Willy and I argued a lot about breastfeeding when Hooper was an infant. He fed my fears that Hooper wasn’t getting enough and instead of patting me on the back for the commitment I made, he often aired on the side of ease and suggested formula. It hurt my feelings and made me feel that despite all of the time and energy I was putting toward breastfeeding, my efforts alone were not enough. I couldn’t understand why he wouldn’t want the best for our child.
With Van, weight is not an issue. He’s perfectly plump. But still, the dreaded formula was brought up again. And it wasn’t until then that I started to look at breastfeeding from a husband’s perspective. As soon as I put myself in his shoes, I wanted to tell my milk ducts to put the show on hold. Close the curtain. Offer refunds. I wanted to quit. And here’s why: breastfeeding sucks for fathers of breastfeeding mothers. Here’s what brought me to this conclusion:
-We’re out to eat. Van starts screaming. Willy picks him up. Willy bounces him around. Willy takes him outside. Last resort: Willy gives him to me, I put him on the breast, and Van’s quiet. Mom one, Papa zero. Ah, the humbling feeling of defeat.
-Bottle training. With both of our boys, I delegated the task of getting them to take a bottle to those who would be giving them a bottle. Have you tried giving a baby who is not familiar with drinking a bottle a bottle? It sucks. Willy’s said it’s one of the most frustrating things he’s ever had to do. As a front row cheerleading witness, I agree. It sucked.
-Want to get away from the kids? How about a romantic date night? Sure would be nice to tell the babysitter how to warm up a nice bottle of formula. Instead, Willy has to put up with my neurotic behavior and forgo extended periods of alone time away from our little members because I’m a lunatic about missing a feeding and/or pump session. I’m always worried my supply is going to diminish.
-Going back to work as a breastfeeding mom is not fun. The workplace, in general, is not breastfeeding friendly. So this time, I’ve gone back part time until I’m done breastfeeding. In this sense, breastfeeding means less money coming in. Oh gosh, I suddenly got that worrisome feeling that I’m taking all the thoughts out of my husband’s head and compiling them in one neat little post for him to in turn throw in my face. So, for the record, breastfeeding alone is not the reason I decided to go back part time.
-Good thing my husband’s not a “boob guy”, cuz there is no way I’m letting him honk these honkers. They may be larger than ever, but they not made to fondle. Watching as your wife squirts milk from her nipple and finds it funny isn’t exactly a turn on either. I guess I have myself to blame for that one, but I can’t help myself from a good squirt.
-Returning from the grocery store and throwing some frozen peas into the freezer isn’t as easy as it used to be. Our freezer is filled to the absolute max with breast milk. You can’t even open the damn door without one of those little mommy’s milk bags falling on the floor. If it’s annoying for me, I imagine it’s like nails on a chalkboard for Willy. All the extra milk led to be becoming a milk donor, which you can read about here.
How has your breastfeeding experience been with your significant other?