Monthly Archives

March 2016

working mom

3 reasons NOT to join a lactation support group

March 29, 2016

FACT: breastfeeding working moms think about lactation pretty much all of the time.

How much milk am I producing? Is it enough? Can I do anything to boost it? How many times and for how long should I be pumping? How can I keep my supply up?

It’s maddening sometimes how all consuming it can be. You know what sucks? When you actually reach out and join a support group that you think will provide actual support just to end up quitting in a fit of rage-tears because it hurt more than it helped.

3 Reasons NOT to join a lactation support group

  1. Extremes
    1. You want to breastfeed your baby until they are a toddler, can walk around, form sentences and ASK FOR YOUR BOOB? Cool, you do you. As soon as my kid cut teeth and bit me a few times we were done. And guess what, that’s cool too. You don’t have to join a demonstration to be committed to breastfeeding.
  2. Shaming
    1. You know who joins a lactation support group? People committed enough to breastfeeding to want the support of a community. Know what you probably shouldn’t do to those people? Shame them in any way for being ‘less-than’. There is no less-than! A group by definition is ‘a collection of persons considered together as being related in some way’. The best way to sabotage your own group is to shame people out of it. It’s counter-intuitive. You’re all there for the same reason. Be inclusive – that’s the point!
  3. Agenda Pushing ‘Advice’
    1. Guess what’s not helpful or supportive? Suggesting I change my work schedule to accommodate my baby’s eating schedule. If that was an option, I’d probably already be exercising it. So no, I cannot shift my work schedule to breastfeed on demand. Maybe try offering up actual advice rather than trying to push your agenda.

You know what’s not good for lactation? Stress and anxiety. So when your “support group” totally sucks at being supportive – ditch it.

-JLVR

 

working mom

Be kind to yourself

March 10, 2016

Sometimes this working mom thing is rough. There was a patch of time that I felt like I had to fight for everything – at home, at work – nothing was coming easy. It was all a struggle. Like trying to run through knee high water.

I was drying my hands in our bathroom going through the motions, on autopilot, blankly staring at myself in the mirror when a coworker approached me. She said…

I don’t know how you do it. You’ve got two boys at home and you work on a demanding and challenging account. You are always so even keeled and everyone has nothing but nice things to say about you. I really look up to you.

She almost brought me to tears. It was a complete surprise and so appreciated to hear her unsolicited impression of me. It felt amazing. Just the pick-me-up I needed.

Sometimes when you think no one is noticing… they are. For all the times you feel like you’re not doing your best, know that showing up and pushing through counts for something too.

-JLVR

newbie mom

Anniversary of our trip to Children’s Hospital

March 3, 2016

Professionally this month I celebrated the one year mark of joining a new client team. Personally we, as a family, celebrated the anniversary of our toddler’s health scare.

Back in February of 2015 we noticed an odd rash on our son’s face – we scheduled a doctors visit and found out that he had a very low platelet count that then plunged to dangerous levels. I can still remember the fear I felt welling in my throat when I received the call from his pediatrician while preparing for my first client all-agency presentation.

We were fortunate that things came out on top for us and our little guy made a full recovery – but it was definitely an unexpected and frightening experience. (More about our visit to Children’s, some of our learnings and our follow-up visits).

4 things we’ve learned over the last year since our trip to Children’s Hospital:

1) Trust your gut

It drives me crazy when people say ‘you’ll know it’. Too Olivia Pope ‘trust your gut.’ Maybe it’s the planner in me that just has to know. Like… “What does labor feel like?” “If you were in labor, you would know it.” Annoying.

When our son V woke up from his nap over President’s Day weekend last year with a rash on his face like we’d never seen before we just knew something was off. It just didn’t feel typical – it felt odd. So I’m going to do the thing I hate… tell you that ‘you’ll just know it’.  So here you have it…

If something is wrong, you’ll know.

2) Google is not your friend

According to Google our son had nothing or cancer… and all that’s in between. An online diagnosis can read like the disclosure on pharmaceutical advertisements – listing every single potential scenario that may be anywhere near a slight possibility. Needless to say, it’s worth the copay to go see your pediatrician for an actual diagnosis. They got a degree after all. Wouldn’t you rather have the peace of mind instead of worrying over the unknown infinite possibilities?

3) An elephant never forgets

It’s true that thoughts will flutter in and out of your conscious as you move further from the hospital stay. But the memory of the event never fully leaves. Instead the thoughts hang in the back of our minds waiting to be brought to the light. We kept a keen eye on V this past year. We’d take special notice and mentally log every mark and bruise on his active toddler body. Commenting to each other at the end of the day while brushing our teeth “Did you see that mark on his back? Let’s keep an eye on that.” Fortunately most kids his age that experience ITP and recover do not have a recurrence. However with no reason for it’s cause in the first place it can be cold comfort. So now, on the year anniversary, we’re putting it further to bed than we ever have before but our guard will not be completely down.

4) Teamwork makes the dream work

It’s true that I sometimes want to murder my husband a little bit in his sleep. (Mostly because he makes this insanely annoying ‘ticking’ noise – according to facebook and the inter-webs I may have misophonia. I realize this is ironic since I just told you in my second point that online diagnosis is a no-no). When we were faced with this scare we banded together instead of splintering apart. We were scared, we were facing the unknown and we did it together. Yay us!

I cannot express how thankful I am for the health of my family. Events like the one we experienced last year bring our fortune into sharp focus. We were lucky that our scare was brief however there are many that are not so fortunate. To mark the anniversary we will be donating some items to the Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital Ronald McDonald Family Room. In what was, thankfully, our short stay at the hospital we really appreciated the toiletries we received and hot shower we were able to take in the RMHC Family Room.

If you’re ever wondering what to do with those soaps, shampoos and lotions you couldn’t help but take from the hotel on your last business trip – stock up and donate to RMHC!

Find out more about Ronald McDonald House Charities.

-JLVR