7 Essentials for Pumping Mammas

Being a pumping mom is hard! When I returned to work after haveing my first daughter she went on a “nursing strike.” This meant if I wanted to continue to feed her breast milk, I would have to get to work and start pumping… all… day… long… or so it seemed. Here are 7 of my pumping momma must-haves to add to your registery list or head over to Amazon today and click buy now!

1.Double Breast Pump that is small and efficient — The Pump, you will love it and you will hate it, but it will be your life for the foreseeable future. Having a good pump is key to a pumping mom’s success. When pumping exclusively you will pump every 2-3 hours for the first several months then taper down as the baby grows. This takes A LOT of time, so making sure you can move around and pump will be a lifesaver. I have the Medela Freestyle Breast Pump the second go around, and it is worth the extra money.

2. Double pumping bra store bought or self-made — For my first baby, I pumped exclusively and figuring out how to pump, work, and feed a baby all at the same time was a challenge. I actually took an old sports bra and cut two holes in the front and used that as my more affordable pumping bra. You can use an old bra that has a back clasp as well, making it easy to put on and take off. For my second baby, I ordered a strap that holds both pumps in place. Depending on your size there are many options for hands-free pumping.

3. Well insulated lunch bag — You will be transporting milk to and from work, so make sure you have a well-insulated freezer/lunch bag to keep the milk cool going to the freezer and fridge from your office, as well as some of those cool packs used in coolers.

4. Storage bags — These will save room in the freezer and fridge, and they also hold more milk then bottles and can be dated with a pen or Sharpie. I started pumping and freezing the second I got home from the hospital. As a working mom, having a good supply of frozen milk ready to go when you return to the office is key to being successful at exclusively pumping. I found that the best bags to use were Lansinoh storage bags. They are easy to use and the store, but they are also easy to reseal when you thaw out the milk for use. In addition to Amazon, these are available at Target and Walmart.

5. Storage Bins for freezer — I did not do this with my first baby and wish I had. Find plastic storage bins that fit in your fridge and can be stacked. These maximize the space you have to store and organize your frozen milk.

6. Drying rack — When you are exclusively pumping or pumping during the workday, your baby will go through a lot of bottles. Make sure you have some counter space cleared and a good drying rack for all those bottles and bottle parts needing to be washed and dried daily. This is one thing I dreaded when I found out I was pregnant again — all the bottles to wash — but being prepared will help. Boon makes a great rack that comes in small and large depending on your needs. I have three: two small and one large. We keep one upstairs in the master bathroom and two downstairs.

7. Bottle cleaners — Just as drying space is essential, so are cleaning utensils.  Making sure you have a scrubber small enough to fit all the cracks of a bottle is key to keeping them clean and your baby healthy. Bottles can pick up bacteria and mold easily if not cleaned and dried properly.

*links provided are Amazon affiliate links
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A little Longer

Tonight I will hold you little longer, nurse you longer, gaze into your eyes longer… Because, I know when these moments pass they will become fewer and fewer. You will get bigger, start talking and walking and before I know it you will no longer be a baby. I am so grateful that life surprised us with you and a little sad this will be our last baby. For now, I will soak up your snuggles take in your smell and appreciate the long nights and days because the weeks, months and years are swift.

Love,

Your Momma

Staying Home

I never imagined myself as a “stay at home mom” but with recent circumstances and a sudden move right after Ella Jaye was born, I find myself doing just that…

With Caroline, I went back to work a few days before she turned three months old. I was thankful for the opportunity to start a new job and throw myself into crushing it at work AND being a present mother after hours.

I was surprised at how hard it was for me physically and emotionally but was proud of my work life success. Like most working moms, I felt a void only spending a few hours a day with my beautiful baby girl.

Time passed, and the working mom mode became second nature and even empowering, my career excelled, and Caroline was thriving. I was blessed to have a flexible work environment and an understanding boss who allowed me to “lean in” and be present as a mother.

Shortly after Ella Jaye was born, we moved our family to Woodstock, GA (just north of Atlanta) to pursue an excellent career opportunity for my husband.

I was torn.

I skyrocketed to success, starting as a Manager and within just three years was sitting on the Executive Management Team as a Senior Vice President running the Marketing and Development departments.

Loving my job (killing it) AND had achieved a fantastic work-life balance. Every working families dream! Ultimately, making a move for my husbands new opportunity made the most sense…

So here I am, home with both girls and only working a few PRN hours a week to finish off projects I had started before I left Florida.

I am torn because I never imagined enjoying being home as much as I am. Our new neighborhood is AMAZING, and I am keeping busy with new friends, old friends, and all the family I have nearby.

The thought of leaving my baby is hard. I imagined it would be easy since I did this before but for some reason, it is way harder with Ella Jaye.

I will do my best to blog about my new, stay at home mom /job hunting status as I find the time!

Did I mention it is exhausting? I feel like I have not had a single minute to myself since Ella was born.

