To the Man in the Mothers Room

Actual sign on the door

I’m not going to lie – pumping sucks. It is zero fun, and has been for the past five months that I’ve been doing it. But, I’ve decided I want the muppets to have breast milk – and producing milk is the one part of becoming mother that has gone exceedingly well.

I was never able to convince the muppets to breastfeed. They learned on the bottle, discovered it was easier and decided to stick with it. Jon and I decided not to stress the issue – after all, there are two of them and it helps to have a partnering waiter when hunger strikes. (Any comments from the peanut gallery about how I’m selfish or lazy will not be approved; this is not the post for that debate. Additionally, they drink only breast milk, so offended advocates are invited to find something better to complain about.)

During their two and a half month NICU residence, I pumped every three hours. Now that they’re home, I pump every three hours or when they wake up during the night. (If they’re not getting up, I’m not getting up.) And of course, I pump at work.

I am well aware that I am luckier than most. My company is very mommy-friendly – they even have stork spots designated for future mommies to park in. (All the closer to the bathroom during the arfing phase of pregnancy.) Each building has a “Mothers Room.” These are equipped with a recliner, small table, phone, refrigerator for the sole purpose of storing milk and counter with sink. One can reserve the room via our corporate calendar system.

As much as I hate gathering up my stuff every three hours to trudge down the hall and attach the S&M-looking system up to make the boys dinner, I have heard many more horror stories about work pumping. I’ve been told of teachers having a traumatic pumping experiences when a young student wanders into a classroom where she is pumping and peeks around the divider set up for “privacy.” A friend of mine is relegated to pumping in a storage closet and recently had to leap behind some of the aforementioned stored equipment when a colleague failed to heed a giant neon sign warning “MOM PUMPING. DO NOT ENTER.”

My ability to pump at work in relative luxury is the reason I have never seriously considered switching the boys over to formula. But it appears the inability to read clearly posted signs, is not an isolated incident.

I have the Mothers Room reserved three times a day through the muppets first birthday: 9:30 a.m., 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. It’s not uncommon for the room to be occupied when I arrive; there are lots of pumping moms. This morning the room was occupied – slightly odd since I work at a generally late-starting company.

I knocked. No response. Usually I’ll hear a mom reply, “Just cleaning up” or “Sorry, didn’t realize the room was booked.” I waited three more minutes and knocked again. Still no response. The door only locks from the inside, and I could see the light on, so I knew someone was in there. Two minutes later I knocked yet again. When the silent treatment continued I told the mystery occupant I had the room booked through the “occupied” sign on the door handle.

Finally, the door opened. A man, clearly annoyed with my constant knocking, walked out. He was in the middle of a personal phone call. He mumbled, “sorry,” and scurried away.

You sir, are not a nursing mother.

So, to the man in the mothers room, the next time you have an urgent need to lock yourself in a room for a personal phone call – might I recommend a storage closet?

In case you missed the prominent sign displayed directly at eye level, this particular room “is provided for nursing mothers to use while expressing milk. Please do not use this room for any other purpose.”

 

4 Comments

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4 Responses to To the Man in the Mothers Room

  1. Dalia

    as a fellow pumper– totally agreed- pumping sucks and men (everyone really) should read the damn signs!

    good for you for keeping it up even though they wont take it directly from you- i give you lots of kudos!

  2. Holly

    Clearly this man has never had an urgent need to pump or he would have been aware of his thoughtlessness. =)

  3. Joanne Hamann

    What an oaf! Hope he felt very sheepish!

  4. Michelle

    You were too nice. I would have had choice words for him.

    Our company has a lock with a number combination on it. Only nursing mothers are given the combination. This prevents oafs from hijacking the room.

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