Being a parent sometimes feels like being an island. There is an ever present fear of messing your child up. In the moments you are in public and your child manages to do the embarrassing, it can be isolating when all judgmental eyes roll your direction. Or when you feel an emotional wreak the first days back to work away from your baby. It is hard in these situations to remember there are other people who have been there too.
Today is feeling like the final countdown of my return to work from maternity leave. 7 days and I will be jumping back into the chaos known as “working mom”. It is difficult to not feel a certain amount of dread of the unknown. Will my husband and I be able to keep a functioning household and care for our children? Will we be able to attend to the needs of our marriage? And of course, there is the fear of the unknown logistics of expressing milk at work in order to maintain a breastfeeding relationship with my newborn.
Baristas and most people working food service are familiar with how little private space exists in our workplace. Most cafes have a cramped backroom that serves double duty as an office and prep area. With my first son, I worked in a cafe with an L shaped backroom and was able to hang a shower curtain to draw for privacy. This time around I do not have such a lucky layout. My plan is to wear a nursing cover while expressing.
In my search for the right nursing cover solution, I discovered an opportunity in product supply. Most available nursing solutions work well for the nursing mom. However, there are few options that offer full torso coverage other than ponchos. I am simply not the poncho wearing type and did not want to get a poncho just for expressing. An infinity scarf is much more my style. The coverage from a scarf is typically just one sided. Thus, I came up with the idea of an infinity scarf with a button in the middle of the neck opening to convert to a poncho.
Versatility is one of my favorite features. The scarf I made today offers wearability options. It can be worn as a scarf doubled over or hang long. Then when it comes time to nurse, it can be worn cross body style or buttoned in the middle for more privacy. The buttoned poncho option also offers just the right amount of coverage to conceal a double pump set up for expressing in public.
The scarf itself it fairly easy to make. It only requires one seam if jersey material is used. My scarf is taking a bit longer since I wanted it to be reversible. (Again, I love versatility.) It is amazing I got as far as I did in the process and only had the tin of sewing pins dumped out 3 times by my toddler. Sorry for the lackluster quality photos. Hopefully, I can finish up with the button attachment tomorrow and share a picture of the truly finished product.
It is springtime in Chicago. I love midwest springs. By the time the new season rolls around, I have grown weary of winter’s cold, grey demeanor. Spring time ushers in new life. The grass pokes fresh green sprouts checking for the warmer temperatures. Then trees bud and blossom in the celebration of winter’s death grip releasing.
This spring also brought new life to our home. Our second son, Oliver was born before one last snow flurry. He was our little olive branch this year – a promise of new life.
To date, I have been in full-time management within the corporate cafe business. It has been a special occasion – taking FMLA leave from work to spend time bonding with our newest family member. With my first son, my relationship with work life changed drastically. I no longer felt like work was my life; I developed a new sense of family and home became my life.
With my second son, I am feeling a greater urge than ever to spend more time at home. It is pushing me to explore other avenues of creative income sources. It is also stretching me to discover other occupations that spark my passion and interest. I sense that with the arrival of my little olive branch this spring, there will be a greater turning of a new leaf in our home.