Hi, everybody. This is the mastering motherhood podcast, and I'm your host, Nicole. This show is made by a mom, Me four. Mom's covering pregnancy, postpartum and parenthood topics as we go through this motherhood journey together. If you listen to last week's episode of The podcast, you heard Kim come on to talk about her coaching work with specifically career moms and their mom guilt. And this week I just want to talk about working moms. Being a working mom is hard. There's a lot of unique stress that comes with it, and it just really got my mind going. And I want to take this episode to just say, as a fellow working mom, I feel you and I appreciate you in You're doing a good job. What are some of the big things that working moms struggle with? Well, first going back to work, not to mention all of the time that you're pregnant, especially those last few weeks of pregnancy. Oh, Lord, when you're like I could pop any minute to even start new projects when I may have been doing at work, I'm falling asleep all the time. But going back to work is a real struggle because you're leaving your baby behind and you know that nobody can take care of your baby as good as you can, but also just really finding how you can organize your schedule in such a way that you can fit in pumping or check on the baby or leave in time to pick the baby up from day care, Whatever it is, that was something that I really struggled with a lot. And you know, I'm eight months postpartum now, and I have to admit, it's still something that I struggle with, especially with pumping is getting a good flow when I'm at work and and also hope my boss isn't listening to us. Sorry, but I'll admit my mind is frequently elsewhere when I'm at work. And so sometimes I just get really nervous that the working producing isn't my best work because it's not my top priority anymore. But let's take a minute. Speaking of pumping to talk about pumping at the office, pumping is crazy. So luckily I am in an office where we have like a dedicated lactation room and there's a sink in there. But not every office has, though. My goodness some of my other mom friends have been telling me about their offices, and some of the accommodations or lack of accommodations for pumping mothers are insane. I have one mom who, she said at her office. She issues actually in an office, but it has glass doors and everything, and they're like, Oh, well, we can frost the glass on your doors and you could just pump in there And she's like a You mean you can still see inside when the glasses frosted, But I guess this is all I can do because what's your alternative pump in the bathroom, The pump in your car because your car still as glass windows, too. It's crazy and then having to worry about cleaning out your parts and everything like that. I was recently at an office where they also think goodness had a dedicated lactation room, but there wasn't a sink in there. And so I felt so embarrassed going into the office kitchen to rinse out my pump parts in the sink. I was like, Oh my God, I would be so uncomfortable if I was somebody trying to eat my lunch and some mother was washing out her pump parts in the sink, and that's coming from somebody who pumps. I know it's it's just what we have to do. But I felt awkward about it, and if I felt awkward about it, I'm sure that other people felt awkward about it, too. So that's interesting Traveling. I mentioned this. Also in last week's episode. Traveling is so stressful as a mom, I have never felt guiltier in my life, So to give you some context last week I took my first work trip away from Gus, and he was hard. I I felt so guilty in preparation for the trip. We started doing some sleep training because my sweet boy he was sleeping through the night several months ago, and then he just was going through a lot of like, developmental milestones, and we had some teething thrown in there. And so he stopped sleeping through the night. And as a mother, you know, we start to survive, maybe even thrive on little to no sleep. So it didn't bother me, actually, that he was waking up so much during the night because I would just rock him back to sleep or nurse him, feed him whatever it is Sonny that I needed to do. And honestly, if he would go for longer stretches without waking up, I would still be awake myself because I still check on him all the time to make sure that he's breathing or that he's not caught, that he's comfortable and I just enjoy that time with him. So we started doing some sleep training because I just didn't want my husband to have to do that by himself. You know, it's one thing when your baby's waking up several times during the night, but you have two of you, myself and my husband that we could kind of alternate getting up. But I just didn't want him to have to do that on his own. So and sleeping and being able to self soothe this a good skill for babies to have. So we started doing some sleep training and preparation for the trip, and luckily that worked