I guessed you were a mother

“I guessed you were a mother”.  The statement took me by surprise.  I didn’t realise that people guessed others parental status or not.  I had been teaching and facilitating a course all week long and he was a student.  I wasn’t sure how to respond.  Firstly, what was I doing that made me appear mother-ish?  Was it some words I used, the way I taught (which apparently was very good), my demeanour, my pouchy tummy, my mumsy clothes? I didn’t ask.  I wasn’t sure I wanted to know the truth!

It got me thinking about how I have changed as an employee since becoming a mother.  Has it affected the way I work and how I work with people?  Over the years I have taken the Belbin team roles test to see how I best work within a team.  It’s a 360 degree feedback test, so I invited several people to respond to questions about me.  In the final report you receive analysis of your preferred way of working compared to how others perceive you.  It also provides a list of words that others describe me as.  I had taken the test PRE becoming a mother and POST becoming a mother.  Within a 1.5 year time period people had described me differently.  The word “Caring” become top of the list since becoming a mother, whereas before it was waaaaay down bottom of the list.  That surprised me.  The word “Impatient” had also appeared on my list whereas nobody had described me as that before becoming a mother. People perceived me as analytical both before and after – thank goodness that hadn’t changed seeing as being an analyst is actually my job!

So what does this all mean?  That I have probably changed in the way I work – whether it was associated with becoming a mother or not, I don’t know, but I reckon it’s likely true.

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Changes in 2019

I don’t really make new years resolutions. I’m not a fan of them because I would almost certainly break them and get depressed at not keeping them.  Most of the time new years resolutions are all about things I think I should be doing ALL the time (like eating healthy, sleeping well, learn new things, do exercise, take care of myself…blah blah blah)  However, I do like to reflect on the past year and project to the next.  There are three things that I am both excited and nervous for in 2019.

1. The travel trailer adventures.

    EXCITING! Late last year we bought a 32’ travel trailer and a 4×4 truck to pull it. The idea is that we can go visit state and national parks and enjoy seeing America without taking the need to take a tent.  I am excited for all the cool places we are going to see.  We are hoping once we have de-winterized it that we will get out and visit somewhere new one weekend a month with a few longer trips anticipated for 2019.
    NERVOUS! We are going to have to learn how to drive the truck and travel trailer. YIKES. In the US you don’t need a license to pull a trailer, let alone a 32’ one. The only reason we would need a license is if we were using it for commercial purposes.  There aren’t really driving schools that will teach you how to drive it.  That terrifies me.  We haven’t moved it anywhere from the campsite yet.  People say the best idea is to just get out there and do it!
  • 2. Organisational changes at Work.
    • EXCITING! Traveling for work has its ups and downs because it often involves transatlantic travel over the weekends. The good news is however I do get to visit new and exciting places.  I need to embrace this as an exciting point!  My team is also doubling in size and I have applied for a new position (a promotion) within it so who knows what will happen there, but I want to think positively about it.
      NERVOUS. Organisational change brings on a lot of unknowns, but as well as organizationally changing my job description has changed a little bit which will bring new challenges.  I hope I quickly learn the new skills I need for this new job description.  I have a few courses already under my belt and I have a few more this year to take.  I also suspect there will be confusion and stress through this change not just for me, but others so we need to tough it out together – I am nervous that colleagues won’t and work will become less fun.  I really hope not.
  • 3. Toddler Development.
    • EXCITING! I am looking forward to Aviana becoming more independent and enjoying more quality time together, learning about her personality, hearing her talk endlessly (she talks A LOT to us!!) and potty training (bye bye nappies/diapers!).
      NERVOUS. Potty training. Haha yes, I am also nervous about that.  We did actually try potty training several months ago but Aviana fell ill on the second day, she just wasn’t rising to the challenge as we think she can.  She has proven that she knows exactly what to do on the potty by peeing and pooping on it on her own terms.  She also spent a few days at daycare successfully using the potty and staying dry just before we moved her to the new Montessori school.  So potty training will come soon hopefully.  I am also more nervous about dealing with toddler temper tantrums.  Admittedly I think she started these several months earlier than 2 and I feel a little more prepared on how to cope with them (How to talk to your child is a great book for helping in this area)…but I am nervous that there will be bigger ones on the way!

