Dear Breast Pump,
I am writing to let you know that I hate you with every “ounce” of my being. Not that you deserve any explanations, but I have some things to get of my chest… and fortunately for me, that’s no longer breast milk.
For the record, I have no regrets about verbally abusing you and badmouthing you to everyone I know. I don’t feel bad about throwing you across the room, either. This is because you were a huge disappointment. You did your job poorly. You made my skin crawl and my blood boil every day for 14 months.
When I took out a second mortgage in order to purchase you, I was under the impression you were top of the line. I thought “hands free” meant “hands free” as in “hands free” and I’d be able to do other stuff while you extracted milk out of my mammary glands. Look, I wasn’t expecting to do yoga or anything, I just wanted to multitask the way a new mother absolutely has to in order to survive.
You were not only unwieldy and un-aerodynamic, you often dropped the ball, or I should say: the milk.
Remember that time I tried to sit at my computer to send a few simple e-mails and my arm unknowingly knocked one of your suction cups slightly loose, so that we pumped precious ounces straight onto the floor for 20 minutes without me even knowing it?! THIS is why I threw you across the room. You’re lucky I aimed for the couch.
Remember when I accidentally spilled a full bottle of boob juice, still warm with my body heat, all over the kitchen counter? You can try to claim this wasn’t your fault but it was: you jangled my nerves so much that my hands shook.
And that sound! Oh my God, that awful Bown-Bown-Bown still haunts me. Large machines like dishwashers and JET ENGINES are quieter than you. I couldn’t even make a phone call while I had you strapped on.
You and I logged a lot of hours together. Sure, you helped me go back to work at six weeks so I could keep my career going while still nourishing my kid with liquid gold. But you made me feel like a freak along the way.
Though I wasn’t bashful about breastfeeding, itself, I hid away with shame when we were together, even in my own home. Because no one should have to see that nasty activity, not even an unflappable husband or an infant. I closed the door and dimmed the lights, as if I was performing some kind of strange science experiment. The few times I tried to use you outside of my home (in a restroom or in the car) you made me cry.
I’m glad I don’t know where you are now. All I do know is that the person I gave you to hated you even more than I did, and decided to never put you to use.
It’s best that we never see each other again, since I do hold grudges. Sometimes I imagine taking you out to a field and beating you with a baseball bat. I think about drop kicking you to the moon. I even fantasize about hosting a bonfire and inviting every pumping mom I know to bring their own pumps. We will drink wine and laugh maniacally as your plastic and rubber (and that disgusting residual milk film) go up in flames.
Mostly, I dream that you, in all your awkwardness, will become obsolete, that future mothers will be able to pump in a way that is actually hands-free. May these women harness the power of a better device that is quiet, convenient, and easily hidden under a shirt. With you out of the picture, I hope the mothers of tomorrow will be able to discreetly pump while writing a novel, playing with their kid, or running a board meeting.
Forever with hatred,
Jocelyn Jane Cox is a figure skating coach, the mother of a toddler, and the wife of an abstract artist. Her humour has appeared on Slate, Sammiches and Psych Meds, and Mock Mom. She blogs about parenting and homeownership at The Home Tome and writes a sarcastic column called, Chronicles of Parenting. Her satirical book, The Homeowner’s Guide to Greatness, has changed many lives, some of them for the better. She can also be found on Twitter and Facebook.