The background: The grade level I teach goes on a three day, two night camping trip every year. I was on maternity leave for last year's trip so I missed it. My son will be 19 months old when the trip happens this year. My son still nurses a lot (I have to pump at work for my comfort, and he also nurses in the morning, the evenings, and multiple times during the night).
My worries: I'm concerned about how to make this trip work, both in terms of how he would do and in terms of milk expression. My wife, who is a SAHM with him, is not able to get him to sleep at night even though she can get him down for naps during the day, and if he wakes up during the night and I'm not home he will stay up waiting for me. I assume that somehow they would survive the few nights I would be gone, but it doesn't sound pretty. My bigger concern is how I would express milk while I was at camp. I would be staying in a cabin with 10 students, so wouldn't have any privacy there, and I'm not aware of any private space with an outlet that I could use. I think I would need to pump at least 4 times a day, and I can't figure out how that would work.
My question: What should I do? Should I call in sick the day of the trip and make the seven other teachers on my team each do a little bit more work? Should I try to talk to my principal about it? But what if she says tough luck? Is this possibly workable? Am I missing something obvious here?
Jocelyn: Like you, I'm somewhat uncomfortable with the idea of calling in sick, but what would I do if I talked to my principal and she said I had to go?
I should clarify, that's why I would call in sick. The principal might not understand, tell you that you have to go and offer some shoddy accommodations for you that just won't work. Then if you do end up not going, she'll know exactly why you didn't go and might cause problems for you in the future.
In principle, you shouldn't be forced to go, and should be accommodated but that's not always how things go.
Any other ideas?
Another idea might be a portable pump that doesn't require being plugged in? I have the Medela Pump in Style which has a battery pack in addition to the DC power... or a regular manual pump? Those are more quiet (the Pump in Style advertises discreetness but it isn't! lol)