    What are you looking forward to in 2019?  What is making you feel nervous about 2019?

    The sickiness

    It just HAD to happen the two weeks I was away on work travels.  Before I left Chris got really ill with some kind of respiratory infection…and of course it had to happen when snowmageddon happened.  Chris was due to travel, but he was too ill and then we had 9” of snow!  This meant I had to look after Aviana whilst daycare was shut and Chris was a poorly bunny tucked up in bed.  We have some wonderful friends who came to our rescue who walked through the snow to our house and helped clear our driveway so I could get out and drive Chris to Urgent Care.  The day after Chris’s trip to urgent care I was due to fly to California.  With all the snow I was mostly expecting for my flight to be cancelled/delayed.  But in the end my flights went smoothly, despite the snow, and so off I went to California leaving sick Chris to look after Aviana.  Chris had some extra help from our sitter on a couple of evenings.  They survived, but Chris was exhausted, still recovering from his respiratory infection.

    I came home for 24 hours at the weekend and then I was off again,  but this time to Paris.  After I made it to my hotel I received a sitrep that Aviana was not acting her usual self.  Either she was acting strange because I had left or she was getting ill.  It turned out she was getting ill.  Chris was sending me pictures and videos of Aviana looking incredibly sorry for herself.  She couldn’t sleep lying down or on her own and just cried and cried.  Poor Chris stayed up most of the night with her sleeping upright on him.  Worried about her labored breathing he took her to urgent care.  She had Bronchiolitis and sores in her mouth, it was viral so there was very little that could be done to help her recover quicker except for rest, cuddles and fluids.  The sores in her mouth meant she wouldn’t eat any food except for yoghurt, blueberries and chocolate ice cream.  Haha, yes we resorted to the ice cream (my idea ice cream, chocolate was Chris’s idea!!!).   Poor love, she was in so much pain.

    Chris was due to travel for a couple of days for work, but the doctor said Aviana couldn’t come in contact with other children until 48hrs after her fever had gone….which wouldn’t have been a problem except our sitter works with other children so that meant she couldn’t have Aviana.  I offered to come home, but that would have been too late for Chris to travel, so he cancelled his work trip and stayed home with her for the rest of the week.  Of course, it was impossible for him to work at home with a sick baby and he doesn’t get much leave as it is.  It was just so typical – I have 8 days of leave I carried over from last year…I’m the one with all the leave and I wasn’t there to help!

    By the time I got back from Paris Aviana was feeling better and almost back to her normal self; she still has a bit of a chesty wheeze and a runny nose, but she’s a million times better than she was.  Then of course I woke up with some weird chesty cough, I haven’t had a cold so it came out of nowhere.

    I think we are done with January and the sickiness.  Can we just start the new year again please?!

    Entrepreneurship and being a mother

    So this entrepreneurship bootcamp I’ve been on this past week was amazing and inspiring.  We had various successful entrepreneurs talk to us, some of the best ones were the founder of mixbook (Andrew Laffoon), founder of Guitar Hero (Charles Huang) and Anastasia Neddersen founder of Artveoli.  There was something very interesting I found about their talks.  They all mentioned having children.  Having children didn’t stop them from becoming entrepreneurs.  In fact, Anastasia said that you should not wait to have children, which was amazing to hear.

    guitar hero

    Charles Huang – if he listened to these potential investors guitar hero would never have been

    What was just as amazing was a student in the class who brought her 6 month old daughter with her for the whole week.  It wasn’t until day 2 that I noticed her sat in the back bouncing her daughter to stop her from crying!  I went up to talk to her and tell her how amazing she is as well as how darn cute her daughter is (BTW – not all babies are cute to me, but this one was seriously cute).   There were times that she had to leave the class briefly to attend to her daughter, but I think she was there for about 90% of the class.  KUDOS.  This lady isn’t going to let having a child hold her back in life!

    berkeley method for entrepreneurship bootcamp

    Entrepreneurship – Baby won’t hold this mamma back in achieving her goals!

