August 1-7 is World Breastfeeding Week, and the theme for 2015 is Breastfeeding and Work: Let’s Make It Work!
There is only one time a year when I am willingly ready to resemble a cow. And you can bet there’s free chicken involved.
But I’m a working mama. With my first little guy, I had the opportunity to stay home for five months, but with our second, I was back to work at 12 weeks. Despite being the least natural “natural” thing I’ve ever done, breastfeeding did work for us (both times), and I wanted to keep it up until the boys were a year old.
Cue the cow costume…
…er, I mean, breast pump.
Let’s be honest. It’s awkward to pump at work — even in a progressive workplace that provides lactation spaces. They often aren’t conveniently located, and my guess is that most women (like me) choose to pump elsewhere. I’ve been fortunate enough to have a private office, but even that has had its challenges.
So in the spirit of the modern woman, I’m #leaningin to the awkwardness of being a pump-at-work-mama with a little humor today (thanks for the inspiration, Jimmy!).
It’s time for some thank you notes!
Thank you, online music streaming.
For covering up the noise of the diesel engine that powers my portable breast pump. Modern society has engineered a car that is so quiet I could get ran over because I’d never hear it coming, but unless I have my Spotify Barista Blend playlist cranked up, the door shut, and my desk fan going, everyone in the offices around me can hear the lovely noise of lactation-in-process.
Thank you, master office key.
For ensuring I craft the perfectly worded sign for my door while I pump. “Do Not Disturb” is too curt. “Personal Break” is too awkward. “I am in my office but unavailable” seems to hit just the right note in reducing awkward interruptions from a helpful custodian or co-worker in search of a file.
Thank you, swivel office chair near well-placed outlets.
For helping me face away from the door until I got that perfectly worded sign in place.
Thank you, office break room sink.
For providing me with the hot water that isn’t available in the women’s bathroom. I love chatting about my weekend plans while nonchalantly rinsing my flanges amidst co-workers’ coffee cups. Cream, anyone?
And, of course…
Thank you, well-stocked desk snack drawer.
For your portable deliciousness. I can nosh on an oat (helps with production!) protein bar with one hand and scroll through my Twitter feed with the other.
In all seriousness, if you’re a working mama trying to keep the boob juice flowing all while trying to meet deadlines, complete projects, and do the job that supports your family — I applaud you. While I’m pumping. ‘Cause I’m using my handy-dandy, not awkward at all, held-in-place-thanks-to-three-layers-of-clothing “hands-free” contraption. You go, pump-at-work mama!