As 2018 kicks off, many new mommies (whether seasoned or brand new) are starting off the year with the need to pump. Here are 5 tips for pumping to help make your 2018 just a tiny bit easier.
5 Tips for Pumping in 2018
Sponsored post by Aeroflow
1. Make sure you have a good pump!
This is by far the most important tip on this list, so make sure you are paying attention friends!
Having a good pump is ESSENTIAL if you are a working mom. This is not an expense that you should spare. I promise! There are a lot of things you can “give up,” like that third set of matching burp clothes.
If you noticed, this post was sponsored by Aeroflow. They offer to help you get a pump and work with your insurance. This is a WONDERFUL place to start.
2. Utilize your cooler and ice pack
As a working mom, you will be on the go. In that time, you will need to pump. I always carried a good cooler and ice packs with me. The one that comes with your diaper bag is not going to do it for you. You need one that can keep your milk cold for 8-12 hours, so make sure you take a good look.
Two additional tips:
a. If you have access to a fridge during the day, keep your cooler and ice pack in the freezer. This way it is nice and cold when you go to pump.
b. If you don’t have one, then don’t feel like you are wasting your milk. Put the Cooler and ice packs in the “coldest” or shadiest place possible, that way your milk won’t spoil.
3. Take this time to rest and relax
This one is the hardest for me, even when I wasn’t pumping. BUT, you have 20 minutes to yourself. Take the time to read a book, listen to a podcast (My Favorite Murder is probably my favorite right now), and enjoy.
As a working mom, we don’t get many breaks, so take them when and where you can!
4. Schedule your pump times.
Scheduling is so very important when you are pumping. It tells your body when you need to have a certain amount produced. So, sit down and really try to schedule out the times.
This will also help you relax (see #3), you will know when you are supposed to pump so you can take things with you!
Bonus tip: If you baby keeps to a certain schedule, try scheduling your times then, that way you are ready for when they are there with you!
Now, I understand that things can come up and be unexpected. So, make sure to head this advice: You are taking care of your child, even if they are not there. DO NOT feel guilty for walking away to pump. DO NOT feel ashamed that you need to walk away and pump. DO NOT feel like you are letting someone down. You are doing what you need to do for yourself and your new child!
5. Get a good pumping bra or make your own.
Most women try to resist the pumping bra initially. They think it will either be uncomfortable, or it will not give their new-found cup size an accurate lift. HOWEVER, a good pumping bra makes your time while pumping EASIER and much more convenient.
If you feel like this is an expense you don’t want to spare, then get an old sports bra and cut holes in it. Think I am joking? This is what I did.
A piece of your baby's clothes could help with your let down!
2018 doesn’t have to be filled with the pumping blues! Make it work for you with these tips!
Want to know more about Aeroflow? Check out the checklist below to see if you are qualified!
It's snow season. Even in the South apparently. I have put together a list to help you surviving an extended period of time with your bundles of joy.Day 6: I have been trapped with the children for 6 whole days. You can only play Don't Break the Ice so many times before your sanity starts dwindling.
I wanted to help other Working Mom's out with this very serious guide to surviving.
Working Mom's Guide Surviving Snow Days
The following list is mean for entertainment purposes ONLY. If you do drink, please drink responsibly.
Mimosas/ Screw Drivers
*** Must be over 21 in United States to enjoy this one****
Probably the top of my list. Either of these will make your snow day just a little more bearable.
(This is an affiliate link, I may get a commission, and you must be over 21 and within state regulations to buy).
I have to say, I love wine too. This one is extremely useful for those hours when you have heard "why" for the 500 time, and honestly, you just can't handle it at all! 1 glass a day keeps the straight jacket away.
Ok, there are going to be some people that judge me hard on this one. GO AHEAD. TV saved my sanity during what felt like 15 years of snow days. Normally, I try to limit screen time, let the kids color, dance, or pretty much anything else. After 4 full days of snow, I just didn't care. My sanity gave into the TV.
This one can help you more than you realize. No, I am not talking about shoving food down their throats until they can't talk, that will land you in jail. I am talk about giving them snacks and letting them cook on occasion. On the last snow day, Little S and I baked cupcakes. Take a look. It kept her occupied for about 20-30 minutes, so I was pretty happy.
Again, electronics save my sanity, and I am NOT ASHAMED to admit it. Similar to #3, sometimes you just need them to focus on something else but you. Santa brought AMAZON FIRE (affiliate link, i may make a commission). These things are amazing. You have a kid friendly design and you can lock down the profile so the kids only get what is age appropriate! I highly recommend.
