Look, ma: no hands! Or, 20 things you can do while pumping

I blog about breastfeeding a lot. But it’s something I think about a lot. And because I know how difficult it can sometimes be, I try to provide other moms with all of the support and encouragement I can. Because working and breastfeeding can be doubly hard, I try to provide my working mom pals with double the support. But, today, let’s have some fun.

The other day, I was pumping at work, and I found myself growing bored. I’d finished all my reading material; none of the friends I was texting would text me back; and I don’t have a smart phone, so I couldn’t check e-mail. So I made a list: 20 things to do in 20 minutes.

Basically, this is a list of hands-free activities for the ultimate multi-tasker. If the superhuman miracle of milk producing isn’t enough to make you feel like you’re being productive, throw one of these options in the mix. Some of these require you have access to a smart phone or a tablet computer and wi-fi, and others might be easier accomplished with the assistance of one of these, which you can find at the St. John Medical Center gift shop.

1. Read the newspaper. (Or the latest issue of TulsaKids. Duh.) It’s hard to keep up with daily current events when you’re working both in and out of the home. But while you’ve got 20 minutes and nothing to do, why not skim the day’s headlines?

2. Catch up on e-mails. Here’s where a smart phone or iPad comes in handy. You know those e-mails you usually ignore or delete without reading? Go ‘head and give em a gander.

3. Facebook/Twitter. See what you’re friends are up to; just don’t tell them what you’re doing at the moment.

4. Read a book. When Isaac was a baby, I could put a book away in three or four days, because I read when I pumped and nursed. Until he was a year old, it was the only way I found time to read. May I suggest a novel? Sure, you could read about the latest trends in parenting, but you’ll probably make the time to read that anyway. Treat yourself to a good story.

5. Phone a friend. I call people all the time while I’m pumping. If they ask what that strange background noise is, I usually make up something about construction happening outside. Unless it’s my fiance or my BFF Tasha.

6. Play a rousing game of Sudoku or work a crossword puzzle. Gotta keep that mind sharp.

7. Squats. You could be working your butt, thighs and boobs all at the same time. And who has time to exercise, anyway?

8. Make up ridiculous lists and post them on your blog.

9. Search for recipes for the evening’s meal, then make your grocery list.

10. Make a list of all the lists you need to make. (I’ve got a thing for lists.)

11. Shop online. You can be green about it and shop locally owned boutiques in Tulsa like Shoe Gypsy and ding-bats.

12. Clean out your purse. No telling what your kids have dumped in there.

13. Paint your fingernails. If you’re really flexible, you could try for your toes, too.

14. Relax with some deep breathing exercises. I’ve nearly fallen asleep while pumping, but not everyone shares my uncanny ability to nap on command. So try to take advantage of this rare opportunity to rest by relaxing in the way that suits you best.

15. Write a “thank you” or “thinking of you” note or e-mail. Just don’t begin with, “Thinking about you while pumping breast milk in the bathroom at work…” Weird.

16. Catch up on your stories via Hulu or television network websites. You can watch Grey’s Anatomy at ABC.com for free, ya’ll.

17. Balance your checkbook. FUN.

18. Have a snack. I always get the munchies when I’m nursing/pumping, but I sometimes forget to eat during the day. Don’t forget to drink plenty of water, too! Helps maintain the supply.

19. Send off your digital photos to be developed. This is one of those things I never think about doing until I’ve got 500 photos loaded on multiple memory cards. Most pharmacy photo departments will let you e-mail your pics in and pick them up later in the day.

20. Journal. I think all moms should keep a record of their children’s growing-up years. Again, it’s sometimes difficult to find them time to do that. Well, lucky for you, I just found you 20 minutes you didn’t know you had.

Categories: Natural Mom