    Only 5% of tech startups are founded by women, yet around 25% of engineering and computer science graduates are women.  How can there be such a difference?  Why is it like this? How much does ‘being a mother’ play a role? Do women really wait? I mean, I get it, it is hard to take time off work to have a baby when you run your own business!  But are there other reasons?  There has to be!?!

    gather

    My startup team for the week – these guys are going to go far in their lives, they were super smart! #alwaysbethedumbestguyintheteam

    That smile

    Whilst I was away traveling with work Chris sent me regular photos of Aviana.  In the photos I noticed little new things she was doing.  Notably, walking with more confidence.  One photo in particular, she had a beaming smile.  The smile seemed so genuine.  She was smiling at our cat Diesel, saying hello to him first thing in the morning.  My heart melted.  I felt massively home sick.

    I drove home with bleary eyes after my red eye flight back from San Francisco, trying not to speed or shout at slow people because all I wanted to do was get a big hug from my family as soon as possible.  I wondered whether Aviana would be mad at me for leaving her all week, or if she would ignore me or worse, not remember who I am. When I got home Aviana was in bed napping.  Typical.  And so when I heard her talking away to herself in her crib I excitedly went into her room and surprised her.  I leaned over her crib and smiled and she gave me that huge big beaming smile I had seen in the photo.  I smiled even harder.  I just wanted to cry with happiness.

    Something had definitely changed with her in the last week, this smile was meaningful and conveyed something.  I felt like she was communicating with her smile, I think she has learned that she can make other people smile with her smile.  How cool is that?

    Mompreneur? Nope.

    Mompreneurs – let me just say NO.  Boss Babes – a definite NO. Why?  Because you wouldn’t catch a man calling himself a dadpreneur or Boss Dude.  Sorry, it’s been bothering me since I caught sight of the term yesterday.  End of Rant.

    It is actually a coincidence I speak of Mompreneurs because I am on day 1 of the Berkeley Method of Entrepreneurship bootcamp in California Much of the week we will work through the method for a startup.  I am not sure how I ended up here with work, but I am feeling very lucky to be here.  50% of the class are Berkeley students so at the grand age of 35 I am feeling pretty mature in this class!  But at the same time I am already in love with their youthful ambitions and energy.  Their lives are not so complicated yet.

    Oh to be young and uncomplicated! We had an ice breaker session where we asked each other 2 questions to get us to learn about the importance of trust.  The first question was – what is your secret love? (person, thing, action) and second question – what have you failed at?  And what did you learn?  I chuckled as some of the students answered – not getting on their college sports team, or, not getting a job.  Ahhhh so young and naive.

    Today 30 people were given 1 minute to pitch their idea for a startup.  Some of these people were already a business, but embryonic.  Only 20 ideas would be taken forward, the rest of the class had to figure out which of these 30 ideas they wanted to with.  As they pitched I noted down 5 great ideas that interested me, a couple that were exceptional and I truly believed they would be successful (Note to self, take mental note of the names of these people!), a few pitches were just plain awful, and the rest I was indifferent about.  In the end one pitch stood out for me.  The idea was still embryonic, the guy who pitched it had passion and came across as smart, but he didn’t articulate his idea particularly well because he hadn’t really nailed down what exactly he wanted to do.  This was the part I found intriguing.  We had 30 minutes to meet with the people who pitched their ideas to determine if we wanted to be part of their team (and if the wanted us too!).  Interestingly, he attracted to his team a diverse group of people with a range of skills…this is what is emphasised heavily in the bootcamp.  Diversity makes for a winning team.  A good example is Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg

    I am probably the oldest in the team and the only parent so I am intrigued how these factors will make a difference this week.  May be some day I will be an entrepreneur, my time is not up just because I am 35. No.  Age is not a factor (although experience may be) And you can be a parent and still be an entrepreneur.  I do think that risk taking is likely to reduce and may mean that the bang for buck might not be as good.  That’s just a gut feeling – a bias may be, it’s not a statement of fact.  But it is definitely an interesting issue I’m going to keep an eye on this throughout the week….How much does being a parent influence entrepreneurship?