You probably don't need this really, but I love chocolate. It's like a mini xanax in my opinion. Who really needs bread and milk anyways. Avoid the mad dash and go straight to the Candy isle. (P.S. works as a good bribery tool).
Have a good snow day my fellow working moms. Don't expect to get much done, and STAY SANE.
Sometimes, you just need a friend. And sometimes, that friend goes above and beyond!
Let me set the stage!
It’s Halloween night. Every ounce of crazy comes out in my kids. They are screaming, and running around like its their jobs to drive me over the edge. Little S is giving me a serious run for my money. She is running across the street... twice. She is hiding behind bushes. She is literally pulling peoples plates out of their hands.
All while Little B is screaming, "is this enough food." My response, "how should I know." I was chasing little S across the street for the second time.I had so many mixed emotions. Anger. Embarrassment. Fear. I was in mommy overload. Big B was at work, so no help from that aspect.
BUT, a shining Light!
And during all this, a friend I have known since I started working, just kept helping. She kept helping wrangle, helping me get me. Just helping. OH! she had her own kid to contend with too. But, she never shied away from helping when I REALLY needed it! And trust me, she didn't have too. And even for those of you that will say, "oh, that's what friends do." I get that, but this friend went way above and beyond.
So to that friend, thank you so much. You didn’t look at me with sympathy or judge me. You just helped. It meant the world to me that I had someone to lean on in the time where I felt pretty darn low!
Also, Make sure you have someone like that in your life. It doesn't have to be someone you talk to every 5 seconds, and it doesn't have to be someone you go get drinks with every week. It is someone who cares about you and your well being. Will help without being asked.
Motherhood took me by surprise. I thought (naively) it would be cupcakes and rainbows. Sometimes I would wonder, "how does a person enjoy motherhood?"How to enjoy motherhood!
Realize that not every moment is going to be cupcakes and rainbows.
Sometimes motherhood is just the opposite. It sucks. There is whining, and crying, and random goo that seems to get everywhere. ( I mean seriously, where do they find the goo?) But, the good news is: YOU ARE NOT ALONE! It is hard sometimes, and the people who tell you that it isn't are probably lying.
2. Get out of your own motherhood head.
We have these preconceived notions of what motherhood should be, could be, and will be. Sorry, but most of the time it just doesn't happen the way we had always hoped. Your little bundle of joy may get that extra ten or 30 minutes of TV, because honestly, you just can't take it anymore that day. I know that I feel so guilty some days about things, especially TV. Every time they turn on the TV, I can hear the studies about how it rots their brains. I understand the studies, don't get me wrong. Unfortunately, those studies don't factor in a very tired mom who just needs 15 minutes to decompress.
3. Don't forget about the small moments.
I am really bad about this one. But something very innocent and sweet reminded me of this little rule. Big B was raking leaves and made a huge pile for the kids. They were playing and having fun, and I almost missed out. Why? Because I had to work that night. BUT I didn't miss out. Little S took my hand, and we ran towards the leaves (dress, leggings, and Suite Jacket). It wasn't a million dollar toy, it wasn't a trip to Vegas. It was something more magical than any of that: it was pure simple fun and memories being made.
Don'g forget to indulge yourself in those small moments. It will change your life!
4. Don't let the fear of being silly make you miss out.
We tend to live by social norms. You are an adult so get adulting. Well, sometimes the best time you will ever have is being the kid who didn't have the struggles of an adult and looked at life so simply.
Being a mom (or dad) is not easy, sorry not going to sugar coat it. But you can find a bit better enjoyment with these tips.
The diaper bag days don't end just because your baby isn't technically a baby. Your toddler needs a well thought out diaper bag too.
These items will help you make the most of your diaper bag space and have many comforts from home! Have a baby? Check out this post instead: 16 Must have Diaper Bag Items.
Diaper Bag Items for Toddlers
If your child still uses diapers, then these are a necessity. Always keep about 5-6 at all times, this way you never put yourself in a "oops" situation!
Even if your child is potty trained, you will still need some wipes. There will always be a sticky situations!
3. First aid kit
I've had one of these in all my diaper bags. Someone at some point will need something from a first aid kit and you will look like super mom!
4. Extra set of clothes for toddler
There will be rain, messes, and general shenanigans that will require a quick change. Better safe than sorry. Make sure that you have a full set of clothes: Underwear, socks, shirt, and pants.
