Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Somebody's got a case of the Mondays

Yeah, I know it's Tuesday, but every day feels like Monday all of a sudden. I returned to work last week, and it sucks. Bigtime.

I miss my babies. They're in daycare now. A daycare center came through for us at the last minute, and was able to take both babies for a price we could afford. We're paying just a few hundred dollars a month more than it would cost to send one baby to daycare. I'm pretty sure the only reason they were able to give us such a good deal is because they're desperate. There are TONS of daycare facilities near us, the vast majority are fancy shmancy new constructions. We're talking video monitors in every classroom, Raffi piped in on surround sound, playgrounds with rounded corners and that soft rubbery stuff on the ground as opposed to asphalt or wood chips. The place we're sending our babies? It's a bit worn, to put it nicely. There's no way they can compete with the shiny new facilities. At least the people who work there seem nice, and they seem to like the twins. And really, we had no choice.

Besides missing my babies terribly, the worst thing about being back at work is pumping here. I HATE HATE HATE pumping in the bathroom! It just grosses me out. It's a private bathroom with a lock, which is better than having to use one of the stalls but still. It's the only private bathroom in the building. You know what that means. It's the bathroom my co-workers use when they need to do their worst. There's nothing quite like preparing food for your children with the smell of a fresh dump (or even worse, a fresh dump and french vanilla air freshener) lingering in the air. My first day back, I just stood there and cried the whole time I pumped. The second day, I focused less on crying and more on making sure that absolutely nothing that touched the bottles touched any bathroom surface. Quite the challenge. I've heard rumors of places that give mothers a private non-bathroom place to pump, but for some reason, I don't think they really exist. My co-workers don't seem to see any problem with pumping in the bathroom, so maybe I'm just being a brat. I'd like to know what you think. So please, any working mothers out there, I'd love to know what your experience pumping at work has been like.

15 comments:

Melissa said...

I think you should talk to HR. There is no way that I would pump in a bathroom! Poor you :( I hate pumping too. My work set me up a space in a storage closet, where the servers are. Not ideal, but it has a lock on the door so I'm happy. I know there are laws out there to protect working moms you should check them out. I think there should be something in their about bathrooms not being an option.

anofferingoflove said...

hey - just saw this post, and even though i am WAY behind in commenting on others' blogs, i had to respond quickly to this because it made my blood boil for you.

the new healthcare law (effective in march 2010) requires employers to provide a place, other than a bathroom, for employees to pump. how large is the company you work for? there is an exemption only if the employer has less than 50 employees and it would "impose an undue hardship..." check this site for more info: http://www.shrm.org/Publications/HRNews/Pages/NursingMothersLaw.aspx

i hope you can talk to your employer, having to pump in a (stinky) bathroom is *awful*

sending hugs; the first weeks back to work are awful - i cried and cried. it does get better though, i promise ((()))

Melissa said...

Oh and you should ask your co-workers to go eat lunch in the bathroom one day and see how they like it!! You are totally not being a brat.

anofferingoflove said...

here's another good website with info on the law:

http://www.usbreastfeeding.org/Workplace/WorkplaceSupport/WorkplaceSupportinHealthCareReform/tabid/175/Default.aspx

(alright, i'll stop hijacking your comment section now!) ;-)

Elana said...

I was also going to post about how workplaces need to provide a private area other than a bathroom for nursing/pumping. You need to discuss this with HR as it is the law!

jessie said...

Ugh yuck! We have a lactation room an I'm soooo grateful. Is there a conference room or office or closet that you can use?

AdventuresInBabyMaking said...

double yuck! i hope you find a better place to pump. even a corner with a baby blanket over you would be better than that.

but! hurray for finding quality, affordable childcare. we haven't found anything that's less than a second mortgage, and even then, we can't get them in anywhere until summer. and most places don't take infants (just 6 months +). it sounds like a great situation - i'm jealous!

Pomegranate said...

pumping in the bathroom sounds awful. my coworkers in my department pump in a storage closet as well, surrounded by books and boxes and random junk no one wants to throw away. it doesn't look pleasant, but at least they don't have to smell someone's dump.

good luck finding a different spot!

Strawberry said...

People shouldn't have to eat in a bathroom, and you shouldn't have to pump in one. When Nutella pumped at work, they set up a room for lactating moms to pump. I think it was just an empty office, but then the women using it made it nicer with pictures and things. I'm so sorry there's nothing like that for you (yet?) I wonder if you can be the impetus for change.

tbean said...

Dude that sounds majorly awful. I agree with all above--talk to hr and see if anything can be done to make things better.

Lisa said...

Please go in tomorrow and advocate for a space to pump for your babies. My job has a pumping room but my boss lets me use a vacant office so that I don't have to leave my floor. You're coworkers are a-holes if they think you're being a brat and that there's nothing wrong with pumping in the bathroom. Ask them to make their lunch and eat it in the bathroom and get back to you. I'll be thinkng of you and rooting for a sanity and relaxing space for you to pump.

I'm sorry that you are missing your babies. I hated leaving Preston. People told me it got easier and in some ways it did. However, I go at lunch time to nurse him so that helps. Take pictures, something of theirs, make a phone call to daycare, whatever it is that you need to help with the transition.

Sometimes it's the non-descript daycares that have awesome service. We were accepted in to a swanky daycare that was much closer to my job but in the end we went with one that was recommended by my friend who sent her two kids there. It's not fancy but the teachers are wonderful and they take care of my kid in a way that's suitable to me.

vee said...

Hugs. Missing your babies must be hard. And pumping in a toilet is pretty grim. I hope they can find somewhere more suitable for you.

poppycat said...

Being back to work is so so hard. I cried the whole first week. I'm sorry it isn't possible to stay home, especially after hearing about your pumping situation. It's wrong. You should have a clean comfortable space to pump. my company is large and my building has a mothers room for pumping. Its nothing fancy but it is clean and comfortable.

Sounda like you are having a rough time dear one. I hope things get easier soon. You know where to find me if you want to chat.

PS - my daycare is dated and worn as well... its my house. As long as the kids are clean, happy, safe and well cared for, that's all that matters.

rachelbk said...

Pumping in a bathroom is gross and you don't have to put up with it. My co-workers pumped in their offices for over a year, and there was nothing said. If you don't have an office, they have to provide a clean, private space for you.
Going back to work is hard. I cried a lot the first couple of weeks, mostly because my job is over 30 miles from home/sitter and there was no way to sneak over for a visit at lunch.
It does get easier, but I still feel awful on the days I get stuck working later:(

journeytowardsourbaby said...

That doesn't sound like fun at all, hope your work is able to work out something a lot better for pumping and that things get better.