Let's face it: Pumping at work sucks. It's a time-consuming, joyless endeavor bookended by the guilt of being away from your little one on one end and having to take long breaks at work on the other.
But that's not all. In between, we working mothers go through a Herculean range of emotions and experiences as we strip down, gear up, and pump out at work. Including...
1. Total panic on your way into work
"Did I remember enough containers? Did I grab all the parts from the drying rack?"
2. Utter disdain for "milking" or dairy jokes
Like when a male colleague asks if you can help him out -- his coffee is too black.
3. Indignation when someone schedules back-to-back-to-back meetings
Leaving no time to pump.
4. Overwhelming, irrational fear that your milk is going to dry up
And that your baby will starve. And that the world will end. All because of these damn meetings.
5. Stinging embarrassment when -- in the middle of said meetings -- your milk comes in
Nobody sees this, right?
6. Murderous rage when someone monopolizes your pumping room
And is totally unapologetic about it.
7. Unrelenting, bone-chilling cold
You think offices are normally cold? Try being topless, with cold plastic against your skin.
8. Sheer, beautiful relief when you finally start pumping and your letdown happens.
9. Self-congratulation as you watch the little bottles fill up with the force of Niagara Falls
You go, girl.
10. Followed closely by a checked ego
When multi-tasking, remember to keep a close eye on those rapidly-filling bottles.
11. Utter agony when you accidentally spill a bottle
Whoever said not to cry over spilled milk was definitely not a pumping mother. Cry away, friend. We get it.
12. Confusion when you walk around the office after a pumping session
A sleep deprived mother + too many hurried pumping sessions = an epic wardrobe malfunction.
13. Secret pride when you make room in the office fridge for your little cooler
After all, you are producing liquid gold.
14. Another round of panic on your way home from work
"Did I remember the MILK?!?!"
15. That moment at the end of the day when you finally get home, your little one eagerly latches on, and then reaches his plump, little hand up to pat your chest, as if to say, "Thanks, Mom."
And you realize it was all worth it.