I admit, there are some things I miss about working out of the house: camaraderie and adult conversation and a reason to wear real pants and access to hand-crafted espresso beverages without having to clean an espresso machine. However, there are some things I definitely do not miss, like using a breast pump. I remember the break room well, with its high ceilings, tall windows (with the blinds pulled shut), a brown couch, feeling uncomfortable and board and all of the texts I sent my partner while pumping at work.
Perhaps I’d feel differently about pumping if I could have done it in my own office and not in a space that smelled like someone else’s lunch but, alas, that just wasn’t my reality. I’m thankful that I had such an otherwise accommodating space available to me, but the fact remains that nothing (especially breast pumping) compares to snuggling with my baby and breastfeeding him in the comfort of my own home, smelling the top of his head and hearing him breathe in between milk swallows. Wait, what? No, you’re getting emotional.
Before I turn into mush thinking about time marching on, I want to give a shout-out to moms in the trenches and currently doing the work/pump thing. I see you. Let’s take a moment to celebrate technology and how it give you a connection to your partner while you were pumping away like the boss you are. Here’s a sampling of the many, many texts that your person is probably receiving from you, because nostalgia and breast pumping go hand-in-hand.
Pumping, working, and parenting are certainly tiring all on their own, let alone together. My partner's schedule did allow him to be home with our baby during some of the early weeks when I was back in the office, and I definitely had no shame asking him to send me love in the form of sweet, sweet images of our baby.
On Staying Positive
How long until the weekend?
On Whatever Else You Find On Your Phone
Why is pumping the perfect time to share this? Because you're aimlessly scrolling, that's why.
On The Various States Of Undress That We Enter To Pump
I realize that some jobs do require one to remove their breasts from their shirts, however I've never held one of those jobs. Perhaps if I had, the whole breast-pumping-at-work-thing would have been less weird.
On The Strange References Pumping Inspires
I can't be the only one. Someone, please tell me I wasn't the only one.
On First World Problems
Note to other new moms: hold off on those iOS updates for as long as possible.
On Complicated Feelings That Motherhood Inspires
I don't know what I would have done without it, but I kinda never want to see it again.
On The Other Close, Personal Relationships That Form With Motherhood
This statement sounds sadder than intentioned. It's less a reflection on time spent away from my partner and more about the extreme amount spent in that tiny room. It felt like I stared at that wall more than anything, because obviously I wasn't going to get anywhere close to a window.
On Modern-Day Rorschach Tests
"Right Now Right Now Right Now."
On What Happens To Liquid Gold When You're In A Hurry To Button Up
Anyone who's ever repeated that old phrase about "not crying over spilled milk," has obviously never had only twelve minutes to pump, pack up, and be presentable again.
On All The Feels
For a moment, let's acknowledge that, even though pumping moms are often dealing with sleep deprivation, hormones, and stress, that utterly hopeless feeling that you're not producing enough milk is real and not spectacular.
On What's Really Most Important
Assuming your partner is the one caring for your baby, it may behoove him or her to be ready to offer you a thorough play-by-play ever two to three hours.