    By the way, as this all goes on Aviana is getting better at walking, I am sure I will come back home after this week to a true walking toddler! It has also been a while since I travelled away from home, so it will be interesting to see her response to me not being there and me returning for 24 hours before heading off to Paris for another week.  The guilt is real.

    Career development as a new mother and infertility warrior

    If infertility taught me one thing, it was that it is perfectly possible to be both happy for someone whilst being utterly jealous of them at the same time.  It happened often – a friend or even an acquaintance would share their joyous news of their pregnancy or arrival of their newborn baby.  Of course, I was happy for them, but part of me was sad and jealous.  Sad for myself and our infertility situation, and jealous at the same time that I couldn’t have what they have.  Of course I would never have said it to their faces that I was jealous or sad at their news.  But I sure felt it.  Happiness always won in the end, because I knew very well that every single conception is a wonder in itself and the great joy it would bring to them in the end.  And in the midst of infertility I learned to be OK with those confusing feelings, it turns out it is pretty normal.

    It’s been a long time since I felt that way, happiness and jealousy at the same time.  But I recognized it immediately when it happened to me once again.  You see, I wrote a post about happiness is…..a while ago.  Everything on that list made me greatly and truly happy, but there was something on that list that also made me sad and jealous.  Chris getting promoted to director at work.  I was insanely jealous, and still am to be honest.  It’s not often I am jealous of Chris!  And he knew it as well.  He told me he was nervous about telling me and how I would react.  My instant and natural reaction was happiness, but it didn’t take long to make me think about me.  I know selfish.  Because Chris deserves the attention for his awesomeness and hard work he put in to get that promotion.

    However, it made me think about the sacrifices I have made to my career progression to bring a child into this world.  Now, my sacrifices have been somewhat limited compared to some women I have met who have stopped working, or been trapped into changing careers because of infertility.  My sacrifices are not as great.  And indeed, my sacrifice is not uncommon when it comes to taking maternity leave.  But it’s the combination of both that do make it worthy of consideration in a different light.

    What did I sacrifice?  I’m not sure what would be different if I either didn’t go through infertility, or have a baby, but here are my thoughts on where I have sacrificed my career development.

    • I couldn’t take on all the projects I could have otherwise done if it hadn’t been for infertility treatments and pregnancy.
    • I couldn’t always travel to the places I needed to, someone else did for me or the opportunity was lost.
    • I needed stability in my work to ensure that I could face the infertility treatments, so I didn’t always take on the work I would ordinarily have done before.
    • I had two interviews that I really did not do my best at, because I was distracted.
    • I have been out of work for almost 7 months, but it was probably actually longer than that because of course I had to wrap up and handover work before going on maternity leave, so I checked out earlier than that.
    • My brain wasn’t at its best in my third trimester, and probably not my in my first either because of my heightened awareness to the risk of potential loss of pregnancy.

    Pregnancy on the face of it doesn’t stop career progression, it just delays it a little bit.  I’d do that any day to have my daughter, of course, that goes without saying.  But that doesn’t stop it being a fact, and I’m not the only woman, others face similar.  Some women take a whole year off work, some take several years off work to care for their children.  What about child number two or three?  It’s just the way it is.  If we were in the UK, perhaps Chris would have taken parental leave instead and I would have gone back to work earlier?  Who knows.  Would it have slowed down Chris’s opportunity for promotion if he went on parental leave?  By how much, if at all?  I have no doubt we would like to think it would have ZERO impact on that potential, but by not being physically at work progression stalls. I have often read that it is at this point in life where the bias for a man and woman with a family becomes more apparent, where a man having a family is seen as a positive, and woman with a family is seen as a negative.  I personally haven’t experienced this myself, but it makes you wonder.

