Tag: workingmama

Transitions: How to Grow and How to Challenge Oneself

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funnymeme

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Just wanted to share my thoughts on this sunny, beautiful Tuesday. We’re in a transition time. Baby is already over a year old and is off of bottles, which has made life easier. #DrBrownBottleswith1000pieces.  It’s just been a whirlwind of a year. We’ve been married for over two years, baby is mobile, talking, changing, and exploring more each day and our life is chaotic but so rewarding and fulfilling. 

Have kids they said, it’ll be fun. 

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Haha, well it is fun. They were right.  It is also exhausting and tests your limits. And your limits with your spouse. BUT.

That look in your child’s eye when they are happy or the sound of their laugh.

Seeing a grandparent or spouse playing with your child and seeing them smiling ear to ear, how that makes you happy and smile the same way.

That’s the fuel that keeps me going everyday, even on those days that every liquid around is somehow spilling and the house is a mess.

That smile is what dreams are made of.

So for now how do we adjust with transitions in the meantime?

  1. Keep making your family a priority
    • Take a step back and look at the big picture. These changes as a family helps up persevere together. Whether it is returning to work after maternity leave or adjusting to a new job, new house, new city. A new developmental stage for a child. A new sibling. How do we take this head-on? Game plan for hard days?
  2. Make more quality time a priority.
    • Trying to limit distractions when with friends or with children or with family. Eye contact, hugs, high fives, family games, floor time with toys, swimming, museums, zoo, cards, walks. I’m challenging myself with this all the time, it is so difficult to NOT be distracted. What I have been doing is finding the balance- I try to check social media a few times a day briefly, then putting the phone away to focus on spending more time in the NOW with those around me.
  3. Reflect
    • Take time to journal or just doodle while reflecting on how far you have come. Write down all you HAVE accomplished and be proud of that! Nothing amazing was built in one day, let yourself be vulnerable.
  4. Consider relationships a priority
    • Do you brush your teeth at least everyday? Hopefully right? 🙂
    • I sometimes have  a hard time remembering that relationships need upkeep like daily checking in about the weeks events, short term goals, and so on, but it is just as important as the other things we do daily like brushing those pearls.
  5. Nurture friendships
    • Near and far, remind those friends you think of that you are still thankful for the friendship. Call a friend that you haven’t spoken to in a while. Set a date, even if someone might have to cancel because of an unforeseen circumstance.
  6. Try to give yourself some dang grace as your grow and are challenged
    • It’s okay to feel like this is a hard time. Call a friend, call a sibling or relative, call your closet work pal. There is always someone that has likely gone through something similar. Exercise. Find some out that lets you find freeing.
  7. Let all that drama and negativity out the BACK door. No one has time for that
    • Seriously.  YOU can do this. Transitions are temporary. ❤

I’m definitely going through a transition right now just STILL adjusting to this very busy life of a working mom. I’ve been using all these things to remind myself to enjoy these moments and the chaos. It is made me adjust so much easier. Change makes us stronger and keeps us on our toes. It can be hard but thankfully we never have to do anything alone.

Keep on being awesome, all you lovely people out there

We are all in this crazy, beautiful life together

❤ Hope

Let me know what you think. What helps you when you’re going through a transition either personally or with a family?

nonstopmomlife

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Working Moms: How to pack a pumping bag

This might sounds silly, but I was STRESSED out about packing my breastpump bag prior to going back to work. Weeks before returning to work, I practiced a few times to ease my fear of forgetting anything. The first weeks were a little choppy just figuring out what to bring and how to store it, but I have been pumping at work now for 6 months and have MASTERED the organization of it and how use less bottles(aka less to wash). Let me help you! We will talk about the components of what to have in the pumping bag (purse or book bag), how to organize the bag, and a typical flow of the work pumping sessions to get an idea of planning it.

Alright, no matter what type of pump this organization can help anyone really. I have used both a spectra and medela, both were great. I chose to buy the Spectra S1 and LOVE that it is rechargeable.

What you’ll need:

1. The Two Plastic Containers

It helps to have two plastic containers so you can put the flanges in between pumping sessions in the fridge and then the bottles that you had poured milk from in a separate container so you can wash at home later. It is a personal choice but I chose to refrigerate my pumping flanges during the 12 hr shift and reuse them. If you have glass containers that serve the same purpose, go for it!

