Mindset and perspective go A LONG WAY for an exclusive pumping momma.
My personal advice:
I found the following to be helpful in coping with the demands of exclusive pumping: .
💛 Gratitude. Gratitude REALLY helped me gain perspective. The more I focused on the good things, the things I was thankful for about exclusive pumping, the happier I became and the less I struggled.
💛 Sleep on it. There were days where I just needed to press the “restart” button. Often, this would literally mean sleeping and waking up on the right side of the bed, with more patience, and new energy for the day’s challenges.
💛 Get a cheerleader. Your partner might be as stressed as you are, or simply too close to the situation to give you any perspective. I needed to hear the voice of reason from someone outside of my house. My mom, my aunt, and my friend from church were by far my biggest cheerleaders and sounding boards.
💛 Tough love. There were times when I had to practice a little tough self-love. The most effective quote was “If it’s important to you, you’ll find a way. If not, you’ll find an excuse.”
💛Develop a mantra. Having a mantra to repeat helped me keep perspective. My mantra for childbirth was “it’s just ONE day.” A great mantra for pumping is “Do it for him/her.” so when times get tough, you look at your baby and remember why you’re doing what you do.
💛 Healthy coping mechanisms. Before getting pregnant, I’d take out by stress by going for a brisk run, kickboxing class, or enjoying an adult beverage. While breastfeeding though, I had to find healthier coping mechanisms like mindfulness meditation, gratitude journaling, and bubble baths. So many bubble baths.
Advice from the professionals:
According to life coaches, social workers, counselors, and psychologists, there are proven ways to gain perspective. Here are a few I find helpful for pumping mommas: .
💛Observe, Don’t judge. Listen, don’t fix. This counts observing and listening to YOURSELF, too. Sit with the emotion and explore it- try to accurately name what you are feeling. Journal if you find it to be helpful.
💛Start fresh. Sometimes you need to ball up the paper and throw it away. Maybe what you’re doing isn’t working. How can you find a new way that works better for you?
💛Ask for help. You may not have all the answers, it’s okay to reach out to someone who has been there before and can support you.
💛Educate yourself. It’s always possible you simply don’t know enough to make an informed decision, or that you’re even flying by the seat of your pants. Maybe there’s a better way, you just have to find it.
💛Focus on the good. Make a list of all the good things in your current situation, no matter how small. Keep the list handy when you are feeling more bad than good.
💛How will I feel tomorrow, next week, next year? Sometimes it’s easy to fixate on the present. In the long run, though, what will those 6,9,12 months of struggle look like?
💛Healthy expression of emotion. Analyze the cost of your extreme emotions, especially if you are often infuriated by small frustrations and inconveniences. You may be making yourself anxious and angry and making other people feel worse by the intensity of your responses. Explore healthier ways to expressing that emotion- journaling, walking, music, meditation, creating art… the answer is different for everyone.