5. Extra set of clothes for mom
See number 4. This means you too mommy.
I always like to keep a small bottle, because you never know when things will happen. A fever, teething, or anything might happen and you will be prepared, you smart momma you!
7. Small toys
I like to have a few small toys to keep the kids occupied in a pinch. Some of my favorites are the Melissa and Doug Water Wows. All that is required is a bit of water in the pin. Your kids can paint with no mess! They are small and don't take up to much space but give optimal entertainment.
8. Coloring book and colors
Same reason as number #7. Coloring books and colors tend to take up little space but can entertain for a good ten minutes!
9.Snacks and drink
Get some snacks in that bag! Your kid will be hungry and the worst moments. It's just parenting Murphy's law. Same thing with drinks. I always like to put a little snack like gold fish and a bottle of water. They work well and are pretty small!
I can't tell you how many times we have needed Pajamas. You stay later than expected at a friends house, and bam your rushing to get home to get the kids in bed. Mitigate some of the headaches!
10. A mini tooth brush and tooth paste.
See #9. It helps mitigate your stress if you have stayed out a little to late!
11. Diaper cream
This isn't just for diaper rasher. The Aquaphor Baby Cream that we use actually is good for other things like chafing. So, it's actually nice to have around.
Having a toddler can be hard work, especially in public. Don't get caught in a position where you are overwhelmed because you forgot something!
Want to know what the best working mom tip you will read today is? Read on fore more!
Yesterday, we went to the zoo. Which if you follow me on Instagram, then you will know I love the zoo. We go as often as we can. Yesterday was different though. My parents where here, and I wanted to take them so they could enjoy it.
But, it was sprinkling. No big deal. A slight bit of rain isn't going to wreck our zoo experience. By the time we got into the park, it was a down pour; how could anyone enjoy the zoo with it raining like that? So, I did something I usually don't do. I actively pushed my anxiety and fear away.
Best Working Mom Tip
I lived in the moment. That moment.... The rainy zoo moment. It was pouring down rain, but I didn't let it stop me from enjoying the zoo.
As working moms, we tend to get frustrated very easily. I am one of the worst at this, so you will get no judgement from me. We want to minimize the work we have to do, so we tend to avoid the messy and the dirty and really anything that is going to take more time. (like drying off a wet kid).
When we do this, we forget to just step back and take a look at our kids' faces and the joy they are experiencing. Just pure fun.
The Best Working Mom Tip I can give myself or anyone: is to just take the moments as they come. Don't worry about all the "extra" work that may come of those moments. Realize that you are actually making
memories with the rainy zoo adventure.
Take a step back and realize, not everything is so serious. Your family is not your boss nor are they your employee. They are family! They are the people who have seen you at your absolute worst and your absolute best. Don't let yourself get in the way of having fun and enjoying memories.
Sorry that its no magical fix all tip that revolutionizes your life. Unfortunately, being a working mom means that sometimes things just suck and are hard. But, if you can live in the moment every now and then, you will enjoy life a bit more.
Little S is starting to potty train which is pretty hard, for us. So here is some humor to help those fellow moms!
Potty Training Mishaps:
When letting little S go without a diaper, she pooped on the floor. Twice.
Little S will only go to the bathroom with me!
Little S has attempted to wipe my bottom twice now!
The phrase, "where are your pants" is said more times in my house than should ever be allowed.
I've had to chase a naked child with a poopy diaper in hand.
Little S has determined that she likes to wipe ( see above). So, when changing her diaper she will try to wipe herself; it's not a good thing when a #2 needs to be changed!
Big H has had to tell Little S to pull up her underwear! (He hoped to never say that)
Little S likes to scare us and say everything is a Poo Poo.
Potty Training Lessons that I have learned.
1. Your child really really has to be ready to potty train. Forcing a kid that is not ready, is goo to lead to frustration and sadness.
2. Don't let your kid out of your site is he or she doesn't have a diaper. We have had several poops on the floor because I thought I was in the clear.
3. Reward yourself for your potty trainer efforts. This is hard work. Cleaning up messes, pleading with upset children. It is not easy for the parent either.
4. It happens to almost everyone. You will not be the only parent cleaning up pee getting all your bathroom time trying to show the new way to potty. It's not fun to laugh while you are cleaning up poop, but just remember those kids will have dates one day, and now you have dirt!
