Sunday, September 7, 2008

Going Back to Work After 3 Months Off (with a new baby)

After three months off, going back to work has been difficult. Being sleep deprived and trying to stay on top of things as a school teacher and dance instructor is a lot more difficult to do as a mom. I'm really worried about producing enough food for the baby. The surplus of stored milk I had created over the summer is going to be gone withing a few weeks. He's averaging 16 oz during the day while I'm gone. I'm worried I will have to supplement with formula, something I have been trying to avoid. Why pay for formula when I can make his food myself for free. I am pumping at work,but I need 45 minutes to set up, pump 3oz, clean up and sterilize. For those who work in a school, you know getting 45 minutes is impossible unless you have a prep period. Fortunately, I have a prep period as a middle school teacher, but it's 1st period, which means I pump in the morning right after feeding the baby at home and I'm using my prep time so I am limited what I can actually get accomplished in the classroom. Having a late morning prep would work best. My next problem is timing. My principal is very understanding and has given me second lunch to spread out when I pump, but lunch is only 30 minutes. I have to eat and visit the bathroom during this time as well. Thus, I'm not getting to pump for the 45 minutes I need ro the 30 minutes I have been given. When I teach dance in the evening, I am staying at school to pump some more, since there is not enough time to drive home and feed in between jobs. I am pumping, but I'm not getting a full meal out of my pumping, it's too rushed and I'm getting stressed. I am starting to rearrange my bathroom breaks at work so I don't have to go during the times I pump. Also, I'm going to invest in a microwave for the room so I won't have to leave the room to heat up food and sterilize my pumping gear. For those of you who don't teach in the classroom and may be saying, "ask for more time," you can't, not without affecting what happens in the classroom. Second, the law says you need to be given a space to pump every 2-3 hours, not how much time you get to pump. Some of you may be saying, "are you using dual pumps?" or "maybe you need a better pump." I have an expensive pump that is dual and electronically operated, but it's uncomfortable to pump too fast. I am doing the best I can with what I have, but I am frustrated at the situation and wish that I didn't have to work at this time.