Browsing Tag

#workingmom

working mom

3 people you need to boost your friend count

June 30, 2016

When we were younger we were told to ‘use the buddy system!’ The same is true for when you become an adult and especially when you become a parent.

There are three distinct friends every working mom needs to cultivate…

  1. A friend at work
    1. Fact – you’re at work A LOT. So find someone who shares a kid around the same age or similar child rearing philosophies. Grab lunch and talk about struggles around work/life balance or preparing for/returning from maternity leave. Share great deals you’ve found, talk about your favorite products or how weird it is when co-workers ask you about your bottle sanitation bag in the microwave like it’s a cool new meal that they’ve not yet discovered. You will always have a willing listener for your stories and viewer of your pictures.
  2. A friend at daycare
    1. Your kid knows their kid, and more importantly LIKES their kid. Strike-up a conversation at drop-off or pick-up, or do what I did and leave a note for the teacher to pass along. You’ll be glad you hooked-up. Not only is it great for the kids to continue their relationship outside of daycare (they usually know how to play together which is an added bonus!). But you will also have someone else to talk about the happenings at daycare – why a director left, get the skinny on specific rooms and teachers, learn which kids are teaching yours potty humor, etc.
  3. A friend in your current circle
    1. One great thing about longtime friend who also has a kid is that you have a history that predates your offspring. You can talk kids, or talk work, or talk relationship, or talk about weird shit you wouldn’t dare mention to anyone else, or NOT TALK AT ALL because you just get each other. Your relationship endures even though you now sometimes have little people in tow.

I’m the first one to say ‘ugh I have enough friends’ but trust me, you’ll be glad you reached out.

working mom

5 simple ways to support your pumping partner

June 9, 2016

Recently in my facebook feed the article on Romper by Jamie Kenney “12 Things Grown-Ass Men Do For Their Partners Who Are Breastfeeding” popped up in my feed. Since I was, at the time, still breastfeeding (which can been an all-consuming activity) I was intrigued. I agree with some of her points wholeheartedly such as ‘don’t be weird about boobs’ and ‘don’t complain about having to “share the boobs”’ (and for the record they are MY BOOBS THANK YOU!). I have been thinking of my own journey with breastfeeding and more importantly as a full-time working mom PUMPING. Here are my ‘5 simple ways to support your pumping partner’.

5 simple ways to support your pumping partner

5 simple ways to support your pumping partner

Clean It Up

I can definitively say that my husband washed my pump parts far more times than I did. He’s most excited now that I’m done pumping that he doesn’t have to wash the parts ever again! Be a good partner – know what the parts are, how they come apart and how they’re cleaned.

Leak Guard

One of the most devastating things for a mother who’s pumping is to see any precious milk go to waste. One of the sneakiest culprits of this is a leaky milk storage bag. It can literally bring a mom to tears. Keep an eye on the bags while they’re thawing and when necessary save any of that ‘liquid gold’ from going literally down the drain.

Take the Wheel… or the Baby… or the Baby and the Toddler…    

For me there was a clear tipping point where breastfeeding was no longer an option but pumping was. Not only was pumping an option, it was a very necessary one. Drive the car so she can get a pump session in on a road trip. Take the baby, or in my case the baby and the toddler, so that she can get a quick session in.

Camaraderie

After our kids were put to bed for the night I’d pump one more time before I retired for the evening… (and by ‘retired for the evening’ I mean promptly passed out until a screaming infant woke me in the middle of the night). My husband would sit up with me and watch TV while I pumped. It was a small gesture but so appreciated. He made me feel like I wasn’t in this alone.

Celebrate

One day this breastfeeding ride will come to an end, for some that may be sooner than others. If you’re like me, and likely most women everywhere, you’ll feel a mixture of excitement (yay my body is MINE again!) and guilt (should I try to keep going?!). You reach a point where it’s like squeezing water from a stone – it just ain’t gonna happen. And that’s OK! You want your body to be your own again? That’s OK too! Support your partner, celebrate the triumph of a freezer full of milk. Assure her that everything will alright and  that she did a great job. More importantly pop some bottles because the days of abstaining from alcohol are over!

As an aside…

You know something funny? Inevitably as a working mom in an office setting your co-workers will get a glimpse of something related to pumping at some point. Most notably me sterilizing my parts in a Medela Steam Bag* in the kitchen microwave. More often than not the women in my office knew NOTHING about what I was doing but there were a handful of fathers around my age that did. They knew the terminology, the gear, the struggle, everything. They were a source of support that I didn’t expect to find at work.

Happy Pumping!

-JLVR

*By the way the ONLY brand to buy is Medela in regard to a steam bag, they’re super sturdy! Trust me do not waste your money on generic.

working mom

Rachel Zoe is my spirit animal

May 8, 2015

I was surfing my favorite news sites quickly yesterday afternoon during my 4:15PM lunch break at work (yes lunch) and stumbled upon a a quick read on USA Today Life which talks about designer and business owner Rachel Zoe and her claim that creating an office nursery was her best business decision yet. As a fellow working mom who was motivated and committed to returning to my career after maternity leave I just loved the approach she took. I was compelled to read her essay in its entirety.

The icing for me was this quote:

“My advice to you: Never apologize for being dedicated to your kids and challenge those around you to not only acknowledge, but celebrate your ability to be a mother and an asset in the workplace.”

Work/Life balance is always a struggle, one that parenthood adds an additional layer onto for both mom and dad. Though it’s one, I would argue, that has also made me a better employee.

Just loved this take from her, so refreshing.

It may only be one small step, but it was taken like a boss.

grass is greener

hey jealousy

November 25, 2014

I literally took this picture out of jealousy. No kidding.

I comb through blogs and Instagram photos every day of stay-at-home moms and see pictures from their vantage point that inevitably contain the contents of their coffee cup, their fashionable footwear and the sweet curly hair of their toddler’s head.  I can’t help but feel a twinge of jealousy and think “OMG, why isn’t that me?! What am I doing?!”

The twinge, admittedly, can sometimes feel more like an ache when clients are being particularly difficult or rude, when internal politics are challenging, or when I feel like I’m not making an impact.

I know, how odd right? This coming from someone who wasn’t even sold on the whole motherhood thing after 9 mo. of harboring a tiny human in utero. But my sweet little Dan V changed all of that. Maybe I can so thoughtfully call him my sweet V because I’m sitting in the quiet solitude of my office and calmly completing this post while on lunch rather than wrestling an overtired toddler down for a nap.

More than ever it’s easier to see what’s on the other side of the fence and to think of what could be. For me it’s always a dreamier version of reality and usually not grounded in sound financial decision making. But no one sees the outtakes – the spilled coffee marring the put-together outfit and the barely discernible image of what can only be the blur of a child darting through the frame. We only see the catalog ready snapshot in time through someone else’s lense.

Some days the grass seems greener and that’s OK.

LV ♥

– JLVR

P.S. Yes, if you were wondering, this post title is a nod to Gin Blossom’s ‘Hey Jealousy’. I’m a true child of the 90’s.