How Pumping At Work Is Like a Part-Time Job

by Love, Work 4 Comments

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Another nursing mommy friend of mine recently referred to pumping at work as "a part-time job." I'm starting to see what she meant. Can you relate?

Another nursing mommy friend of mine recently referred to pumping at work as a “a part-time job.” I never looked at it that way before, but it sure does make a lot of sense. And not just in the sense as it takes up way too much of my precious time.

I’ve had a few part-time jobs in my time, working at an ice cream shop, a pizza parlor, a few stints in retail and some catering and waitressing gigs. I can’t say I enjoyed any of them very much. (Well, except maybe the ice cream job–ice cream sure is tasty.) I started all my PT jobs with a certain fervor, but then my enthusiasm quickly died down. (Working your ass off for $4.25 an hour isn’t exactly living the American dream.)

I approached pumping with a similar attitude. I was super gung-ho about pumping until I realized that O wouldn’t perish if he had a bottle of formula once in awhile. Then I started to get a bit lazy, if you will. Now I almost dread pumping, much like the way I used to dread working the evening shift on a Saturday night. I loved the money but hated missing out on the parties. I love the bonding and benefits of nursing, but I hate pumping.

I never wanted to pick up any extra shifts when I worked part-time, even if it meant more money. And I certainly never want to pump anymore than I have to, even if it means I could start a freezer supply again. I currently pump once in the morning before I leave for work, twice at work, and sometimes in the evening after O goes to bed. If it works out that I don’t have to do the evening pump, I practically dance the jig of joy. Instead of being forced to sit in one spot for 15-20 minutes, then clean all my equipment again, I get to spend my evening as I choose. It’s sort of like when your boss let you go early on a Saturday night, and you got to party with your friends instead of working. It really does feel that awesome.

But it doesn’t always work out that I get my evening shift off. Some days my boobs call in sick and I don’t get as much milk as expected on a certain day. Then I often have to work late and possibly even pull an extra midnight pumping shift. Kinda like when the boss would call me to work on my day off because someone else called in sick. My boss and coworkers pissed me off then, and my own boobs piss me off when they do it now.

It’s all good in the hood though, because I can see an end in sight: The Day I’m Able to Quit Pumping. It won’t be as spectacular as the time I quit my catering gig–storming off and speeding away in my car during the middle of a job because the fill-in boss chose to swear inappropriately at me–but it will be just as satisfying.

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Tela

A cofounder of Working Moms Against Guilt, Tela is a working mom with a son, O, who was born in July, 2006.

4 Comments

  1. When are you going to quit pumping and how are you going to ease off it? I did my last at-work pumping session today. I seriously felt so happy about it. My son turns 1 tomorrow, and I wanted to make it to a year. (I must say I am proud of myself). Anyway, I will drop one pumping session a week and then maybe nurse here and there for a few more weeks. I don’t think he will take it well though. He will be thinking, “What’s the problem here lady. Let me have it!”
    –MM

  2. I honestly don’t know! O is only 9 months, and I want to make it to a year, as well, so I have a few more months to decide.

    That said, I imagine I’ll take a similar route that you are taking. Although, I might try to continue to nurse for awhile–in the mornings and evenings? I don’t know. I’m torn between having the freedom and my body back and not breaking this special bond. I’m not sure I’ll have another baby, so this might be it for me. I definitely want to quit pumping at a year though–sick.of.it.

  3. I’m impressed! You and all the other pumping mamas are doing an awesome job. It cracks me up to think of you speeding away in the middle of your catering job. So when you stop pumping are you going to throw your pump off the top of a building?

  4. I quit with Jude at 5.5 months. I was THRILLED. I was so glad to have my lunch break or otherwise at work be not about my boobs and if I could supply enough milk.
    When you decide… it is freeing.

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