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Pumping, Working, and Family Bonding Time

I live in an amazing state: California. I work in a fabulous office. My boss is fantastic; he is very supportive of my role as a working mother. I take two quick breaks to express milk everyday: one midmorning and one midafternoon. And my husband brings in my baby, Paolo, each day at lunch for the baby's noontime meal. Which brings me to another fabulous perk of living in the sunshine state: Family Bonding Time. My hubby, Giuseppe, was able to take six weeks of partially-paid time off from his job to care for our baby and help me to ease into my transition back to work full time.

Leaving my baby at home every morning is incredibly difficult for so many reasons and I do not know if I would have made it at work without the help of the state of California and my flexible workplace. I believe that the importance of breastfeeding is tantamount, and being able to continue to nuture my baby with the benefits of breastmilk has made all the difference in my experience as a working mom. That is not say that pumping at work is not a challenge. I have had to set alarms to remind me to excuse myself from my desk for 10-15 minutes to express milk. (I use the Medela Pump-In-Style. It works like a champ.) Even with the reminders and the support of my boss, it is still difficult to drop what I am doing and rush off to pump. How do other moms manage, especially in an environment that is, unlike mine, not family-oriented? I must say that I am one very lucky woman.

I also have to hand it to my hubby; Giuseppe has been terrific. He is a hands-on father, and participates in every aspect of parenting. I am so happy that he is able to take this time to care of our baby. It is a rare and special thing that he can be Paolo's primary caregiver for six weeks without missing a beat in his career. Kudos to California!

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