out really nicely. My son was sleeping through the night by the time I went, but then I traveled and I missed him so much. I tried to just really stay focused on work and take advantage of kind of the nice things about traveling when I'm traveling. I do really like to be able to eat out and stay in a nice hotel room. And so that was nice. But I just felt guilty not only because I missed my son so much, but because I felt like I was being unfair. My husband, too, because it's tough to have to take care of everything on your own. Not that I think it's all my responsibility. It's that we share the responsibility together. And so it's just it's tough. That's a lot for one person you know to. I have to come home from work, get the babies, spend quality time with the baby because that's important to us. Feed him dinner. Go through his bedtime routine. Still, fix yourself dinner. Still, get yourself ready for the next day. I go to sleep, wake up, get yourself ready, get the baby ready and tow. Have to do that several days in a row. By yourself. It's not impossible and kudos to all the single parents that are doing it, but it's just not our routine. So I think it was just a little bit challenging in that way, so I felt guilty about that as well. Not to mention let's talk about both of those things together. Pumping and traveling. Good God, I totally underestimated the inconvenience of pumping and traveling. I am lucky enough that I was able to use milk stork. You traveling Mama's? If you don't know about milk stork, find out about it to day. It's expensive, but man, it did make the inconvenience of pumping and traveling a little less inconvenient. So milk stork, What it is, is it's a an overnight delivery service. That ship's your milk from wherever you're at home. It's super great, especially if you don't have a whole lot of milk in your reserves in your freezer. But what they do is a couple of weeks in advance of your trip. You just put in your trip details what hotel you're staying at, how long you'll be staying there for, and then how you want to cart your milk back so they're a couple of options. You can either have a cooler ship to your hotel, and then you fill that cooler in and have it fed. Expect to your house or you can have the cooler ship to your hotel, but then it comes in a little carrying toe, and you can take it with you through security. By the way, if you don't know this already, you are able to take breast milk, even if it's in excess of the 3.2 fluid ounces. You're able to take that with you through security, even if you're not traveling with the baby. TSA just says that you need to have a reasonable amount with you, but I don't know what a reasonable amount is. I'm just saying you can go through security with your breast stroke, but milk stork just makes it so much easier. They even have a little note that you can give to TSA what I opted for. Actually, what was the pump and ship is what they call it. That's the one where you feel the cooler with your milk and then send it back home. But it was awesome, so convenient. I did have a little bit of hang up with my hotel because I got there. I had gotten confirmation from FedEx and Milk Stork that my package had been delivered a couple of days before. He checked into my hotel and When I checked into the hotel, I had asked for the package and they were like, We don't have a package for you here. I was like, Ah, you do, though, because I have confirmation that it was deliberate. They were like, Mmm mmm, no new package for you here. And so I started to panic a little, cause I was thinking crab. I don't know what to do now, but luckily they were able to find the package. I opened it up, and the milk stork package comes with this just helpful little booklet that walks you through the process and how to ship your milk back home or carry it back home. And it was so great. So, like I said, I opted for the pump and ship. What I did is I just took my milk from the day I had it in baggies. Although the milk stork package actually comes with baggies as well, but filled up my little baggies and then the next morning, I the milk stork package. It's a cooler, right? Like a Styrofoam. It reminds me of those Styrofoam coolers that you can get for really cheap of the gas station. But but the cooler has a cooling unit on it. So you press this little button activates the cooling unit, and I was a little bit skeptical. And, of course, the first thing that I do is a Google milk stork, not keeping milk cold. Nothing came up, by the way. It was a perfectly reliable company, but it just didn't feel that cold to me. And they do say to make sure that you check the temperature of the milk once it arrives at your house or whatever its final destination is to just make sure that it's still cold. It did remain cold, by the way. But you activate the cooling unit, you pack up your little Styrofoam cooler box and then seal it up and it's already pre labeled and everything like that. And then they recommend