As a portfolio manager in financial services, I used to define a good day at work by a successful trade, big client inflow, or exciting new investment idea. After returning to work as a new mother, my yield in my office’s mother’s room is the driving force of how my day goes and usually the first thing I report to my husband once I get home and start measuring my liquid gold. Coming out of the mother’s room after a good pump session gives me the same sense of accomplishment as a money-making trade. My supply always seems like it was barely enough for my hungry son so I live half ounce by half ounce. I often contemplate quitting.
I am lucky to share the mother’s room with three other nursing mothers so there is always someone to share pumping wins and woes with. My fellow pumpers remind me not to quit on a bad day, that “it’s just a phase”, and that we will have our bodies back again. Our pumping community has the same effect as a group exercise or a team sport; we wouldn’t have pushed ourselves as far alone. Since all of our babies were born within three weeks of each other, our pumping schedules are basically the same. After a couple days back at work, we realized it was logistically impossible for us to all have solo pump sessions while maintaining our work schedules. We opted for an “open door policy” so we could come and go as needed. Our modesty was out, shirts were off, and pump bras and flanges went to work. We enjoy pumping together as we can gush over our babies’ latest tricks, snack on our favorite lactation cookies, and empathize over lost sleep and low supply. Without this support, I would have stopped pumping months ago. The mother’s room is my refuge and a time that I can focus on what is now my most important job: being a mother.
Thanks to @coucousuzette for the image!