The Idea was Born
The idea for Work & Mother came to me before I had kids. At the time, I was dating an amazing man who I knew would someday become my husband (he did!), working full-time for a marketing agency, while also going to school full time to get my MBA (shoutout to my fellow Rice Owls!). Life was crazy busy and I loved it. But I’m a firm believer in timing and as life would have it, while I was going back to school, my closest friends where all announcing their pregnancies.
Our dinner conversations began evolving with our lives. And one by one, as my friends had their adorable babies, they began going back to work–most within 10-12 weeks. It was around that time that I noticed that whenever there was a gathering of new moms, the conversation always seemed to find its way to breastfeeding and pumping at the office–or trying to, anyways. I had nothing to add, so I sat and listened. I listened to horror story after horror story of my friends, and their friends, who were having to pump in IT closets, bathroom stalls, or in their car in the parking garage. I heard about being walked-in on by coworkers, while shirtless and tethered to the machine, or being harrassed and made the butt of jokes while rinsing pump parts in company break rooms. The amount of gear, the discomfort, the isolation… it all sounded terrible.
While I didn’t have kids yet, I knew I wanted to. I also knew breastfeeding was extremely important to me, but that I would likely be returning to work after having my babies. I looked around my workplace, which at the time was an open office floorplan, without any fully private rooms. We had a single unisex bathroom that I tried to spend as little time in as possible as it was. There was no way I was going to be able to pump, I realized. So I decided to create what I wished I had: a spa-like facility that had all the equipment I needed (so no lugging giant pump bags to and from the office each day, or running to Target in the middle of the afternoon to buy bags or membranes), and offered complete and total privacy but also provided the support and community of other working moms who going through the same grind.
And thus, Work & Mother was born.