that you either work with your hotel thio, get your package shipped out directly from the hotel. Many hotels already have a daily FedEx pickup, so you could just included in that pickup, or you can drop it off at any FedEx location or whatever. I'm gonna take a quick second to pause here and say, if anything, in this episode resonates with you. Take a screenshot posted on social media and tag me so other mamas or moms to Beacon. Listen it. And if you like what you're hearing, head on over to Apple podcasts and leave a review. All right, now, back to the show My hotel was not very accommodating. And so what I ended up doing was just calling FedEx directly and getting pickups scheduled. That was really great, too, because in the little booklet that comes in your milk stork package, it has an information she that you fill out with the details of your FedEx pickup in what time it's gonna be picked up and your contact information. And you leave that along with the box with your hotel front desk person so that they know what to expect. Super great my package arrived at, I think, 9 a.m. The next day, so I highly recommend milk stork. It was really convenient for me, and a lot of companies pay for it. If your particular company doesn't pay for it, ask him. I think it's totally worth making a case for, especially if they're having you travel for work purposes so highly recommend that then there was pumping at the airport. That was also a little bit tricky to figure out. Thank goodness we have the Internet so that I could figure out how to do it. But I'll tell you about all three of my experiences. So I flew out of the airport on the way out. I have, like a I don't know, a two hour flight. So I just wanted to pump before I got on my flight and then pump again at the airport when it landed before a headed out of the airport, because I just didn't know what my pumping situation would be once I left. And most airports also have dedicated nursing mother lounges or lactation rooms, whatever they call him. So at my home airport, I went and there is a mother's room in every terminal, and it I have to say it was actually pretty nice. So you just go. There's this buzzer. You buzz. Somebody answers. You say, Hey, I need to go in this room to pump. They give you the code, you go in the room. There were outlets, comfortable chairs, a sink, a changing table. It was nice. I had the space to myself. Another mother could have potentially come in. And that wouldn't have bothered me, actually, because it just wouldn't bother me. At this point, I've lost any sense of embarrassment that I would get from, like potentially being exposed to strangers in public, especially bits. Another mother. But anyway, nobody came in. It was early. It was really nice. My only complaint was I did see a rat, not a mouse, a disgusting rat outside of that room, right before he went in. So, um, don't let your kids play on the floor. In airports, I get on my flight and then I land at my destination and at my destination airport. It's kind of a smaller airport, and so they didn't have the same set up. What they had is one of those pods. If you've seen them, that has a nursing room and it's same idea rate outlet, comfortable chair, sing whatever but this one, instead of having a code, it had an actual lock on it. The nice part is that you don't have to fuss with the intercom. The downside is that this pod was big enough that it probably could have accommodated two mothers, but since it has a lock on it, whoever's in there just locks the door and so cannot only so only one person uses at a time. Whoa. When I landed, I go and the door was locked, so I assume somebody was in there. But also, I really didn't know. I was like, Well, do it to get the key from somewhere. There's just no information. So I sat and they waited and nobody was coming out. I don't know what to do. So I knocked on the door. Oh, so rude. If you are the mom that was in there, it was at John Wayne. Uh, you You're the mom that was in there when I knocked. I'm so sorry. I didn't mean to rush you, but also, I did want to let you know that there was somebody waiting for the room. So it did happen to be a mom who had a baby, and she I think she just went in there to nurse her baby. And that was fine. So I waited like probably 25 30 minutes and she came out. So that was fine. I went in, used it on my way flying back out. I tried to use that same pod and believe it or not, actually it's totally believable. I don't know why it would say no, but, uh, somebody was using again. And so thank goodness I had gotten there in plenty of time. But I had to wait another 2030 minutes for that mom to finish pumping. But that was fine. I did it, uh, not the most convenient experience. And I was a little bit panicked because I was thinking Shoot. I don't know what to do if I have to get on this flight and I haven't pumped my recommendation. If you are traveling, Mom is just make sure you bring a manual pump with you because if you did run