Working on figuring out my next move but for now, I am living up the mom life and taking in all the baby smells 🙂IW5A2266

 

XO,

Laurie

 

 

Working Family

I know this may not apply to all working households but I wanted to set the record straight for mine. My husband works full time, he has a good job and makes good money. I work full time, I have a great job and make good money. We are a working FAMILY, taking on the stresses of the household and the office, we do it together…

Even though I will admit I carry a lot of the stereotypical burden of being the “mom” we both as parents work hard to provide and prioritize our family and time with our daughter. For some reason I think its important we don’t forget that not all working mom’s are at it alone. My husband pushes and supports me to further my career and pursue success because my success is our success. There are times that I wish I had  an “easy” job, or stayed at home but the reality is my personality would not stand for it. I love my daughter but 24hrs a day with little interaction with adults does not sound like my cup of tea.

I am a working mom but I am not doing it alone. Sometimes I wonder if I am missing out by working and to be honest I’m still not convinced I am not… BUT I am proud of all my family has accomplished and look forward to dominating our career paths even more as we grow.

#workingmom

#workingfamily

#ihustleforher

XO,

Laurie

PS. Those Mom’s and Dad’s that do it solo props to you! #yourock

 

Let’s Talk Working Mom

There is a lot of advice, rants, ideals and expectations on the internet for working and non-working mothers. I think about this a LOT, some days a lot more than others, but it definitely crosses my mind on a daily basis.

We have all seen the blogs about mothers deserving more time off and more paid leave ( like the rest of the world). While most of the things they say are correct it should not be assumedMichaelson1 that because of your gender and title as mother means you want to give up a career and spend more time at home.

Heck, talk about gender bias! So are we saying because of our gender that it is our deserved right to nurture and mother a child? Does this mean a husband does not have similar desires or rights? What if you are a mother that wants to work? Does that mean there is something wrong with you? ( I say absolutely not).

I am not saying we don’t deserve more leave and PAID leave because we do and so do fathers. It is hard to argue that America is not way behind the curve on this. However, I am saying we need to be less one-sided on our messaging to the “ideals” of working mothers.

Some of us want to be successful AND to spend as much time with our babies as possible and some of us want nothing more than to be a mother and wife. both are ok in my book, so why does our online media try so hard to make us feel like we should be ashamed of our choices?

 

#workingmom

#ihustleforher

#wishIcouldworkfromhome

XO, Laurie

My Girls not Bossy…

I think it is safe to say that we have all seen, said or heard “She’s not Bossy she is a leader”.

As a member of the infamous “bossy woman’s club” and the mother of a very smart assertive and sure of herself two year old little lady, we both encounter this phrase often.

Unfortunately, to me is is not funny or cute it is a reality that many women in leadership have to deal with on a regular basis. Being “bossy” and a female has not always been a cute meme or  t-shirt…

It is a struggle to be taken seriously, respected or heard instead of being perceived as pushy  in the work place. Why can’t a woman be assertive (bossy) and confident? Men do it every day in leadership and no one calls them bossy.

Luckily for me I have over come this stereotype and excelled in my career. Although, who knows where I would be if my CEO was not herself a member of the “bossy woman’s club”. Despite my title and leadership role, I am often given this label when simply doing the job I worked hard to earn.

I hope I can show my daughter that there is no shame in being confident in herself AND her ability to lead her peers with power and grace. The world is changing and woman’s rights have advanced greatly over the years, but we still have work to do.

On a day like today as we inaugurate our new president, Donald Trump, I can’t help but to feel unsure of the future for women, but know we are fighters and will march on (pun intended).

iw5a1301

#ihustleforher #girlpower #imnotbossyimaleader

xo,

Laurie

 

Vice President at 30

This past year has been noting but extraordinary! Not because everything has been perfect, but because I have embraced life. Working hard in my professional and personal life, I chased what I wanted and felt knew I deserved. Why can’t we have it all like the men? The job the office the title…AND the family, a clean home and all the baby giggles and cuddles. Oh and don’t forget a hot bod!

This past April I found myself in an interesting situation, my boss had left her Sr VP role and I had two options. 1. Go with the flow and wait for her replacement to come in change things… possibly screw up my amazing working mom flexibility and current situation. OR 2. Ask for what I had already proven to deserve and take over both departments.

Long story short, I braved up and went for it! I wrote a proposal of how and why this could/should happen and presented it to our President and CEO. I decided that if I was going to do this working mom thing then I needed to lean in and do it big! Sometimes in life you need to take risks and believe in yourself. Thats exactly what I did, I believed in myself, took a deep breath and leaned in.

Now at the ripe age of 30 (for the next few weeks) I have leaned in so hard and hustled like a mother to become a VP of an organization with over 500 employees. There were so many hurtles long before I become a mom, but I am here now.

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#leanintogether

#ihustleforher

#motherhustler

xo,

Laurie