There is a part 2 to my woes as a working mom. Enough about having spending lesser time with baby and dealing w work stress. I think the more understated woes which I haven’t come across much and yet it is very much a reality: expressing outside of home.
For those whose offices have expressing rooms available for mummies good for u. My office does not have that kind of room for me, so I had to resort to heading out to a mall and use their nursing room as a pump room. I see electric sockets in the same room I would think they are also making it availed for mothers who need to express.
I had a very recent encounter whereby there were only 2 nursing rooms and both were taken, of which one of the room was taken up by me. I was expressing for about 10mins (i stick to 30mins per pump), and I could hear a baby crying and a mother trying to rock the baby to soothe the baby. This went on for a while then the mother and baby went out. In my mind, I was feeling bad because I could tell from the cry was hunger because Jan has the same cries when she is hungry. But I was already expressing halfway, but I know that there was someone who was in the nursing room earlier than me so I was pretty sure she Wld be done earlier than me.
True enough the mother beside me came out after 15mins, and I hear the crying baby and mother went into the room. They could have most likely saw the mother coming out and quickly rushed in to feed the hungry baby.
Now, here’s my problem and frustrations. I hear someone outside the nursing room telling the cleaner of the toilet that if she saw anyone who is alone going into the room, she needs to complain because this is a nursing room means for mothers with babies. And this person kept repeating saying “baby is hungry, must chase the person out if she is alone. Baby more important.” etc. The cleaner didn’t respond because she was a chinese national and the person speaking to her was a Philippino and speaking English. So, when I heard this, I was feeling angry because, why are expressing moms be bitched about.
So after 10mins I’m done with my pump. And I left the room and walked over to the basin to throw away my rubbish. I saw from the corner of my eye the phippino lady and I realized she was the helper of the mother and crying baby. She looked at me and saw my big bag which contained my pump, cooler bag and what not. As I walked out of the toilet (as the nursing room is in the toilet but in a clean corner), she was telling the cleaner again “see auntie, another person who is alone. You must really complain or open the door. 2 ladies alone in the room making crying baby wait. This is no good.”
This time, I decided not to be judged and voiced out, so I walked back to her and said “pls do not criticize people who needs to pump milk for their babies who are at home. Your criticisms make it stressful for mothers pumping in the room. We are pumping halfway and it’s not like we snatched the room from the crying baby. If it is really bad, you could have knocked and asked how long more so that you and I can manage the expectations. You could even ask if we can be done in 5mins because the baby really needs to drink. You cannot assume we know that the baby cries is definitely for milk and not other matters. I also have a baby waiting for my milk. I cannot don’t pump.” The helper said “I’m sorry”.
This incident made me feel that we should voice out for mothers who express their milk outside. Not everyone has a room to pump and while we do and I believe if we were in the queue w a mother who is holding onto a crying baby, we would definitely let the mother go first, but if we are inside Alr, please understand that we also need to finish up our pump. If I had a baby inside and I’m nursing the baby I’m deemed as less guilty as compared to if I was using the room to pump?
I hope this allow fellow mothers to be understanding.