The first day back to work from maternity leave was anything but dry for me. The weather was great, but tears were flowing as I had to leave my 3 month old at daycare for the very first time. “You’ll get used to it,” all the other seasoned moms told me. “Yeah right,” I thought. In the end, they were actually right. It took a few weeks, but as with any other routine, it did become second nature.
By the time Dilan hit 4 months, managing his clothes, diaper supply, lotions, bottles, breast pump and parts, and separating from him each morning did get…well dare I say it, almost easy. As the months passed, I did learn a few things about managing the whole home-daycare-work-pump-work-pump-daycare-home routine. There is this place called your office drawer that you just can’t ignore! Stash it with these few items and I promise it will make your breastfeeding experience while away from home so much easier!
- Extra pump parts and accessories. I’m talking bottles, lids, pumping bags, sanitizing wipes, and flanges. Having these extras on hand when you forget yours at home is like finding a $100 bill under the couch. It saves a ton of time and prevents you from having to drive all the way back home, if you even have that luxury in the first place. Pro tip: once you use one of your “extras”, write yourself a note or put a reminder on your calendar to refill it the next day. Just in case you have to do it all over again.
- An extra blouse in a neutral color. I used to nurse Dilan first thing in the morning at daycare. Right at 8 AM. I can’t tell you how many times my work clothes were showered with spit-up. Even when trying to protect my clothes with a burp cloth, I was always covered by the time I left the nursing room. An extra top that will match almost any bottom and that is work-appropriate is key.
- An extra pair of flats. Again, you want this in a neutral color such as black, gray, or tan. Flats are great for when you want to switch out of tall pumps, especially when picking up the little one at the end of the day. Keep them in a bag or stash them under your desk.
- Breast pads. I always kept a pair of these handy in case you experience some leaking and don’t want it to be seen through your shirt. Who would want that, right? I love the organic cotton ones. Worst case, you can always grab a tissue, but I find the breast pads much more comfy.
- Batteries. Keep enough batteries on hand to power your breast pump, if you have an electric one. Just in case you can’t plug in the adapter somewhere and need to pump.
- Ice pack. Some of the breast pumps come with these and I always took mine to work and put it in the freezer on my floor. Comes in handy when it’s 90+ degrees outside and you want your milk to stay cool.
- Lint roller. You always need this one to look polished and professional at work. Even when you’re done pumping, I would still keep this in that drawer.
So what items am I missing here? Looking for more suggestions to keep things running (and flowing!) smoothly!
Varsha is a new mom who is learning how to juggle her tech job with the joys and dirty diapers of motherhood. She is married to tech entrepreneur Anil, who founded and runs ArchiveSocial. She is a geek who has lived across the globe, loves to cook, and also has a healthy appetite for the latest gadgets and anything eco-friendly. She talks about her tall and super active son, Dilan (born in 2012), over at Busy Mama Blog and tweets at @VarshaChawla.