The job I had when Julian was born didn’t require much travel, but there was some. After maternity leave, I went back to my job, but because I was breastfeeding, I avoided all business trips for the first year. When Julian was about 13 months old, a team retreat came up and I had to face my fear. I was expected to present to a large group of colleagues at a hotel about 90-minutes from home and skipping it would have undermined my status at work.
Not participating in the dinner to follow the day of presentations would have denied me the opportunity to be part of the camaraderie and trust-building that happens during casual conversations at work, something I already sacrificed by going back to a 30-hour work with with breaks dedicated to pumping. Let’s just say I didn’t make a lot of new friends in my office after maternity leave.
I decided I could lean in for 36 hours.
I was incredibly anxious about leaving my baby, but he was at home with my husband, so really it was just my boobs that would be missing from Julian’s evening and morning routine. His dad did not lack any skills in the nurturing and care-giving department. Warm cow’s milk in a sippy cup did not seem to bother Julian.
My hotel room had a fridge and I pumped in the morning and evening. At 13 months I was only nursing twice a day, anyhow.
I knew my reluctance to travel was not sustainable for our lifestyle, so even prior to the business trip challenge, I had set a goal to have an overnight getaway with my husband after the first year of parenthood had passed. I talk more about that in this video.