Let’s be real: breastfeeding as a working mom is a total circus. Managing your home, your job and your kid in 3 hour increments really is just as stupid as it sounds. But now my daughter is basically weaned. (I say basically because she still valiantly nurses a few dribbles out before bed, and according to the Oath of Sane Parenting, I cannot and will not stop doing something that works to get her to sleep.)
But weaning for this working mom has not been simple or fun. Let’s talk about all the things everyone failed to mention. (Yep I’m looking at you, experienced mom friends. The parenting magazines from 2006 in the pumping room you left me? Yeah, not that helpful. You know who you are, and thanks a million.)
It probably shouldn’t be so hard, but getting all the elements of the work/daycare commute down has been a big part of my new working mom life. Yet I don’t feel like I hear other working moms talk about this as much as I feel like I’m thinking or complaining about it. Perhaps it’s city living, or perhaps it’s just my utter disdain for all things commute related- it’s always on my mind!
One of the biggest sources of stress for me prior to returning to the office was the thought of pumping. Being a breastfeeding mother means you must stop and interrupt whatever you are doing every 3 hours or so to either feed your baby, or express the milk you would be feeding your baby. Every. 3. Hours. Not the most compatible thing with a typical 9-5 working life.
For anyone out there feeling overwhelmed by how to make this work, let’s start with the basics:
The working mom who maintains breastfeeding has undoubtedly anticipated with great enthusiasm the day she heaves her breast pump out the office window. She may love breastfeeding, but I have yet to encounter a pump-loving mother, working mom or not.