2. A Pump Bag or Bookbag

No matter what type of bag you use, just make sure it has enough room for the supplies needed. Some pumps come with their own bag, so you might be covered in the bag department in that case.

3. The Pump and Charger/ Batteries

Of course no pumping bag is complete without the most important component, the pump! I have used both the spectra and medela and really liked them both. I know there are lots of of other brands that people do well with too! I chose to get the Spectra S1 which is rechargeable with a cord outlet, however remember to always bring the cord. I one time forgot my cord and had to run home over lunch to get it, made the day much more stressful than in needed to be. : )

4. The flanges/ bottles/filters

Alright, so everyone of course has their favorite bottles. Ours are the Dr Brown Bottles. They make handy little attachments to help pump directly into the bottles that I got from Amazon. So when I use the Spectra, I pump with a spectra bottle on one side and then one side attached to the Dr Brown bottles. After I am done, I combine the milk from the spectra side to the milk in the Dr Brown bottles, put in the blue Dr Brown air filter and top and store in the lunch bag to refrigerate, along with the flanges in the plastic container in the bag. The other spectra container that was just used emptied I put in the second plastic container in my pump bag to wash later.

*Note —> To reuse flanges, they need to be refrigerated between uses

5. The Lunchbox

I bring a lunchbox to work that makes my trips to the break room to store my milk in the fridge a little more coy, even though I am a proud working mom that will gladly talk about breastfeeding and pumping and all with coworkers and strangers alike. ha : ). Just make sure it is large enough for one of those tupperware containers to hold the flanges and how many bottles you plan to pump. The picture above is an example after i’ve pumped twice at work.

6. Pumping Bra/ Cover (Optional)

So I love my handsfree pumping bra so I can be reading a book, finishing up work, journaling, looking at my calendar, snacking or really doing anything versus holding those dang phalanges while pumping. This of course is optional but some of the best money well spent. Also I pump with a cover on, I think depending on the scenario where you pump, it might not be necessary especially if you can lock the door. I pump in a medical office outpatient clinic in a spare exam room. Even with the do not disturb sign, I have had one surprise visitor but I was covered so it was nothing!

7. Bag in help store clean bottles/filters between uses (Optional)



I have so many little makeup/traveling bags from over the years and I found that using one in my pump bag really helped keep thing organized. I stored my pump extra things (extra bottles and the filters) in this bag to make it easy and convient to switch parts out quickly and efficiently. You can see that between the spectra bottle, blue filter, dr brown bottle and then the two assembled flanges, I come home with two bottles ready for baby.

But wait, how do I pack the bag?

Let me show you how I pack it quickly and easily every time

  1. First layer is the two plastic containers and bag with extra bottles.

2. Next layer is the pump and the flanges with attached bottles, ready to go


3. Last layer is the pumping bra and cover (again optional)

Typical flow of pumping during workday

So here is a typical set up — > for the first pump of the day, the flanges are already ready to go. I have them at the top part of the bag for a quick start. Just have to put on the pump bra, flange up and BOOM. After I’m done, I combine the milk to one bottle, I put on the lid to the bottle and place in lunchbox, rinse phalanges and place in container in lunchbox, then take to fridge.

For the second pump of the day, I get the flanges in the lunch bag from the fridge, and I add a new bottom to them (one spectra bottle, one Dr Brown bottle), place the circle filters back on and pump. After I’m done, i put the lid to the second bottle, place in lunchbox on and place the flanges back in the container for the fridge.

When I used to pump 3 times during the work day I would repeat the second pump steps (along with of course bringing extra bottles)


YOU GOT THIS

Having the opportunity to breastfeed a baby is great bonding and provides the baby and the mom with wonderful health benefits. Give yourself a little room to get in the groove but with determination, it can just just become second nature and not a headache at all.

RANDOM FACT—-> Lastly, I just usually pack the night before I have to work if I have time and just make sure I have all the essentials. It makes the mornings more smooth to just grab it and go, knowing that all the components I would have already double checked.

Happy breastfeeding and happy pumping!

❤ Hope

Nonstopmomlife

More posts about motherhood, breastfeeding, pumping, baby thing, meal planning and healthy recipes coming soon, stay tuned and look me up on instagram: nonstopmomlife