    But I also fought to maintain my career progression.  I decided to keep doing my executive development programme despite being pregnant and on maternity leave rather than postpone it.  I made sure I still went on transatlantic work trips even in my third trimester.  So, it’s not like I abandoned all effort in my career development.

    I’m not saying that if I hadn’t gone through infertility treatment and got pregnant that I would be promoted by now, far from it! But rather, if I had have been at my best during this period, then it is unlikely I would be jealous of Chris’s promotion.  Isn’t that an odd thing?

    On the go again

    I am on work travels again, this time without Aviana or Chris, in Bavaria, Germany.  And so far my week has not been the greatest, although in terms of work it has been a successful trip.

    Firstly, no one was at the airport to pick me up when I arrived in Germany and I didn’t have a number to call.  So I waited for 45 minutes and decided that no one was coming, and decided to drag my huge ass bag for 3 hours on the train.  Changing twice in the early morning after a red eye flight from the US was killer.  And it was on a Sunday.  I had to stay awake because I needed to make sure I changed at the right stops!  I was PISSED by the end of my journey.  Then, where there was supposed to be a bus at the train station, there was none, so I had to walk 15 minutes dragging my suitcase across cobble stones to my hotel.  I was desperate for some sleep, but I needed to pump and shower.  So I was pretty grumpy at this fact.

    When I opened up my bag to unpack I discovered that the lovely TSA had searched my bag – and of course, what was of interest to them was my cooling unit box that I had packed to use on my return journey to carry my week’s pumped breast milk.  With great ineptitude, they repacked it the wrong way up which resulted in the ‘on button’ for the cooling unit to depress.  It is a one time use only packaging so it was now useless.  I had cut down on my packing just to fit this cooling box in my suitcase so I could carry my milk home.  But the STUPID TSA can’t replace something the way it was – there were even TWO sets of instructions in case they were really confused.

    I cried.  I ugly cried.  I was exhausted.  I was fed up of pumping.  I just cried for 15 minutes hard..  I cried in the shower, I cried whilst I pumped.  By the time I was done crying over my ‘not possible to have a spilt milk problem’ it was time to meet my colleagues to do some work in the afternoon.

    The day prior to flying I had to take a day off work because I had a horrible cold and wanted to rest and get better for my work trip.  However, no one ever told me that flying with a stuffed up nose was stupid.  So here is my advice to you…DON’T EVER FLY WITH A BAD COLD! My right ear and my sinuses were in a huge amount of pain after landing in Germany.  I later ended up with a sinus infection for the rest of the week and it was bloody gross.  I mean, I have never seen such vast amounts of thick green and yellow snot before. I guess I have been lucky enough in my life to never had sinus problems before, but geeeeeees that hurts!  I wasn’t taking any cold meds because most meds have menthol in which kill breast milk supply.  Considering I am barely pumping 6 oz a day right now I thought it would be stupid to kill off what I have left.  So I suffered with just paracetamol/Tylenol to help.

    At least I wasn’t at home being sick on my family!  However, being ill in a hotel SUCKS!  And then the added pressure to work after travelling so far for a specific event.

    On top of all that, jet lag was kicking me in the butt and I wasn’t able to fall asleep until 1 am every night, and then being up at 6 am for work.  There were several mornings when I thought I just couldn’t face getting out of bed.  One night I woke up in the middle of the night feeling like death was at my door and I thought I had a terrible fever and that I might need to go to hospital.  So I actually grabbed my clothes just in case I needed to urgently get to the emergency room!  I may have been a little delusional at that point, but it was a rough night.

