Working? - Mothering Forums
December 2009 > Working?
thelocaldialect's Avatar thelocaldialect 05:19 PM 02-07-2010
For those of you that work outside the home, when are you going back? How do you plan on handling feeding issues (that is, have you started pumping yet, introducing a bottle, etc.?), and do you feel ready?

I have to start back at work after Spring Festival, our first day of the new semester is Feb. 23rd! I've been pumping and giving Annika bottles to get her prepared, but I still worry about whether or not my supply will take a beating from the change in routine (this happened with DS and we eventually had to switch to formula because I just couldn't keep up. The job situation was a lot more stressful at that time though).

I am really not ready to go back. The only thing I am looking forward to is seeing my graduating seniors again. I've had these kids for nearly 2 years now and I am glad I'll get to see them off to college. Other than that, I feel like Annika is still so little and I am really not quite ready to leave her. I'm the primary breadwinner in our household though, so no chance of me being a SAHM. I'm lucky enough that we can have DH be a SAHD.

How are others feeling about work?

Carson's Avatar Carson 01:33 PM 02-08-2010
nak... i am starting work in 2 weeks. i took 9w off total. i am coming back so soon b/c i was really worried about becoming not needed in this economy. my job offers amazing flexibility and I just don't want to jeopardize it!

i am in the office 2 days/wk, at home the other 3. my contract states that i must have childcare, so dh and my mom are sharing that duty. i will be able to bf on demand, within reason, so i'm hoping it will be a positive experience for all!

i am looking forward to working again. beyond the benefits/flexibility, i really love my job, what it entails, and the people I work with/for, so i am excited to use that part of my brain again.

i am pumping 4oz/day to have on hand and dh is feeding a bottle most days. it seems to be going okay so far.
DCMama01's Avatar DCMama01 01:54 AM 02-11-2010
I return to work on March 15th. DD will be 4 months that week.

I've just started pumping and saving milk last week. I've been pumping occassionally since she was born, but it was always used within 24 hrs. So far, I have about 60 oz saved. My goal is to have 200 oz by the time I return to the office.

Working from home sometimes would be LOVELY! I'm just happy that the new dept I'm joining is down the hall from the lactation room. My hours will most likely be 8:00-4:30 M-F. The plan is for me to drop DD off at 7-7:15 and for DP to pick her up around 3:30-4pm. Well, that starts in April sometime. I will be doing pick up and drop off the first month while we wait for the daycare we want for her to move to its new location. Due to demand, they're moving to a bigger location and my daughter will have a slot then. My commute will be HELL that month. I work in VA, live in DC, and the home care provider she will see temporarily will be in MD. In April, the new provider will be in DC and (somewhat) on the way to work.

I have mixed emotions about returning to one hand. First, is the fear I have of leaving my baby with someone who is not family. I'm scared she will be left yelling and screaming all day and ignored. Or she will miss me the whole time and feel abandoned. Mind you, the provider I'm using comes highly recommended, but still. OTOH, I'm looking forward to regular adult conversation and being someone other than mommy all day. That and having a chance to exercise!!! I also miss some of my coworkers and being invited to happy hour! (I still haven't had a drink, looking forward to being grown and sexy soon! lol) I also look forward to having projects again.

I definitely think it will make our time together even better, because I will probably race home to see her each day. She's so awesome! I just hope that I don't burn out.
Tattooed Hand's Avatar Tattooed Hand 01:45 PM 02-11-2010
I'm worried about burn out too. I am at home with DD except for Monday and Friday afternoons for 2.5 hours a pop, when I go to campus to teach. Otherwise, I take her with me to run errands and go for walks. But I still have around 25-30 hours of work to do from home a week. I'm pretty tired and I don't like having to find way to keep her quiet so I can pay attention to work and ignore her for so many hours a day...

I generally love my job, but I am feeling really cranky and annoyed that I can't take this semester off (because I am a peon level teacher and because the appointments are a full academic year and we just couldn't afford me not making money for 15 months). The nice thing is that at least if I have to work, I don't have to shell half of it out for a nanny. We'll get one eventually, this summer, when she gets mobile and I need to finish my dissertation. But I'll still be at home and able to BF on demand.

Alot of other mamas around me scoff at being "used as a human pacifier" because their babies like to be on the boob even if they aren't actively eating, but I like it. It also keeps her happy and quiet while I work at my computer...

So far she screams in rage if someone tries to give her a bottle. Next time I think we'll try cup feeding. Thus far DH has managed to keep her asleep in the Moby while I am away teaching.
lalemma's Avatar lalemma 02:20 PM 02-11-2010
Can I ask how you set it up so that she's content to camp out at the boob AND you have both hands free?

