There is both comfort and drawbacks to working in an office environment that includes both those who are currently pregnant and those who have just had children. That is where I work. I’ve been working in this office for almost four months now and quickly deduced the people that I can and can’t tolerate. I will be upfront. I am not a social person. I hate about 80% of the human population, another 17% I tolerate and about 3% I actually like. My husband is firmly in the 3% as are my mother and one of my sisters. ALL of my husband’s are firmly in either the “I tolerate you” or “I hate you” camps. The list of people that I would actually leave my yet to be born child with is even shorter. If you make that 1% list then you should get a medal for saint hood. Here’s a hint, I don’t trust any of my in-laws alone with my kid.
Back to the office rant. I very quickly became friends with a girl who has not only a set of two year old twins but also a seven year old son. We can talk openly about pretty much all the gross pregnancy topics. I like her, I feel comfortable with her and we follow similar principals for child raising. Then there is the other girl. I knew right off the bat when she point blank asked me, at an office breakfast function while we eating no less, if I was going to breastfeed that I would never like her. Who does that? First it’s none of her business, second it’s not a topic that should ever be discussed at the breakfast table and three she is soooo going on the “I barely tolerate you” list. This girl reminds me all too much of my overly aggressive older sister (also on the “I tolerate you” list) which makes me not ever want to enter in to a conversation with her.
Earlier this week we were in an office meeting where this girl was talking about how she wouldn’t be able to go to a specific certification class that she needs for her new job title until November. This class is required to actually perform the role she will be doing. She was expounding on how the class just isn’t being given in our area. At which time I pointed out to her politely that she could find out from the scheduler if the class was being given at one of the other sites like San Diego or Georgia.
She practically yelled at the top of her lungs that she couldn’t travel to one of the other sites because she was still breastfeeding! First off no one wants to hear you talk about breastfeeding, not even other breastfeeders, certainly not the people who work with your everyday. Second this right here is just one of the many reasons I will not be breastfeeding by the time I get back to work. I applaud all those other mothers who continue to breastfeed for 6 months, a year, or more (I once knew a woman who as still breastfeeding her four year old!) but I will not be one. I will not be shackled in to being a milk cow! And just the thought of pumping breast milk at work, in a little room(whose purpose everyone is well aware of) makes me physically ill.
I’m not saying that we shouldn’t talk about all the realities of pregnancy. I think if we talked about it more then maybe less teenagers would become pregnant. I am saying there is a time, a place and an audience for it. That audience does not include shouting it at the top of your lungs to a mixed gender group of co-workers. I think I actually saw some of the guys turn green. Let’s keep the horror between us shall we girls?