    I survived the week, I turned up to work every day and made it through some how.  If it hadn’t been for my awesome colleagues I probably wouldn’t have made it through!

    And so the end of the week came…I thought it was all over.  But no.  About 1.5hrs into my return trip to the hotel airport on the mini bus I realised I had left my passport in the hotel safe.  Luckily I wasn’t flying until the next day, so I planned how I could get my passport back.  It involved a favour from a colleague to pick it up for me and meet me at the train station. I dumped my bag at the airport hotel and then spent more than 6 hours on the train to and from the hotel where I had left my passport at…. this was time when I should have been sight seeing, shopping and catching up with a friend in Munich.  But at least I got the passport back in time!  Stupid idiot.  I blame my sinus infection really.

    On top of all that I was missing Aviana a lot.  Chris was also doing some work travels this week, so my mum has come out to help out for a couple of weeks.  Thankfully!!!  But with the travel to the UK and us being away I feel kind of bad for Aviana.  I know she is just fine and happy with granny and still going to daycare.  I just need to figure out how I reconcile the whole traveling for work thing.

    It’s going to take some practice I think!

    The one working mother stereotype you are wrong about

    Let’s talk about mis-perceptions and stereotypes about working mothers.  Here are a few stereotypes that are mostly wrong….

    • Working mothers don’t pay enough attention to their families
    • Working mothers only work because they want to avoid taking care of their children
    • Working mothers look down on stay-at-home mothers
    • It’s impossible to be a good mother and for a working mother be good at their job
    • Working mothers are only working because their husband doesn’t earn enough to let them stay at home

    Are your eyes rolling yet??!

    And it is this particular one that I want to talk about….

    Working mothers must hate that someone else is raising their kid.

    I don’t speak for all working mothers obviously, but for me this is very wrong.  Firstly, let’s talk about someone else ‘raising’ our kid.  Chris and I are BOTH raising Aviana, whereas the teachers at daycare are doing what they are good at…caring for and teaching our daughter.  Raising, teaching, caring for a child…they all sound very similar.  But there is a difference in these words, and saying that someone else is raising my daughter whilst I am work is simply wrong.  (Note, I am referencing here a teacher because that is what they are called at my daycare).

    Would you compare a teacher to a parent?  No.  Would you compare a parent to a teacher? No.  Because parents don’t have qualifications and teachers do?  But just because a teacher has a qualification doesn’t make them a good teacher, just like there are many good and bad parents out there.  And, by the way, I am not saying that parenting skills aren’t transferable to teaching, they can be.  What I do believe is that we have chosen a care provider with teachers who are complimentary to the way that Chris and I raise Aviana.

    I am not sure what “that way” is….I can’t label it as we are raising Aviana X way or Y way, but let’s just say it feels right.  Sometimes Chris and I talk about what is important to us in how we raise Aviana.  The values and beliefs that we cherish as a family.  I think we tested these out before we got married and we are quite compatible in our values in beliefs, although we don’t always have the same beliefs, we know generally what the differences are and why.  I am sure there are situations we haven’t thought of discussing and they may change in the future, ultimately if we keep the communication channels open between us we will figure it out.  That’s the only way to parent, right?! Because you don’t know until you are in that moment there and then. I digress…

    As a working mother, I do not feel guilty or jealous that someone else is caring for my daughter whilst I work during the week.  I choose not to be a stay at home parent – if I had a job that barely covered child care costs then I may have chosen to be a stay at home parent if my job really sucked.  In my mind, being a stay at home parent is like a full time job…you just don’t get paid for it!  I also don’t have a choice to be a stay at home parent if we want to live here in the US because of my visa (but that’s another story).  The argument that we won’t be there to see her take her first step or say her first word is also not valid.  We won’t miss any of this, the moment will still be magical when she first does it for either of us.

