Wednesday, June 21, 2006

The Art of Mommy Multi-Tasking

(*Note: this post references my boobs)

Have you found that being a mother takes, like, a lot of time out of your day? Somehow, I didn't really fully anticipate what a time hog this whole motherhood thing would be.

During my pregnancy, I was in such denial about this that I actually enrolled myself in a four-week knitting class so that during my maternity leave I could make cool-looking scarves and then sell them to the hipster stores downtown….cuz I was gonna have sooo much time on my hands.


When I entered r-e-a-l-i-t-y, I realized that not only did I not have time to knit scarves all day, I barely had time to groom myself. Seriously.

It became instantly apparent that I needed to learn how to multi-task like nobody’s business. And I became the queen of multi-tasking. For example, I almost always read my mail when I need to spend a little *ahem* extra time on the toilet. Husband has to be home, of course, so that he can watch Little Guy, but I’ve found that I’m able to feel less guilty about spending a little “me” time in the bathroom if I’m also sorting our mail.

Now, the biggest time-robber of all for me has been breastfeeding. I think I've mentioned this before, but I wanted to continue exclusively breastfeeding when I went back to work so I’ve been pumping at the office 2-3 times a day for a while now. Recently, I began to feel like I wasn't being very productive at work with all the pumping breaks I was taking, but I didn’t want to give up pumping either.

And then a solution occurred to me. Why don’t I just pump in the car? Now, don’t freak out. I don’t drive myself to work. I wasn’t going to be pumping and driving at the same time. No, see, Husband and I carpool to work. He drops me off and picks me up every day. He even picks me up at noon so we can have lunch together. (Yeah, sweet deal, huh?) Anyways, that’s what I’ve been doing for the last few weeks. I pump twice in the car—at noon on our way to lunch and at 5pm on the way home. It’s the ultimate in multi-tasking, and I highly recommend it to anyone who is pumping. The seatbelt does kinda get in the way, but you can shove it to the side pretty easily, while still abiding by all the seatbelt laws.

Perhaps the only caveat I would issue is that if you do decide to try this, don’t pull up next to a big rig at a stop light. Cuz those guys sit up pretty high, and they can see right into the passanger side of your car...which can be pretty damn embarrassing when you've got your boobs stuffed into plastic breastsheilds.

Trust me, I know.

(*Shameless attempt to get you to read this post. Did it work? Huh, huh?)


Blogger something blue said...

It sounds like you've developed some high quality multi-tasking skills. May I suggest tinting the windows on your car?

You are so lucky that your husband works near you.

5:11 AM  
Blogger Mega Mom said...

What a perfect commute :)))

Why is it that we (the nose pickers and breast pumpers amongst us) feel that we are invisible in our cars?

5:14 AM  
Blogger Christina_the_wench said...

You rock. My dad was a trucker for 40+ years. Don't think I wanna know if he witnessed anything like this.LOL

5:17 AM  
Blogger Stephanie said...

I pumped while we were driving to vacation last year and it worked rather well. If you have some of those kid sun sindow screens, they work really well for privacy.

Thinking you will have too much time on your hands after child birth is like me trying to imagine what taking care of a newborn was like and not hearing any crying in the background.

5:48 AM  
Anonymous Jenny said...

I totally had that breast pump and the nipple-less strapless bra.

Ah, memories...

6:04 AM  
Blogger Mrs. Chicky said...

Yes, but can you pump, use the bathroom and sort mail while talking on the phone all at the same time?

I can't do that - I can't even pump and chew gum - I just need another mental image to add to the ones you've already provided.

6:18 AM  
Blogger Jenn said...

I think I'd be too freaked out that someone would see me and be too stressed about it. Which equals no milk production for me.

I have to say that I applaud you for pumping and working. It was too much for me, and I stopped when I went back to work.

6:32 AM  
Blogger Amy said...

Wow, I do think you take the trophy for best multi tasker. I would have never thought anyone would pump while riding in a car! haha...that was hilarious!

6:46 AM  
Anonymous Binkytown said...

Isnt it funny how delusional we are? I thought the same thing- Id have lots to time after the baby came. NOT! Now that mine is 16 months I find myself asking- what did I do with all that time when he just layed there and didn't do anything (like run, pull things out of the fridge, etc)

7:05 AM  
Anonymous mothergoosemouse said...

