Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Working Mom

It has been my realization that even though there are a lot of working mothers out there.  There is little support for them.  I came to realize this even before I had JT and has become even more clear after.  I got very upset one day reading a book about Breastfeeding and the author implyed that all women had a choice about going back to work or staying home with their child.  She also insinuated that all women that went back to work did it for selfish reasons.  Well needless to say I did not finish that book and I cussed at the author as I read it. 

Here is my two cents.  If I had any choice at all I would be home with my child, but unfortunately my income is the main income. We are just now recovering from two years where my husband was unemployed or seasonally employed doing ranch work. We struggled along and did our best not to get in debt or become a drain on society.  This being said I had to return to work after 7 weeks paid maturnity leave. This was a dreaded event but back to work I went.  Thankfully for the first eight weeks my mother has been able to watch JT.  Even with my mom watching him that first day was terrible.  I didn't know how he would do.  I worried about if he would eat from the bottle, would he take naps like he should, would he cry the whole day, and will this do him permenent damage even though I have no other options.  I called my mom several times that first day and he was doing fine.  He and grandma worked out their routine.  My mom figured out how he liked his bottles and the exact mix needed to have the breatmilk last the whole day. We have found that that I can't get enough milk pumped during the day and so add formula to the bottle to make full bottles. They worked out their routine and he has flourished.

I think the pumping is where I feel the most alone and unsure of what I am doing.  There is little information for a working mother and pumping.  You wonder how often, how long, and how you know if you are doing it right.  I have found that I can't pump enough and so have tried to figure out ways to get more pumped.  I envy those that could pump enough to have milk stored up.  Then I worry about not having enough to feed JT and my milk supply not increasing.  I can definately see why women go to formula.  It is so much easier.  But a lesson I have learned in my life is that easier is almost always not better and so I press on pumping 4-5 times during the work day for around 10 minutes each time.  The other thing that is frustating is that all the activities for mothers and support for moms is during the day for those mothers that stay at home.  There is nothing for women/moms that work. 

The next big step is in a couple of weeks JT has to start daycare.  I almost started crying in the car the other day when I thought about the fact that I was going to have to leave him with a complete stranger and trust this person to meet his needs and keep him safe.  It makes it hard b/c I know all the things that could happen b/c of my job.  I know that first day will be hard and I will check in often but I would be a complete mess if I hadn't been able to have that time where my mom was watching him.

In all of this, I find that I have to watch myself and not get bitter about my job, about our situation financially and bitter toward those that somehow are able to stay at home with their children.  I am jealous and sometimes find myself asking God why I didn't get a miracle like others that allowed them to get to be home with their babies.  I know that He has a plan and I know that there is a reason that He has kept me working where I am.  I know that He will keep JT safe and I know that this is only a season that can change in a heartbeat.

1 comment:

Jill said...

Thank you for your honest post Laura. I am amazed at working moms. I can imagine the challenge that it is and I have the utmost respect for you and my friends who are doing the same thing. I'm sorry for the lack of support and for judgment that can come. I've worked at different times - mostly for a short time - and I have seen the challenges that it brings. I will pray for support for you as well as peace as you see that you love that little man and he will be okay. You are a great mom!