs a break from baby more than the pump…
Yup, that’s life as a boss mama who is committed to breastfeeding and running a business.