Now THAT'S something I didn't try. But I'm not sure my fellow NJ Transit passengers would have appreciated my attempts at multi-tasking.

I pumped three times a day for twenty minutes each time and got 12 oz of milk, on a GOOD day. Frustrating.

7:19 AM  
Blogger Catch said...

you are so funny! your little guy is so lucky to have such a dedicated Mom.

8:24 AM  
Blogger mrsmogul said...

I can't multi-task at all! Only today I brushed my hair and had time to pluck my's tough this mommy thing.

Carpool is a great idea though I will probably have to drive myself and baby all the time

8:25 AM  
Blogger Mommy off the Record said...

Something blue: actually, our windows do happen to be tinted, but I also happened to have the window rolled down. I guess that wasn't so smart.

Mrs. Chicky: pump, sort mail, talk on the phone AND go to the bathroom? I might be able to do 3 out of 4 of those, but that would be a great goal. ha!

Jenn: Thanks. I have a very supportive work environment for that sort of thing. There are several co-workers who are also pumping and we even have a special room and no questions asked about taking breaks for it, etc. If not for that, there's no way I could do it.

Mothergoosemouse: 12oz per day isn't bad! That's about what I get now too. I'm almost done with the pumping thing since Little Guy is turning one.

8:34 AM  
Blogger Nut's mom said...

I hated breast feeding. mostly becuase I didn't really produce a lot of milk (5oz in about 36 hours). I used to put a sign on my office door. it didn't say, "In session" or "Please do not disturb...". No that wouldn't be my style.

My sign said "The cow says moo."

Enjoy your commute. :P

8:39 AM  
Blogger virtualsprite said...

LOL... my sign at work said, "Got Milk? I do... so stay out!"

I actually learned to nurse and go to the bathroom at the same time. Couldn't sort the mail, though.

8:49 AM  
Blogger Ruth Dynamite said...

I'm very impressed and hereby bequeath you my Multi-task Master tiara.

10:38 AM  
Blogger Dirty Birdie said...

Soooo are you saying I should get a refund for my 6 week French Cuisine Cooking and Intro to Swing?

11:06 AM  
Blogger bubandpie said...

Sounds like you and I had our share of embarrassing moments this week! You could always try one of those nursing canopies (and then have someone report you for pulling a Britney Spears).

12:31 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

That is some serious multitasking! And here I thought I was talented when I was able to nurse Cordy while typing with one hand.

1:54 PM  
Blogger Andrea said...

Having not had the opportunity to breastfeed, I can only try to imagine the amount of time spent trying to figure out where and how and when to nurse/pump next. Being an ex-smoker, I wonder (perhaps in poor taste) if it takes more planning as finding the time for the next nic fix did. I can remember after I quit smoking thinking that I had so much more time to think of better things than where I could smoke next. Ugh, that was such a terrible habit. (And I should be ashamed thinking it might have anything in common with something as important as breastfeeding.)

I'm glad you have some flexibility with your job that you can pump at work, but pumping in the car is quite ingenius. You could also drape a blanket over yourself, that way you don't have to worry about Trucker Joe peering at your ta tas.

2:09 PM  
Blogger Farm Girl said...

I am so glad I am past breastfeeding. I don't miss my old pump at all. Good tasking, very creative.

2:25 PM  
Blogger Great Day said...

I too have pumped while in the car, but never had that happen!!

I've also pumped while talking on the phone and going to the bathroom. I had a cordless pump!!

2:36 PM  
Blogger lildb said...

ahhhh. that's some funny s**t.

I woulda left the two letters in that swear, but I didn't feel like I could put a disclaimer on my comment.

p.s. guess who's eating a HUGE mafu'ing bowl of double rainbow vanilly right about now? b/c when one has the flu and one's husband has been out of town for FOUR SOLID DAYS, one resorts to drowning one's distress in a heapin' bowl of ice cream.


2:59 PM  
Blogger Mommy off the Record said...

Oh, lildb, say it ain't so. The flu? I thought it was illegal to get the flu during the summertime!! I am sooo sorry!

5:05 PM  
Blogger Her Bad Mother said...

