Scream, Cry, or Laugh: Mom on the go

Warning all readers! I have been asked by several friends to write about my working-mama-on-the-go-pumping. So, this is about me, a mom on the go, who pumps on the go…so if you’re not a Mama (or a husband who could learn some perspective on what working Mamas do in order to feed their children)…well, you might want to skip over this one.

I have the Madella double pump with the on-the-go travel tote. I highly recommend this pump by the way!!!! I’m a hairstylist with back to back clients and few breaks during the day, so being able to pump both sides in about 15 minutes saves me a lot of pain, if you know what I mean?!? They sell these amazing strapless bras that can hold the pump attachments; I can pump hands free. Not only do I pump with speed, but in that short 15 minutes, I also get to scarf some food down. Now that’s efficiency Mamas!

Now on with my story:
On any normal day I dread saying bye to my munchkin, so you can only imagine after a long day how eager I am to come home and see his precious little face; with this anticipation, every spare second counts. With unpredictable Southern Ca traffic it can take up to an hour and a half to get home. Can you see where this story is going? I have mastered pumping “on the go” like the tote promises.

So there I was sitting in my car, no one was around (I double and triple checked!), all businesses had closed, I locked up the salon. Time for set-up: put on “hooter hider” as my friends call it (aka nursing cover), put pump attachments together, start driving, and begin pumping once I get to the freeway.

I’ve timed it perfect. I pump while on the freeway because its less likely that anyone will notice what I’m doing. I’m usually done pumping by the time I exit the freeway for my last 20 minutes of driving. I detach one side on the first red light, the second at the second red light, take apart all the pump pieces at the next, then off comes the bustiér, I readjust my shirt, take off my cover, and am done and ready to give my baby kisses as soon as I park my car.

I was a frustrated, in a hurry and a little anxious! I had started work before my baby had woken up in the morning and I was running late getting out of work. Missing him like crazy, I’m rushing which is never a good thing! My cover is in place and I get ready to “set-up”. This was one of those pre-summer evenings where, even though it was after 7pm, the sun was still lighting up the sky.

All if a sudden this truck pulls up to the curb facing the wrong direction, and there’s a man and woman staring into my car. “What the heck are they doing? Why are they on the wrong side of the road, and why, of all times and places are they in front of me? They’re messing with my flow! Literally! Go away!” Then sloooooowwwwwlllyy they get out and start unloading, staring at me the whole time like I was doing something wrong. I mean…I was getting ready to pump…but they couldn’t really tell, could they? Was my gray and white zebra nursing cover that obvious?

I then realize its the business owners from the photography studio upstairs. Great! I’m going to have to see these people again! I wait a minute for them to leave before proceeding. They don’t leave. Come on people! I want to go home!! Go upstairs already!!

They leave finally. I finish set up. Start my car. Pull out to drive. Dang it!!!! The sun is in my eyes and I was in such a hurry to get out the door I left my sunglasses on my work station. Do I bear the pain of the setting, beating, Southern Ca sun in my eyes for an hour? Or can my nursing cover wrap around me enough to just run in a grab them really quick? I choose the latter.

With milk now dripping all over me…wait, how is milk dripping? Aahh! I didn’t put the bags on? At least I hadn’t started pumping that way or I would’ve been a mess…and us Mamas know how precious that liquid gold is for our babies! We don’t want a drop wasted! Especially since I felt like my supply was dwindling.

I grab my glasses, speed walk to the car, check my surroundings, off I drive. Let the pumping begin!

Oh, you think it’s over…not yet! I pull up to the house after not having enough red lights (you never catch them when you need them!), and I hurry as fast as I can to put everything away and go inside. Rrriippppp! Yep, I rip one of the storage bags at the top so now I can’t zip it. Lets see, can I make it inside without spilling? Of course! I’m the master of making one flawless trip inside (because two trips is unthinkable); however, it looks more like a balancing circus act than a graceful catwalk. I hold my salon bag with my teeth, prop my purse against the wall with my knee, sling my tote over my arm, hold the open and ripped plastic storage bag in one hand, carefully pull the screen open and prop it open with my hip, begin the classic search for my house keys in my abyss purse, pull them out, open the door and walk in to my baby’s smile welcoming me home. All of this without spilling the milk or setting anything down on the cement like any normal person might have done. Success! Haha, not so fast!

Eager to hold him, I rush to put everything down and wash my hands. All I have to do is finally pour this milk into a new bag. I proceed to pour. Ta-Da! I’m ready to seal it. Label it. Freeze it. Yay! Its Cuddle Time. I grab the new, now filled bag, and I somehow manage to knock it over and spill half of it all over my in-laws’ white carpet.

Holding breath to prevent screaming something regrettable! Tears streaming uncontrollably! Exhale! Remember labor instructions during intense time of stress: take a deep cleansing breath.

“Breathe! You can’t control anything but your reaction,” I tell myself. I walk into the next room to be greeted by my bundle of joy and realize he’s completely unaware of any of this chaos and irrational emotion. Yet another reason to breathe…and smile, because THAT’S how I want him to see his Mommy after being gone all day. I reach out and get my long-awaited hug and slobbery, drool-filled kiss. Mission Accomplished!

Yet, another reminder to breathe, let go and let God…

Until my munchkin’s next nap time: slow down, breathe, smile and laugh at yourself.

I know I’m not the only mom this crazy. Do any of you have pumping-on-the-go stories? Let’s hear them!


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