into a situation like that where you couldn't get into the lactation room but you needed to pump, I know it's disgusting. We've talked about this before, but worst case scenario, you could pump in the bathroom manually if you didn't have an outlet. So something to keep in mind if you're traveling for work purposes, so pumping and traveling my point with all of this is just to say, not convenient, but get milk stork. There are a couple of other working mom problems that I'm gonna say out loud, even though sometimes I feel guilty saying, Um, but the 1st 1 is missing milestones. It sucks. I feel so bad if I've missed a milestone. Luckily, my son has had really just loving care takers who who genuinely care for him, and it makes me happy. So they always update me on the new things that he's done, and they're excited about it, and I'm excited to hear about it. But I do still have a little bit of just heartbreak whenever they get to see him do something first. And admittedly, when he rolled over for the first time, for example, I had told my mom was watching him while I was at work at the time, and so you told her about it and she was really excited, and I asked her several times I was like, Tell me the truth. Has he actually done this before for you? And you just didn't want to tell me. And she's like, No, he really did save that for you, so that made me feel really special. But he's just about crawling now, and I don't know. Little part of me is still sad about when he actually starts crawling. Or if he takes his first steps, or if he says his first word with the caretaker, it would make me sad. It really would. I mean, I guess that could happen even if I wasn't working. But the chances air higher, obviously. And then that brings me Thio. The thing that makes Wiener is Diz, Alan. Whatever it is, say it. I get a little bit jealous of his caretakers. I'm always afraid that he's gonna love them more than me. And I have other mom friends who have said the same thing. It makes me happy that he's happy with whoever is taking care of him, whether it's our nanny or whether it's my mom. I love that he's happy with them, but also in my heart. I'm like, I want you to love me the most, and if you're spending most of your waking hours with them, are you gonna love them more than me? And I'll never forget? The one piece of reassurance that I did get was I know a girl and she has an at home day care. She actually started the at home day care because when she was having kids, she needed money, but also didn't want to be away from her kids so supercool. I think that she was able to do that. But she just explained it and said, You know what? Yeah, They are going to love their caretaker. They're gonna love their nanny. They're gonna love their day care provider. Hopefully. And that's how you know that they have a good one, but 5 10 15 20 years from now they're not going to remember that person or or at least they're not gonna miss them. But they are gonna remember you, their parent. And that really struck me because both my parents worked when I was growing up, and she's totally right. I had this amazing day care provider. I went to her. Her name was Tracy. She was fantastic. I just loved everything about her. I loved being at her house. I just thought she was the sweetest person. I still remember some of the Christmas gifts that she got me. And I am 31 almost 32 years old now, and I can't even remember if I missed her when when we stopped going there, and now as an adult, I think fondly back on my time with her. But I certainly don't compare her to my mother by any means. I mean, it was like, Oh, yeah, we had, like, a cool day care provider and we've moved on with our lives and and that's it. But anyway, like I said at the beginning of this episode, I feel you. It's hard being a mom, and it's hard being a working mom and we have to do it or we want to do it for whatever reason. That is whether you get fulfillment out of your work and so you just want to do it or whether it's because you would be happy either way, and you need money. The point is, is a lot to juggle. I see you, I feel you. I appreciate you and you're doing a really good job. I don't have any solutions for you. Unfortunately, besides, maybe Dr Kim for my last episode, who's a coach, but you have to do what works for you, and and that might be drawing boundaries with work or changing your mind set or one helpful piece of advice that I got was trying to outsource whatever you can sew. In our case, it would be like getting groceries delivered instead of having to go to the grocery store. That's really helpful. But if you have any tips, let me know, because I'm still trying to figure it out, too. Thanks for listening today. For more on pregnancy postpartum in parenthood, visit Mastering motherhood podcast dot com and subscribe to this show wherever you get your podcasts. If you have a topic that you'd like to hear, shoot me an email at Mastering Motherhood podcast at gmail dot com. Thanks.