Dude. Motherhood sucks up so much time that I am now in some sort of time-warp, my space-time continuum bent by the demands of my tyrannical baby.

And, my back hurts.

6:16 PM  
Anonymous Nancy said...

Oh, I was totally sucked into the post with the disclaimer. You Had Me at Hello, friend.

I was wondering about the truck drivers when you talked about the commute with pump -- I can just picture their faces!!

6:31 PM  
Blogger Waya said...

Boy, how lucky you are having a chauffeur driving you to work?! And you pay him tip by showing off your boobies?! Don't tell your husband though. ;-)

8:02 PM  
Blogger Crystal Breeze said...

I think it was really smart of you to come up with an alternative time to pump. It sounds like you are handling your new schedule well. I remember having to adjust my life to kids. You never stop.

There will always be sports, games, and band concerts. Lots of things that will throw you off schedule. I love my calendar and I have keep it updated to the T.

8:04 PM  
Blogger Jodi said...

HEHEHEHE. You are FUNNNNNNYYYYY. I HATED nursing and gave it up with both the boys at 8 months. They preferred the bottle and so did I. I threw away my nursing bras, yelled HALLEJUIAH, and popped a bottle in their mouth! :) I admire your sticktoitness. At my new job they have a nursing room as well, and I think that is very very cool. They even have a fridge in there to keep the breast milk cold. I think it's awesome. Good for you and for little Guy, obviously.

8:55 PM  
Blogger Tracie said...

Once again I find myself laughing out loud at your post..

I did the breastfeeding thing, but stayed at home so I didn't have to worry about pumping, which was good, because I never could seem to figure out how to orchestrate that.

Maybe you could knit cute window shades and market them for "In-car Pumping Mothers".....

11:44 PM  
Blogger carrie said...

Good for you - being able to pump like that! It can't be any worse than actually breastfeeding while your husband drives down the road (don't ask).


2:05 AM  
Anonymous Moobs said...

Sooooooooo out of my depth here.

4:04 AM  
Blogger K. said...

Motherhood has definitely robbed me of any personal time whatsoever. I couldn't sort mail in the bathroom even if I wanted to because lil guy is always in there with me.

4:11 AM  
Blogger Dawn said...

I actually knew that tip about the truckers. From experience.

You can also talk on cell phone while Medela does it's thing...

10:42 AM  
Blogger Dirty Birdie said...

This is so depressing. I am going to have to totally rethink my breast pumping strategy now. Too bad I don't have a private office, pumping at my desk would be rather akward here in the front office.

"Gee is that a pump under that blanket or are you just happy to see me?"

12:02 PM  
Blogger Gingers Mom said...

Being a mom saps every last ounce of dignity you have. Good for you at working so hard to breastfeed. That must be very challenging while working and all. I have 3 kids and breastfed them all. Hang in there and good for you! I like your blog...

12:34 PM  
Anonymous chelle said...

hehe rock on you have taken motherhood multitasking to a new level!!

2:32 PM  
Blogger Fidget said...

damn big rigs!

Thanks for having me this week, i've enjoyed my time in your side bar

9:29 PM  
Blogger SUEB0B said...

This post is too funny. I gave you some link love over at

6:10 AM  
Blogger Catherine said...

I tried AT LEAST three times to comment on this post, but children... they kept interrupting. So may I just humbly say, I'M NOT WORTHY!! You give a whole new meaning to the term multi-tasking... and breastfeeding for that matter. :)

12:10 PM  
Blogger Mommy off the Record said...

Fidget: I enjoyed having you here!
Suebob: thanks for the linky love!
Catherine: you crack me up!

12:20 PM  
Blogger KC said...

I've pumped in the car on the way to a wedding (stopped caring about inadvertent boob exposure), in the Costco parking lot, in a public restroom, and a zillion times at my desk at work, with the handsfree device and typing at the same time. Motherhood is multitasking on crack.

6:25 AM  
Blogger Stacy said...

Great idea, a little awkward, but still great! Multitasking is a woman's greatest achievement. Men just can't do it. I can vacuum and play hide and seek with my daughter at the same time.

7:49 PM  
Anonymous krista said...

Oh god, that was hilarious.

11:16 AM  
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