Moms deserve a gold medal for pandemic multitasking

But just because moms can stretch to this extent, does not mean we should long-term.

Moms deserve a gold medal for pandemic multitasking

When someone asks me how I'm doing, my typical response is "great… and busy!" Now, this seems almost ridiculous looking back. Yes, I've always had a lot on my plate, but wow, I cannot even find the plate right now (it's somewhere under a pile of school worksheets I printed, laundry and dishes, Amazon packages of random things to entertain kids, face masks and my work to-do list). This challenging pandemic time has taken our responsibilities as moms to next-level-status. Can you relate?

Moms are used to stretching. Your heart—and possibly belly and definitely your budget and the quantity of what you can fit into 24 hours—stretches when you become a mom and to your astonishment, stretches again and again as you add more children. We're used to this role. We are the masters of this role.


But, mamas, we are stretched right now during this pandemic to do all the things, and to do them simultaneously.

Raise your hand if you've been homeschooling, activities researching, Zoom facilitating and Google Classroom checking.

Raise your other hand if you've added a new level of supervising, entertaining, feeding, cleaning, shuffling plans without in-person school or consistent childcare support.

Stand on your tippy-toes if you've been working during all this or headed back in after maternity leave.

Jump up and down if you've been in an essential job, keeping our communities safe.

Indeed, we are stretched to a high degree of intensity right now. Once again, we prove that our stamina, commitment and power as moms is beyond incredible. Many of us are doing more now than we could have possibly believed we could or would a year ago (back then, I would bet many of us thought we were maxed out).

Mamas, we are incredible.

But, there is something stirring in my head and heart that I'm really worried about. Just because moms can stretch to this extent, does not mean we should long-term.

It's a pandemic emergency and we all have to do what we can to keep our families and communities safe. We've shown up for the stretch, as moms always do. But eventually, we hope, life will return to a more normal state. And when that does, and as plans for the future of school, childcare and workplaces are formed, I want to remind our employers and community leaders:

Moms need time and space and support to do the mothering.

Moms need time and space and support to do professional work.

I've been increasingly worried for us stretched-like-Gumby mamas,not only for our mental health right now (that is indeed a concern) but also the future of our work-life balance (or journey towards finding it).

Flexibility is exactly what many moms need more of from employers—it can help support breastfeeding goals, enable moms to participate in kids milestones, allow us to coordinate with the schedule of a partner or other support system and improve mental health, all of which amount to happier, more productive, employees. I work with an entirely remote team of women and it's an awesome setup for my company, but I have to be conscious as an employer not to keep my team on a virtual leash. I will say this is hard when the boundaries become less clear and the hours are not 9 am to 5 pm, but it's possible to create space for the different roles we have in our lives.

So, bosses, when a mom says her child is sick, that does not mean you let her go home but expect to see her on Zoom at 2 pm.

When winter rolls around and there is a snow day and school and childcare are closed, moms will still need to mother their young kids.

The new definition of work-life balance is not work and family life at the exact same time into perpetuity.

We knew before COVID-19 that one of the many reasons moms make great employees is because they are dynamic and masters of the stretch. And now, this chapter of our lives has shown us that moms can navigate a global pandemic while keeping up their end of the professional work and all while having eyes-on their kid 24/7, not to mention teaching them at home and navigating a complete family life pivot.

Moms are starring as the ultimate multitaskers. Under these emergency circumstances, the bar has been set to an unbelievable new height. And moms have sailed right over the high jump. Actually, I propose the Olympic gold medal in stretching for every mom out there right now. But I truly hope we can work together to let moms retract a bit and gain the support and space they deserve.

Maybe this could be the moment where the work of mothers is respected more than it ever was before? Please engage and celebrate our amazing stretchy abilities—but don't break us.

By its very nature, motherhood requires some lifestyle adjustments: Instead of staying up late with friends, you get up early for snuggles with your baby. Instead of spontaneous date nights with your honey, you take afternoon family strolls with your little love. Instead of running out of the house with just your keys and phone, you only leave with a fully loaded diaper bag.

For breastfeeding or pumping mamas, there is an additional layer of consideration around when, how and how much your baby will eat. Thankfully, when it comes to effective solutions for nursing or bottle-feeding your baby, Dr. Brown's puts the considerations of mamas and their babies first with products that help with every step of the process—from comfortably adjusting to nursing your newborn to introducing a bottle to efficiently pumping.

With countless hours spent breastfeeding, pumping and bottle-feeding, the editors at Motherly know the secret to success is having dependable supplies that can help you feed your baby in a way that matches lifestyle.

Here are 9 breastfeeding and pumping products to help you no matter what the day holds.

Customflow™ Double Electric Breast Pump

Dr. Brown's electric pump

For efficient, productive pumping sessions, a double electric breast pump will help you get the job done as quickly as possible. Quiet for nighttime pumping sessions and compact for bringing along to work, this double pump puts you in control with fully adjustable settings.


Hands-Free Pumping Bra

Dr. Brown''s hands free pumping bra

Especially in the early days, feeding your baby can feel like a pretty consuming task. A hands-free pumping bra will help you reclaim some of your precious time while pumping—and all mamas will know just how valuable more time can be!


Manual Breast Pump with SoftShape™ Silicone Shield

Dr. Brown's manual breast pump

If you live a life that sometimes takes you away from electrical outlets (that's most of us!), then you'll absolutely want a manual breast pump in your arsenal. With two pumping modes to promote efficient milk expression and a comfort-fitted shield, a manual pump is simply the most convenient pump to take along and use. Although it may not get as much glory as an electric pump, we really appreciate how quick and easy this manual pump is to use—and how liberating it is not to stress about finding a power supply.


Nipple Shields and Sterilization Case

Dr. Brown's nipple shields

There is a bit of a learning curve to breastfeeding—for both mamas and babies. Thankfully, even if there are some physical challenges (like inverted nipples or a baby's tongue tie) or nursing doesn't click right away, silicone nipple shields can be a huge help. With a convenient carry case that can be sterilized in the microwave, you don't have to worry about germs or bacteria either. 🙌


Silicone One-Piece Breast Pump

Dr. Brown's silicone pump

When you are feeding your baby on one breast, the other can still experience milk letdown—which means it's a golden opportunity to save some additional milk. With a silent, hands-free silicone pump, you can easily collect milk while nursing.


Breast to Bottle Pump & Store Feeding Set

After a lifetime of nursing from the breast, introducing a bottle can be a bit of a strange experience for babies. Dr. Brown's Options+™ and slow flow bottle nipples were designed with this in mind to make the introduction to bottles smooth and pleasant for parents and babies. As a set that seamlessly works together from pumping to storing milk to bottle feeding, you don't have to stress about having everything you need to keep your baby fed and happy either.


Washable Breast Pads

washable breast pads

Mamas' bodies are amazingly made to help breast milk flow when it's in demand—but occasionally also at other times. Especially as your supply is establishing or your breasts are fuller as the length between feeding sessions increase, it's helpful to use washable nursing pads to prevent breast milk from leaking through your bra.


Breast Milk Storage Bags

Dr. Brown's milk storage bags

The essential for mamas who do any pumping, breast milk storage bags allow you to easily and safely seal expressed milk in the refrigerator or freezer. Dr. Brown's™ Breast Milk Storage Bags take it even further with extra thick walls that block out scents from other food items and feature an ultra secure lock to prevent leaking.


Watch one mama's review of the new Dr. Brown's breastfeeding line here:

This article was sponsored by Dr. Brown's. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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