(Disclaimer for the lovely male readers of this blog: While I know that I routinely refer to high heels, I try to make this blog for all teachers, not just us fabulous lady teachers. However, today's post is a bit personal, a bit lady-centric and a bit...well, it's about pumping. So, read on or check back tomorrow...thanks for reading! The world needs more fab male teachers!!)
I know I've been on this personal blogging kick lately where it's all about me, but I promise you, I am not turning into a mommy blogger. Not that there's anything wrong with mommy blogging - I read a few myself - but I will forever be a teacher blogger. After I get this off my chest.
For a profession filled, BRIMMING really, with women, why does finding the time and place to pump feel like I'm trying to climb Mount Everest with nothing but a guide book and my best smile? Other people have offices with doors that lock or lovely bathrooms with plugs or, in the fanciest of family friendly work places, whole ROOMS dedicated to pumping related needs.
It is the stuff of a new mom's dreams.
And not only do I have to figure this out once, I have to figure it out in every. single. school. That means having the semi-uncomfortable conversation over and over and over.
Me: So, I have a seven month old baby at home and... (indicating pump with a brief but casual nod)
Me: I need toooo....(more forceful glance at my Medela-desperately-trying-to-masquerade-as-a-handbag-but-really-is-fooling-no-one)
Them: (kind smile)
Me: If you have a bathroom with a plug, I need to...
Me: Pump. I need to pump my breasts.
Okay, so maybe I leave off that last part, but MAN! AWK-WARD!
And while every administrator has been extremely accommodating and lovely, I feel like this conversation presents a new problem for them to solve. How is this possible with so many women? I can't be the only educator to pump.
(It's like at my old school - when someone would need maternity coverage. There was no plan in place and every pregnancy seemed to be treated as if it was this new and unexpected obstacle in a building filled with women in their late twenties and early thirties.)
I have found myself in many an interesting place trying to balance a pump, bottles, my lady parts and all the other necessary accoutrement in between rushing to classrooms.
Cut to me in a supply closet pumping by the light of the microwave oven.
Or to me pumping in the copy room, squatting next to the photo copier because the only available outlet is behind said copier and the cord on my pump will only reach so far all while praying that the chair I wedged underneath the doorknob with no lock will stall any individual with copying needs long enough for me to put it all away.
Or to me running out to my car, hoping against hope that the windows are tinted enough to protect the innocent eyes of any little friends arriving late to school.
Teachers and mommies. We are rockstars.