I don't like electric breast pumps. They don't work well for me. What does work is using a hand pump on one side and my baby on the other side. Doing this in the morning, I put away about 3 ounces of milk everyday (6 on Mondays because I pump another 3 awkwardly by myself in my office). I have a whole freezer full of 3 ounce bags frozen flat and organized by date, and everyday I have a few pump parts to wash in hot soapy water and dry on the counter rack. Except on Mondays. Then I have 2 pumps and a least one bottle to wash, and every Monday, I am so grateful that I am usually home all day because the dish volume that most working moms have to deal with? Yikes. I can't imagine washing a day's worth of bottles or pumping a day's worth of milk 5 days a week.
This morning, I got to pretend to be a full time WOHM because I needed to go to campus for a couple of hours on a day that Ben teaches. I gotta tell you, I sort of liked it.
What I liked:
Waking up before Ben and the big kids when the house was silent and enjoying my first cup of coffee with no one around to ask me a million questions.
Looking pretty at preschool and kindergarten drop off instead of looking like a sweatpants-wearing, bedraggled hag like normal. Jack's teacher even told me I look fancy.
Running into the Starbucks closest to my house to grab a gingerbread latte instead of having to drive way out of my way to the drive thru Starbucks because it is impossible to maneuver a bunch of small kids and hot drinks out of the building.
Not having to listen to Radio Disney on my drive.
Joining the throng of busy looking people walking cross campus with determination.
Coming home to a sleeping baby who ate most of a 6-ounce bottle.
What I didn't:
Waking up at 5:40
Freezing my butt off in my dressy coat, boots and tights on the walk to kindergarten. My Uggs, sweats, and giant North Face jacket aren't pretty, but they sure are warm.
Feeling sad/guilty when I saw how much fun the mom at Starbucks was having singing to her baby while she steeped her tea.
Not having anyone to sing along with the Hippo for Christmas song that comes on the XM holiday channel every now and again.
Parking way the hell at the top of the parking garage because everyone gets to work in the morning. When I slip in on Monday afternoons, I always score a sweet vacated spot by the exit.
Untangling Cooper's fingers from my scarf, so I could hand him to his (awesome) babysitter.
As usual, I am being dramatic. I was only gone 3.5 hours, and I wouldn't have had any of the guilt if I were leaving him to get my nails done or grab lunch with a friend. The work aspect makes the whole incident feel more serious. I love my work. I didn't get a PhD to not work, you know? And I have been at the office once a week since he was a month old. It's different, though, to leave him with Ben. As Barbara Bush told the Wellesley class of 1990, "When it's your own kids, it's not called babysitting."
All of this is just a roundabout way of saying I love my life and I'm glad I don't have to do the morning scramble for real. Now excuse me, I have a pump and a bottle to wash.