After my friend Ellen wrote a post a few weeks ago, some of her friends were inspired to get in touch and share their stories. And this one had me laughing hard. The picture in my head of her trying to use a breast pump at work had my stomach hurting from laughing. Because I HAVE BEEN THERE! SO funny. This girl is SO personable and seems like someone that could anyone's friend.
Thanks for contributing, I know that your story will get some laughs and touch someone's heart.
Hi, My name is Mel and I am a full-time working mother of 2. My son Hunter is 9years old and my daughter Peyton is 1 year old. I rub naked people for a living, AKA I'm a massage therapist and I work in a Chiropractic Clinic. I see 30 patients a week, from monday to friday. And it is very physically stressful on my body, so most nights I come home exhausted. If I had my choice, I would stay home with my kids, but unfortunately we need two incomes to afford our mortgage and other bills. I love coming home and getting kisses and hugs from both kids. I work until 7:30pm so when I get home, I have about an hour to eat dinner and play with my kiddos before I nurse Peyton to sleep. It's tough when I only get to see them for a couple hours a day and I used to enjoy my job because i was helping people. Now I just think about how much I'm missing out on their childhood because I have to be away at work and it makes me bitter.
Pumping at work has been....well... frustrating to say the least. I hate it. And it's not the actual process I hate, it's more the constant disappointment I experience. I took 3 months of maternity leave and had no issues with supply at all, but as soon as I went back to work and started pumping, my supply had completely dropped. I've tried fenugreek, Motherlove capsules, Mothers milk tea, and eating lactation cookies along with TONS of water all day. In my job, I get 2 - 15 minute breaks to pump. To say it's stressful is an understatement. I would have a patient waiting for me to finish pumping right outside my massage room (where I was pumping) and I would feel the pressure to both hurry up for the patient and to also produce enough milk for my daughter. YIKES! There were also a few times when my pump would "queef" on my boob.... and I KNEW my patient heard it....ayayaya, so embarrassing! In the end I've made it 13 months, and am just now starting to supplement with some cow's milk, so I have some comfort knowing that even though it was stressful and hard to keep up with, this full-time working mother managed to feed my daughter breast milk for 13 months.
During the day I'm lucky to have the best babysitter ever... Grandma! My mom retired from her job to be Peyton's primary caregiver while I'm at work. We pay her $800/mo. She also picks Hunter up from school and gets him started on homework. I'm truly fortunate to have someone I trust watching my kids when I can't be there.
My kids are my life. Nothing makes me happier than being with them. When I had Hunter, I was only 21. I was in serious survival mode and I feel like I kind of missed out on Hunters baby/toddlerhood because I was just trying not to "mess up" and get through it. Now that I'm 30, I'm a lot more comfortable and really try to take the time to enjoy every moment. Watching Peyton grow and reach her milestones has been so rewarding. On the weekends we love to play with toys, watch movies together, go to the park, the mall, or Target. Peyton started walking like a champ about a month ago, so we will go somewhere big like Home Depot and just let her explore (under supervision of course). Our current favorite thing to do is have "picnics." Peyton got a play picnic basket with fake food for Christmas and she loves to give us the plates, cups, and fake food over and over while we pretend to eat it. I love the way she jibber jabbers and the way that my son and her play hide and seek (Peyton always seeks, of course). We also love reading books and putting puzzles together. Peyton loves to carry around her giraffe puzzle piece and put him on the chair or her Little Tikes Rider. Just watching her is entertainment.
I always tell my husband, when he gets an awesome paying position that makes enough money, or when we win the lotto (sigh), I'm quitting my job and staying home with the kiddos. I'm sure I would have those moments of needing adult time and time out of the house, but that is truly my dream job. Full time mommy.