Thursday, December 26, 2013

Workin' Momma Tales

This last month I returned to the office. I can honestly say that the first day was the most emotional drive to work ever! Every day I tell myself not to be dramatic, that thousands of moms return to work at six weeks and leave their babies but this is H.A.R.D. So much harder than I expected. And making it more complicated is the fact that thanks to doctor appointments and the "Icepocolypse 2013" as they're calling it, we haven't had enough "normal" days in a row to establish and maintain any form of a routine.

I haven't struggled with any Postpartum Depression, and about the extent of my Baby Blues revolved around complete and total exhaustion. That being said, I truly question if I'm dealing with a bit of PPD in consideration of how poorly I'm dealing with this transition. As I was venting and talking it out with a friend I realized that much of my frustration is that after coming back to work almost all my time revolves around the fact I am working. I get home from work, spend 10 or 15 minutes hugging and cuddling Cora then I have household responsibilities I have to rush to in preparation for the next day of work. Pumping makes my milk supply go up so much that I have to pump at home to prevent engorgement, there's another 20 minutes pump time (two or three times while I'm home) and then storing milk and sanitizing pump parts and bottles for the next day is almost an hour of work each night. Many working moms I see have the expendable income to hire a housekeeper to reduce some of that evening chore load, they also eat out quite a bit to ease the time in the kitchen; these just aren't options for us.

Pumping breastmilk at work is also an adventure on its own! I'll have to do a seperate post on that later. If you were ever wondering why employers, by law have to provide a place other than the bathroom for a working mother to pump (and many large companies provide a place other than the persons office) - it's because pumping in your office can be very awkward! I figured it wouldn't be a big deal, I have a perfectly good door & pumping in my office would allow me to work while I pump. WELL... I rarely close my door, if anything I half close it to indicate I don't have time to talk and would rather not be disturbed. Nevermind that my door closed normally means I'm either not here or not available, I swear half the time I close it now to pump someone (always a man...) comes and knocks on the door! This leaves me sitting there thinking of an appropriate response because "just a minute" doesn't quite cut it and "I'm pumping" seems too personal/tmi. OR they know I'm pumping so rather than coming to my door, they buzz my phone to talk to me. As if it isn't horribly awkward to talk to someone while a machine is milking you.
My Crazy Daily Bag!

I'm also not ashamed to admit that I cried like a baby when I spilled 4 ounces of breast milk all over my desk. (It may or may not have also been a hard day and our cat died the night before...)

Everyday I look like I'm moving into my office! The bag holds my pump, pump parts & stored milk for in the fridge at work, lunch, purse and backup drives for the office I have to carry to and from work each day. 

My survival tips

Lists! Embrace that Mommy brain and start making lists now! They're the best and it's the only way I get everything ready for Coralie for the next day and all the stuff I haul to work for pumping each day. Not to mention any normal life things I need to remember!

Crock Pot! It's no secret that I have a slight love affair with my crock pot, it's been so nice that dinner is just a few quick steps away from finished many nights and I don't have to take the time to prepare something from start to finish. We've had several meals revolving around the things I've made multiple servings of in the good ol' crocker - Baked Potatoes, Buffalo Chicken, Taco Meat. Those three meal preps fed us for six nights with variations on the meal. Boring but efficient!

Moms, how do you do it? Does it get easier or will I always feel this resentful about working and leaving my daughter?

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