So in addition to being an advocate against sexual violence, I’m also a working mom – and a new one at that – my son is only 9 months old. I had no idea what it would be like to balance my challenging job and motherhood, and I certainly don’t have it all figured out. But there are some things that have really helped, and I wanted to share them with all the other working moms out there – because, hey, we need all the good advice we can get! (My list assumes you are nursing, so if you aren’t, there are probably a couple of things that don’t apply to you!)
- A hands-free pumping bra. This was GAME-CHANGING for me. Who has time to hold a pump to your boobs two or three times a day? Personally, I need one hand to respond to emails and the other to talk on the phone. This is the one I have, and I thought it was a lot of money at the time, but totally worth it.
- A travel mug that doesn’t leak. This is for two reasons. First, you are going to need a lot of caffeine. Second, you don’t want to burn your baby while drinking your caffeine with leaking hot coffee or tea. I love my Contigo mug because it actually locks and I can throw it in my bag – full of hot tea!
- Unlimited black tank tops and pants. I get dressed in all black every morning, and then have a series of cute blazers, sweaters, and accessories that don’t go on until I’m walking out the door. Spit up, no problem. Milk spray while pumping, no problem.
- Clarks shoes. I really can’t get home at the end of the day and have my feet hurt. But I’m too young to look so old. Clarks are the answer. Trust me. It’s like the 18-hour bra for your feet, and no, they don’t pay me.
- A smart phone. I really, really like getting photos of my nugget while I’m at work. It reminds me why I am there, and I love to see him having a good time with his dad or his babysitter.
- Two sets of pump parts. That way, you don’t have to wash them every night. I actually got a third as an emergency set at work after forgetting them several times in a row.
- A list of everything that miraculously needs to happen every morning before you leave the house. When the going gets tough, the tough look at a list. You’d be surprised at how often you would forget your shoes if they weren’t on a list.
- A commute strategy. I can either read and review documents or respond to emails while on the train. If I am efficient, I can get through about 20-30 on my way home, which makes a dent in my inbox before I sign off for baby time. Plus it helps me justify walking out the door at exactly 5pm every day.
- Amazon. Why wait to buy the diapers, the new socks, or the pump parts? Number one rule for me is just do it now. Otherwise, the next thing you know it’s a new season and you’re baby’s socks barely cover his toes.
- A no-hands purse. Try carrying the baby, the coffee, your pump or office bag, AND a purse. Craziness! The shoulder strap is your friend and you can still be fashionable. I’m a big fan of the Baggallini.
So, 9 months of being a mom, 7 months of being a working mom, and 10 things that have helped so far. Not a bad list, and I can’t wait to hear about your working mom must-haves!