in june 2010, our lives got turned upside down in the best possible way: the birth of our awesome kiddo, john. in october 2013, brother charlie charged into our life to change the status quo again. and june 2016 brought us brother ben to round out our trio.

i'm proud to have "mom" at the top of the list of titles on my resume, but i'm also still a hard-working professional. how does a working mom juggle work and family? ride along with me and see if i can figure it out!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

the milk saga; or, the daily life of a dairy cow (part i)

since john was born, i've been pumping milk. he was so small at birth (5 lbs 12 oz) that he just wasn't great at nursing, and to combat his jaundice, he needed to eat. a lot. so we breastfed, but then i supplemented him with the milk i had pumped after his last feeding.

eventually, he grew, and now he's a hungry piggy who nurses just fine, thank you very much! but when he was six weeks old, it was back to work for mommy, so pumping has been a part of daily life ever since. three times a day, i lock myself away in my office and "express myself" (in the punn-y words of my coworker and office neighbor). and i don't actually mind the pumping. and it's all for a good cause. but it is certainly not without it's ... speedbumps.

out of my comfort zone
months ago, i attended a social media conference at the baton rouge river center. i was certain, in a large conference facility, that i'd find an empty room where i could "express myself" discreetly a couple times during the day. but come time, i searched high and low, to no avail. how about a bathroom stall, you say? assuming i could overcome my sense that that's an icky place to produce my child's food, i still need an outlet to plug in my pump.

at wit's end, i approached two janitors at the river center. almost under my breath, i said, "i have a three month old at home, and i am looking for a place to pump his milk. can you help?"

to my surprise, the female janitor stared gape-mouthed. but her male boss said to her, "i know exactly what she needs. take her to your room." (a side note: in the unlikely event you should ever stumble on this blog, sir, may god bless you as the patron saint of milk!)

so i traipsed back through the public restroom following the janitor. there was a mysterious back door out of the bathroom into ... the janitor closet! more accurately, the janitor's room. it was huge (for a closet) and packed with mops, brooms, cleaners, shelves of paper towels ... and in the middle, a chair. and a table. perfect!

my new friend the janitor said she'd meet me back there at 1pm also, so i could pump again. and she blocked the back door with her cart so no one could walk in on me. and i sat myself down in the conveniently located chair, strapped myself to the pump, and away we went. smiling and feeling self-satisfied - smug even - i sat and thought about what an awesome mom i was.

and then the lights went out.

i'm not typically afraid of the dark. but in a strange room ... an unfamiliar strange room ... accompanied only by the strange noises of my pump ... i had no idea what to do.

thankfully, a little voice in my head said, "maybe it's motion activated?" since i was somewhat limited in my movement (what with the pump and all), i did what any self-respecting person would do: waved my arms frantically over my head.

and the lights came on.

so for the next 15 minutes, i pumped in relative comfort. and ever 45 seconds when the lights turned off, i waved my arm serenely and returned to the smug satisfaction of the awesome things i do for my kid.*

and then i packed my pump back up, buttoned up my business shirt, and returned to the conference, by all appearances the consummate marketing professional. (by day, mild-mannered marketer. by night, dare-to-go-anywhere dairy cow?) it's worth noting that that day at the river center inspired this blog. because, after all, there are only so many venues in life that allow you to combine cleaning agents, dairy cows, motion-detecting lights, and friendly janitors all in one story.

* and isn't it nice to be human, where the idea of providing sustenance from my child is something i can joke that i'm smug about, rather than a biological necessity that i would do whether i wanted to or not? ;)

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

the reason for this whole thing :)

a natural mom (not what you think)

ok, gotta start with a "serious" post. if you're good, i'll post something more interesting too!

with the help of a doula, rene' from birth help here in baton rouge, i delivered john naturally on june 18, 2010. my husband was extremely supportive, as were the doctors and nurses at the hospital, and i delivered john not in the hospital bed but squatting next to it, without any epidural or pain medication. it was the most challenging and rewarding experience i've probably ever had.

i'm not bragging, by the way. (though i am proud!) rather, i think my natural childbirth reflects my larger tendency - shared by my husband - to do things the "natural" way whenever possible. don't get me wrong: we're incredible lucky to live in the 21st century with all the technology and knowledge available to us. but my default is to let things happen naturally unless interference is necessary.

and why should you care about this? only because many of our early decisions in parenting john have come from this same place. he is currently exclusively breastfed, and we don't plan on introducing solid foods to his diet until approximately a year. (unless, of course, there's a compelling nutritional reason to do so, or if he seems to just really want to try food!)

i don't lean towards a strict schedule for john. of course, we have a schedule. i do, after all, have to get to work on time! but typically, if he's hungry, i let him eat. if he's sleepy, he'll nap. i don't yet try to enforce specific times for those things.

(it will be interesting over the next few months to balance that with the structure i know he's going to start to need. and later to balance it with the discipline i believe a child needs as well! but those are bridges i'll cross when i get there.)

so. that's my diatribe. phew. glad that's over!

p.s. i have to confess i giggled as i labeled this post "parenting philosophy." i have one of those? apparently i do.

Monday, December 27, 2010

watch that first step, it's a doozy.

i've written and erased this stupid first entry maybe six times already. stage-fright much? so let's try this again. once more, with feeling!

i've been a wife for almost five years, a marketing professional for a decade, a musician for most of my life - and most recently, a mom for six months. i'm a closet punk-rocker, a lover of lower-case letters, a passionate reader, and thank god, i thrive on having too many balls in the air.

i'm not unique, i'm sure. i guarantee there are a million women in the world, juggling a million-squared hats. and you know what? quite a lot of them probably do it better than me. but i think that's sort of the point. i'm making this up as i go along, and i'm not afraid to admit it.

so if you're looking for advice on how to be a working mom? this probably isn't the right source. you'll probably get more how-not-to than how-to.

and if you're looking for great ways to save money and be the super mom you've always dreamed of being, there are so many good mommy blogs out there, i can't possibly compete.

but if you'd like to ride the rollercoaster with me, laugh at spit-up covered business clothes and cry over spilled milk (literally - i'll tell that story another day), then you've come to the right place. grab your favorite beverage - i won't judge if it's of the adult variety - and we'll get along just fine!