Fear has a way of creeping inside your brain and tricking you into thinking that you are not good enough, but don't let it!
Ways to Overcome your Fears
Fear is an absolute dream killer. It takes hold of you like a dark shadow and creeps inside your confidence. It shows you the absolute worst case scenario and removes the light.
Fear is just a reaction, a natural reaction.
How to fight your Fears
1. Identify why you are afraid.
This may take some deep digging, but none the less, you have to do it. When I first started Your Honor, Mommy Objects! I was afraid to push the publish button. I was afraid of putting myself out there and letting friends and family see the inside workings of my brain. It was scary. At first I thought the reason I was afraid was due to "this idea is stupid." But after some digging into my own inner voice, I realized the fear was from exposing my self and letting people into my world who I know would judge me. That is seriously scary.
To really identify why, then you have to get past the obvious and really get to root of something. So dig deep!
2. Acknowledging you fears.
Your fear of something is not irrational per se. It's our bodies response. So, once you have identified your fear, then acknowledge it. Acknowledge that it's there. Pretending like it's not will only eat away at you.
3. Let your inner voice have his soap box.
My inner voice likes to tell me all the things that can go wrong. "Oh you want to do a blog, well what if someone hates it??" Yes that is me talking to me. Good times. But let your inner voice say it's peace,
then move to #4.
4. Tell your inner voice it's wrong.
Yes you can do it out loud, although I suggest not in public, but tell you inner voice it's wrong. In my case, I started the blog so I could help working moms. The ones who internally struggle every day to feel like they are good enough; To let working moms have a voice in the clutter of the internet; and to let them know there are other people struggling too. So what if people judge me? What else is new to be honest? This helped me get over that final "push the button" moment.
5. Realize that facts help fight fear.
In the land of internet, facts are few and far between. So if you are starting a business or a blog, in my case, do your research, know your plan, and put the time into what you want to do. So when that inner voice tries to tell you to run, you can look at the facts and say, "nope, and this is why is a good idea!"
Don't let fear paralyze you from becoming a better you. It's hard, trust me. I still struggle every day. But by acknowledging and confronting my fears, I am moving in the right direction!
Fighting for my sanity has seemed like a daily task at this point. Join my working mom tale.
Being a working mom is stressful. It makes you lose your sanity at some points. Here is my working mom tale. I hope it helps you.
Fighting for Sanity: A working Mom tale
For those of you that don't know me, I am a full time attorney. I have two blogs. This one and www.brylett.com. On top of just that, I have two kids. Most days getting ready for bed is exhausting. I start my morning around 5-5:30 depending on how quickly I can drag myself out of bed, then its a quick shower and throwing make-up on so that I can get the kids ready for school.
Getting them ready for school is a huge chore within itself. Little S doesn't think breakfast is important, where Little B needs about 5 different options for breakfast must be evaluated before a decision can be made. It is a serious struggle. Then its out the door, hopefully by 7, where I then travel about 20 minutes (thanks traffic) to drop them off to school.
Then its my turn to commute at least 30 minutes to downtown. I try to start my day off with reading emails and returning calls; then its off to court. I am usually there for about 3-4 hours trying to work my cases as quickly and efficiently as possible. There are a million things to be done at the office, so getting done with court at a decent hour is necessary. Around 12, I try to scarf down some food, while working, so that my stomach will stop yelling at me. Then, its off to races with calling clients back, working on complaints/motions, and whatever else seems to pop up. Once I leave work, its time to pick kids up and race to see how quickly I can get dinner done while they are playing. By the time we eat, its usually 5:30-6:00. Then, Big B and I have to race and clean up, because Little S needs to get in the bath and get ready for bed. Then, it is Little B's turn. By the time the kids are down, its close to 9:00.
What is the reason I am telling you all this you ask?
As you can see, there isn't much time for me during this schedule. My down time is commuting to be perfectly honest. In the last few months, I've lost sight of my sanity. I have been pushing so hard that sometimes I feel like I might lose my mind at any moment. I know other working moms have the exact same problem. When there is time for you, then you will get to it. But let's be honest. Will you ever really get to it? I mean look at my schedule, and I have a flexible work schedule. But, I am here to tell you; you have to find some time. I take that back, you have to schedule
some time to find your sanity, or you won't have it for very long.
Being a working parent is hard. You always feel like there is not enough time to do anything but survive. But i will leave you with this: if you are always trying to survive, you will never thrive.