Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Turning into a WAHM

So with all the sewing frenzy happening, I think you guys need a break from all that. So let’s talk about something else…

One of the number one questions I have been getting is “are you back at work yet?”. People seem to be innately curious about whether I’ve gone down the full time SAHM (stay-at-home-mum) route or the working career mum.

When we talked about plans after the baby arrived, we anticipated a lot of challenges – mainly because we are living overseas away from immediate family, which means we can’t go down a common arrangement in Malaysia/Singapore to enlist the help of doting grandparents to look after baby while we were at work.

Nevertheless, both hubs and I ideally wanted to avoid sending Nathan to childcare too early, leaving those precious ‘first time’ moments to be witnessed by strangers.

Thankfully my company has allowed me to return to work on a part-time/work-from-home basis. So I’m able to clock in most of my work hours at home and pop into the office for a few hours once a week for team meetings and discussions. So I suppose I am now a WAHM!

So weeks before commencing the new routine of juggling work and baby, I started building up my supply of expressed milk. We struggled at first with getting Nathan to accept the bottle but after much persistence, bottle-feeding is now a breeze.

So once a week on my go-into-office-day, the routine will go…

7.00am – Wake up, nurse Nathan

7.15am – I get ready for work, while hubs handles the remaining routine of changing his diaper, play-pen time, tummy-time etc.

7.45am – Have a quick breakfast

8.00am – Check that I have everything I need: laptop, work bag, wallet…

…and also breast pump, pump accessories, milk storage bottle, cooler bag, ice pack (haha… I can I see your eyes widening)

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8.15am – Load Nathan into car seat, then hubby and son send me to train station

8.45am – Arrive at office

9.00am - 12.00pm – Work: check emails, do paperwork, attend team meetings etc.

12.00pm – Go to empty meeting room to express milk

12:15pm – Say goodbye to colleagues and head off to catch train home

1.00pm – Arrive home, say hello to Nathan and tell him how much I miss him, then nurse him

That’s my side of the story. After I leave, supposedly hubs puts Nathan down for his nap, then feed him at his next wake time and put him down again for his next nap, and then I arrive home in time for his next feed. Now that is supposedly what happens. What ACTUALLY happens is a different story for another time.

Most times, things go relatively smoothly. However yesterday I was caught unaware during the pumping session at the office when for some strange reason my milk just refused to flow out. My breasts were painfully engorged and I knew I would not be able to make it home comfortably at all in that state.

So I had to, get this, milk myself with my own hands! I had read about this technique somewhere but never done it before. Some people say that using your hands is more effective than a pump for expressing milk. I actually found it rather true… the only thing is that my hands got tired and needed a break after every few squeezes. But I think if my hands had more stamina, I would have certainly got on a lot faster.

So lesson for all breastfeeding mothers out there… learn how to hand-express your milk! You’ll never know what unexpected situations you might encounter where you will find it handy.

And for the non-parents out there, if this post has just been a leetle too much information, thank you for taking the time to scroll down this far. You shall have your reward!

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Here is an obligatory picture of Nathan to make up all that! ^_^

3 comments:

  1. That's a fantastic arrangement :) Good and bad about staying in Australia far away from your parents...cos in Msia you aren't likely to get such flexible bosses! Love to look at Nathan growing day by day

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  2. he is starting to look more and more like u!

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  3. hehehe... thanks min. we're still getting mixed feedback from people though... i.e. some people still insist he looks way more like MH. Maybe face to face with constantly changing expressions, its harder to pin down. But photos capture the specific moment and features.

    Ash, ya very thankful for this. It does make up for the distance away from family in terms of work arrangements, but of course there's still no substitute for more frequent and closer contact with family.

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