I saw this picture on Instagram and it got me thinking about a “mom brain” story that I’m sure many moms will enjoy … but hopefully NOT be able to relate to.
Allow me to set the scene:
I was returning to work in the digital marketing industry after having twin girls. I also had a freshly turned three-year-old daughter. Our babies were almost sleeping through the night but not quite yet.
I had an opportunity to go to a regional sales meeting in New Jersey. No one was telling me I had to go, yet I thought it would be a good way to quickly get up-to-speed on what I’d missed in the prior three months and what was planned in the near-term. (This was my first mistake.)
This meeting was to be hosted by top sales executives and attended by 100-plus top-notch salespeople in the Northeast, many of whom I knew from my tenure at the company. Fortunately for me, my mom/business partner was able to help my husband with the kids so I could take the trip stress-free.
I knew the meeting would be super informative but I also knew I had the challenge of needing to take long breaks from the meeting to pump. So I devised a genius plan:
I would bring my iPad, leave my iPad propped up in my chair in the ongoing session, then Facetime my phone from my iPad. This way I could watch and listen during the time I had to step away. What could go wrong?
The first time I went to pump, I pulled up my mental checklist as I set up the technology. Connect the phone to the iPad via Facetime? Check. Turn the camera on my phone around? Check. Can I hear the presenter through my phone okay? Check.
I, however, completely forgot to mute MY mic on my phone. So when someone in the hallway asked, “Where ya headed?” I said in my famous not-very-quiet voice, “Gotta pump! I’m a nursing mama so I gotta go make that milk!”
A few minutes later, I realized my faux pas and my heart started racing. Everyone in the room, or at least in near proximity to my iPad, had to have heard me. MORTIFYING. I texted several close girlfriends and told them what happened. They cringed with me.
But … It doesn’t stop there.
While our SVP of Sales was presenting, I had to make another run for my makeshift pumping room, complete with a galvanized metal Coors Light bucket to ice down my bottles of pumped milk. Boy — was I proud of myself for remembering to do the oh-so-critical task of muting my sound before getting to business.
I propped my phone up against my pump so I could see the speaker and presentation and did all the regular pumping things. I got my flanges nice and lined up on my girls. I squeezed to make sure I was getting as much milk as possible. I inspected the bottles to see how much milk I was able to get.
Then 20 minutes into it, sheer horror and panic ran over me. Cold sweats. I HAD FORGOTTEN TO TURN MY CAMERA AROUND.
What did that mean? It meant that there on the front row of the sales meeting, there was an iPad propped up in front of my senior executive colleague, projecting up-close-and-personal footage of a pumping session. That nearly half-an-hour movie could have been titled “Full Frontal,” and was rated at least PG-13.
I never asked if the leader saw what I think he saw, but it may explain why he doesn’t often look me in the eye anymore.
Thank goodness for a family-oriented work environment, a hearty sense of humor and friends who would laugh with me because I almost died of embarrassment that day.
Parents, it’s rough when you’re sleep deprived, managing a growing family and trying your best to “do it all.” Mom brain moments happen. Hope you, too, can give yourself some grace!
(For family trips, one way to have less sleep deprivation and more crisp thinking is to get yourself a SlumberPod! Our pod gives your baby his or her own little private and dark place to sleep, which is especially convenient when having to share a room–such as in a hotel room.)
Sleep is essential!