    Haha that reminds me…a side note…we did miss a funny ‘first’ new trick Aviana had yesterday.  When Chris picked her up from daycare yesterday the teacher told Chris Aviana’s new trick of the day – holding other babies hostage.  Apparently whilst Aviana was sat in her ‘throne of power’ two other babies crawled over to play with her and she grabbed both of them and wouldn’t let them go.  Not in an aggressive way because she is only 7 months old, she just didn’t want her class mates to leave her 😉

    So all in all, I don’t hate that someone else is caring for my daughter 40 hours a week, I’m not jealous and I don’t feel guilty.  I also certainly do not believe that someone else is raising my daughter in those 40 hours, Chris and I are the ones doing that, aka – parenting.

     

     

     

     

    Just one of those days

    I don’t know what it was about yesterday but it was just one of those days. You know, the ones where stuff doesn’t go your way?

    First of all, my second pump session of the day, which is normally at about the 1030-1100 time of day,  happened late at 1230 because of a series of events at work. I thought my boobs were about to explode. Then, I got carried away with work and the next time I look up, it is 4.40 and I needed to leave by 5pm so I could pick up Aviana from daycare. (I really need a ‘pump alarm’). Then, I made the STUPID decision to make my third pump of the day to wait until I got home. STUPID because….

    When I picked up Aviana I remembered I forgot the sweet potatoes for dinner. So I decide to go to the shops (still not pumped yet) then realize I have no device to carry Aviana in on me (stroller, wrap or shopping cart cover thing). So I stop off at home to pick up the stroller and realize the stroller was in the back of my car all along! So head back out to shops (still not pumped). 

    All this time Aviana is a grumpy girl for some reason. When I picked her up she was screaming- apparently because one of her baby friends was also screaming. They like to work together and cry at the same time the teacher tells me! 

    By the time I get home with Aviana with sweet potatoes, it’s her time for her dinner. Have you heard Aviana’s food alarm? No? I’m surprised because it sounds like an incoming missile rocket warning alarm! It’s instantaneous and loud! So here I am with boobs about to explode and screaming baby! Sounds like a perfect combination right? Well…daycare sent home a spare bottle of formula that I send for ’emergency’, just in case Aviana rejects my high lipase Milk or we can’t pick her up til late and it’s dinner time. Being a Monday I just send a bottle of formula in until I catch up on my milk pumping after the weekend. So. Not wanting to waste the formula I decided I’d try to be clever and pump whilst feeding Aviana her bottle of formula. 

    Then chris calls to say he won’t be home for another half hour.

    So I warm up the bottle of Formula for Aviana and prepare for my pumping session. Trying to do this with one hand as Aviana is crying. I then step in cat vomit. Not once but twice! My head wants to explode! Then I’ve heated the milk up too warm because I got distracted with cat vomit, so now I’m trying to COOL the milk! I then am also trying to get dinner started and the same time. There are microwaves buzzing, phones ringing, baby crying, bottle warmers pinging. Aghhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!

    Finally, I sit down attached to pump and feed Aviana the bottle. Even though I’m handsfree in the pump I never thought about how to hold her when I have two bottles attached to my boobs! I try sitting her up in front of me, supporting her neck and head, but she doesn’t like that, she wants to recline or lean against something. I don’t blame her! So I try leaning her against my chest between the two bottles attached to my boobs. She starts to play with the tubing and pulls it out. Why did I ever think it was a good idea??!! Even though she is hungry she thinks the pump is way more interesting than her food!!! I stress, my milk stops flowing but I’m still full I can feel it in my boobs still. It’s self perpetuating. 

    Fortunately Chris comes home, I shout to him to watch out for cat vomit, counting down for him to come into the bedroom to take Aviana away so I can pump in peace! He’s walks in and just laughs at the sight he sees! Baby with bottle half hanging out of mouth with stressed looking mum and bottles clinging with dear life to her boobs. It was a bit ridiculous. It was a ridiculous day. We all have those days when we wish it was over quick! Yesterday was that kind of day for me. Bye bye yesterday!!!!!!!!

    An apt t-shirt for me!!