There is some writing work I'm supposed to be doing, and I just can't figure how the physical mechanics. Henry can't be put down, and he's pretty happy to use the boob as a pacifier, which I'm happy to use for my own nefarious purposes. But I can't figure out how to keep him on the boob while typing with both hands. (I have, unfortunately, kind of giant boobs. That may be the problem?)
Tattooed Hand's Avatar Tattooed Hand 02:52 PM 02-11-2010
I sit in my desk chair with the brest friend nursing pillow strapped on. She nurses, sucks, goes into booby trance or else to sleep pressed up against my boob. When she rouses, I stick the boob in her mouth (like I do when we sleep at night) and she nurses and generally goes back to sleep for a while longer. It only sucks when I have to get up and pee and break the sleep or booby trance. I try to have a stash of food and water at my desk to minimize interruptions. I can ususally get 2-3 hours at a time at my desk in the morning and then again in the afternoon and early evening like this. But after6:30 or 7 it's fussy time and she'll have none of it.
Tattooed Hand's Avatar Tattooed Hand 02:53 PM 02-11-2010
She lies on her side, pressed up against me on the brest friend. I love that pillow, it saved my back and lets me work (I can also sit in my arm chair with it and a folding table in front of me and read).
evinmom's Avatar evinmom 08:58 PM 02-11-2010
Originally Posted by lalemma View Post
Can I ask how you set it up so that she's content to camp out at the boob AND you have both hands free?

There is some writing work I'm supposed to be doing, and I just can't figure how the physical mechanics. Henry can't be put down, and he's pretty happy to use the boob as a pacifier, which I'm happy to use for my own nefarious purposes. But I can't figure out how to keep him on the boob while typing with both hands. (I have, unfortunately, kind of giant boobs. That may be the problem?)
I'm wondering if using a pillow and a sling might work for you. With a ring sling or wrap, you can position baby cradle style and the sling will help keep him in place.
Doberbrat's Avatar Doberbrat 02:02 AM 02-13-2010
pretty sure I'm going to ask for a 2-4w extension on my leave. I'm supposed to go back on 3/1 since dd was born on 11/29 but I'm not ready.

She was readmitted as a newborn for Jaundice. then 2w ago was admitted for a week for RSV. I've had more drs appts in the last 10w than I've had in my entire life. and I'm nervous about putting her in dc so soon.

I'mhoping they cheerfully say ok.

maternity leave in this country is just shameful.
Cybercere's Avatar Cybercere 08:57 PM 02-14-2010
I've been back at work part-time since DD was 3 1/2 weeks old (yeah, I know crazy). I had no paid time off and I'm the primary breadwinner. I work in a correctional facility in health care so have tons of flexibility as my population is a "captive" audience and are there 24/7. I have somehow managed to maintain exclusive breastfeeding (I'm amazed) with what I pump at work, etc. but it seems like I'm always running close to empty and we don't have a lot stored. But I figure I'm doing the best I can and if I end up having to use a wee bit of formula at some point, it won't be the end of the world.

Some days are easier than others with being at work. Normal days are fine as I'm only away from here for a few hours but this week I will have a real test as I have to testify in a court case in another county and will probably be gone for 9-10 hours. That is freaking me out.

I am just trying to take it easy on myself. I love my job but I love her more so I'm trying to strike a balance. I've also been doing some tihngs differently, like exercising at home (started P90X this week) and will walk with her instead of leaving her home and going to the gym.

Good luck to all the working mommas!
thelocaldialect's Avatar thelocaldialect 04:21 PM 02-15-2010
I have about a week left now and I still have mixed feelings about returning to work.

Part of me would love to ask them to extend my leave another couple of weeks too, but we need the money at this point. I've been off since the end of November and we've done really well on limited finances, but we will have expenses coming up this year and I really need to start earning my regular salary again.

I don't know. There are some days when I think it'll be great to get out of the house again and have adult company, and other days when I just don't feel ready. I live a five minute walk from where I work, so I can come home for lunch, and my schedule is pretty light anyhow. I'm sure it won't be that bad once I get back into the swing of things, and summer is just around the corner anyhow. On the bright side too, one of my good old friends, and an ex employee of mine from where I used to live, Kunming, is coming to work at our school after having been back in the States for nearly 2 years. This guy is an excellent teacher and a hoot to work with, and it'll be fun to finally have a friend in this city.

Good to hear that those of ou who are working again already are doing well. Good luck to all of us who are gearing up to go back!