Pumping at work: Responding to unsupportive colleagues

The other day, a friend of mine wrote online about the trouble she’s having pumping at work. Coworkers walk in on her while she’s pumping milk for her baby. She’s rushing to pump and still get back to her class in time to teach. And unsupportive colleagues are making insensitive comments.

Because that’s just what a working mom needs: Flak for doing her best to feed her baby, continue her career and maintain her own health.

(Skeptical that pumping is more than a luxury or convenience to breastfeeding women? Please read this NPR article about the health risks of not being able to pump breast milk regularly.)

Other moms and I jumped in to defend our friend online, since we can’t drive to work with her and stand up to those jerks in person. Unfortunately. Though I’d totally do it.

We suggested a handful of comebacks a working mom could use to the ignorant, curious or hostile comments she got. If you’re heading back to work—or are already back and are unsure of how to respond to coworkers—here are ready-to-use replies for an unsupportive colleague’s comments about your about pumping at work.

Pumping at work is hard enough without unsupportive coworkers. Here's how to respond to insensitive, mean or just ignorant comments. Ten Thousand Hour Mama Read more

How I organize my blog with a bullet journal

I’ve always been one of those people who has to write everything down; that need has become even more vital since I became a mom and all my brain cells were sucked, zapped and fried out of me. So when I thought of a blog post I wanted to write, I jotted down a note in a to do list notebook.

I got more ideas. And more ideas. And soon enough, my ideas were so cluttered that the blog post list wasn’t helpful. The disorganization took a toll on my productivity.

When I actually had a chunk of time to write a blog post, I didn’t know where to start. I’d sift through messy list of ideas or click on the many drafts in my WordPress dashboard to figure out what I needed to do to complete a post.

By the time I actually got to work, I’d have wasted a half-hour. Busy moms and bloggers feel me: We do not have a spare half-hour to waste. 

So when I started bullet journaling a few months back, I knew I wanted to keep track of my blog posts: ideas for future posts, posts in progress and scheduled posts. (Don’t know what I’m talking about? Read this beginner’s guide to bullet journaling. You might get hooked, too!) So I started to organize my blog with a bullet journal spread.

Voila: my BuJo blog post page.

When I started this bullet journal page, my blogging productivity and organization skyrocketed! This is some serious BuJo inspiration. Ten Thousand Hour Mama Read more

A portrait of working moms

I am honored to be a part of A Well Crafted Party‘s series about working moms! Writer Jenni Bost’s story about me is up on her site—check it out!

Catherine Ryan Gregory portrait of working moms
Beautiful photos by the inimitable Mary Boyden from Momma Bear Magazine

As I told Jenni, I want my girls to see me working—for the ups and the downs.

“I want them to witness the excitement, passion, even frustration it sparks in me,” I told Jenni. “Because no relationship is perfect, including the one with your work. Seeing that I can be angry or aggravated by work but push through it and stick with it is a great example of how life works.”

I also want my girls to grow into the independence and creativity I had when both my parents worked when I was a kid.

“When I grew up, both my parents worked. Having a lot of free time on our own made me and my siblings invent fun for ourselves. We spent hours imagining ourselves as fairies or orphans or alligator wrestlers. We dedicated weeks to turning our play room into a haunted house. We made up songs and ran around outside and skinned our knees and broke windows (though not too often, thankfully),” I told Jenni. 

“I want my girls to have a similar childhood – one that’s not micromanaged by me.”

Are you a working mom or dad? How do YOU make it work? If your parents worked, how did that color your childhood?

Life > Blog

Balancing life with two kidsLong time no see, Blog.

I’ve been writing here much less frequently since Kiwi was born. Well, duh, you might think. I do, after all, have an eight-week-old and toddler to take care of, plus a husband to occasionally talk with, plus a full-time job writing. (Cleaning and cooking have completely fallen by the wayside, too. Our house is a constant disaster.)

My hiatus is perhaps to be expected, but that doesn’t mean I like it.

I like this blog. I enjoy writing it, sharing it, connecting with other people and building a community of other bloggers and readers. It doesn’t bring in a cent and probably isn’t advancing my career in any way, but it has become something that’s important to me.

As moms, it’s easy to let go of the things we enjoy—but that don’t tangibly contribute— especially in the hazy first months of a baby’s life. But we shouldn’t.

Even though this blog centers around my family, it’s for me. I am a writer, and writers write. Sure, right now I’m writing and editing full-time, but this is fulfilling in a different way. I get to say what’s in my heart (or in my sleep-deprived mind, at least).

At some point, I’ll regain some of the balance that’s missing. In the meantime, I haven’t completely forgotten about my tiny corner of the internet. I’ll be back.