That’s the sound of a breast pump, pumping milk from any mother. I hate pumping. Why? Because for me, pumping signifies me having to go back to work and leaving my baby. For some mothers, it simply means a few hours more of sleep, because they have a bottle of milk that their husband can feed their baby, for some it gives them time to go run errands without the baby, for others, they struggled getting a baby to latch on and this is their only means to provide breast milk for their babies, for some, they don’t feel comfortable nursing in front of others so they choose to give their baby a bottle of pumped milk in public settings and for others, they simply have issues with their breasts being a direct milk supply for their babies, so they choose to pump.
I pump because I hate formula (sorry formula mom’s, but formula smells and I will not give it to my baby unless my milk supply went completely away and then I would be trying to find a breast milk donor). The free samples of formula that came in the mail go directly into the trash can. I pump because I recognize that breast milk provides my baby with the best food possible and that by doing so, I have to take off work very little for a sick child. I pump because it is free and I refuse to pay for something that I can provide.
However, no matter what, I hate pumping. I’m introducing a middle man, the breast pump. It takes extra time and I would rather be snuggling with my tiny baby, by providing milk directly from my own breast, not some artificial device that someone else designed. I hate bottles too. I never gave Liam one; Damon and my mother were the only two people that ever gave him one. And with my mom, it may not have been a bottle but a sippy cup filled with breast milk. Liam only had a bottle from 6 months (when I had to go back to work) until around 10 months when he learned to drink from a straw. For some reason, the sippy cup bothered me less than the bottle did. Maybe it is because it isn’t trying to replicate my breast.
I found out today that I may have to go back into the office earlier than expected, albeit still part-time. They want me to start back in the office very part-time starting around 12 weeks. I worry that by going in then, they will just keep increasing my time back in the office even though I’m very productive at home. Unfortunately, I have no idea what my employer is expecting of me during my leave as they didn’t want anything in writing.
I know most of you don’t want to hear my complaints, but it is my blog so I’ll write what I want. Your employers were the same way when you approached them with maternity leave, expecting you to be gone no longer than twelve weeks, most of you probably less. However, I still find it amazing that women can’t seem to easily get more than 12 weeks of maternity leave and that leave is unpaid. Why the heck did we as women fight for only equal rights in the workplace? Why did we not fight for longer and paid maternity leave? My employer is trying to stop a precedent that was started in my department of 6 months of leave, working from home most of those 6 months. They want bodies in the office, to have face time, to be able to look over my shoulder and see that I’m running those studies that I say that I am. I understand, it is sometimes easier for a person to be in the office rather than having to send an e-mail or call on the phone. However, if you look around at any given time in any workplace, you see people chit-chatting, not working. I’m so much more productive at home than in an office setting. You log onto your computer, you get the work done, few disruptions, minus a breastfeeding break for the baby or two and your back at work.
I appreciate my bosses and my co-workers that take up whatever slack while I’m out. However, I started working from home last week, with my youngest son only 5 weeks old. I’ve attended multiple meetings already via teleconference and completed a few other assignments. Most women do not check their e-mails nor do any other work from home until after 6 weeks or later. Sometimes, I wish that I wouldn’t have taken the initiative to do some work early so that I’m not a burden on my co-workers by being gone, because by doing so, I’ve lost time with my children and then it also appears that my work cannot be done without me there. Despite what so many people think of themselves and their jobs, we are all replaceable. I can’t be replaced though. I’m the breadwinner of my family and without me working we have no money to pay the mortgage or buy food. I wish I could work from home permanently part-time. It could be stressful, but at least I get to see my children when they need me.
For you stay at home moms, I really hope that you appreciate the time with your children. You get to see every smile, change every diaper (or offer up potty opportunities) and nurse your child when they need it. I envy you.