Monday, February 9, 2009

A Rant ... If I'm allowed one

Producing enough to feed a healthy, growing baby is hard – especially when for a good portion of the day I am away from my child. Pumps have become quite advanced and mine (the third one I have purchased) is electric and essentially automatic, allowing me to grade papers, read, or write while I pump.

Unfortunately, as a classroom teacher, I have little private time to call my own. A thirty minute lunch (bell to bell) and a 90 minute planning period that is often earmarked for conferences, phone calls, and meetings, are all the time during my work day afforded to me. It would seem like a lot of free time… but by the time I get into the nurses restroom (which is the only truly private place to pump until a student or janitor needs the facility), it's time to pack up and get back in my class to prepare for students. Oh and eating? Unless I carry a meal into the restroom with me, that doesn't happen anymore.

I am ranting about this because I have been added to the roster for "monitoring" students who have failed classes and are taking online coursework to catch up to their peers. This means that today my lunch and planning period (combined every other day due to block scheduling) has now been completely consumed by this new assignment. It hurts physically when I don't pump on time. More importantly, it means that Ya will have to have substitutions at home so that I can prepare the two 4.5 ounce bottles he gets every day for school. That's hardly enough volume for him as it is, and to have to keep him from nursing so that I can pump is emotionally painful.

Granted the new assignment is only once this month, but that's not the point. I am trying to do what is best for my baby. I have reluctantly accepted that I'll spend time in a restroom trying to be as sanitary as possible with my pumping in a very unsanitary location. I have worked hard to get 30 minutes worth of a pumping cycle done in 20 and produce enough milk so that my son does not starve. And the workplace continues to fail to recognize that first and foremost, I am a Mommy. If Ya doesn't get what he needs from me now, when he starts school he'll be yet another problem for them to deal with.

And trust, I could go on and on about the problems created in the classroom when there are problems with parenting at home. But I value my job, and Big Brother watches me.

1 comment:

Joy Howse said...

That is very unfortunate that you have to do what you are doing in regards to nursing/pumping. We as a society have a long way to go in valuing family. I hope that the situation changes soon.