Monday, October 13, 2008

Modern Motherhood

At the office today, I came out of the little back room/storage closet where I pump breastmilk to find a woman I'd never seen before sitting in the office kitchen, breastfeeding her son. She acted very embarrassed when I walked by and apologized. I said, "You don't have to apologize to me," and explained how I pump milk every day in the storage closet. I picked up her son and started playing with him when her cell phone rang, so I ended up babysitting for about 10 minutes while she discussed business with a client.

When she hung up, Renata introduced herself and told me her story. She's a single mother who recently moved from New York City to Las Vegas and has her own PR/events company. She takes her baby everywhere she goes and frequently comes back East for business -- she's in New York now helping plan a fashion show. Her client here had "freaked out" when she started breastfeeding her son in the client's office, so Renata moved out to the kitchen where I had met her. 

I told her I was amazed she could work full time and raise a baby, with no help. She said she'd recently hired an elderly lady from Poland to help her out and that most of her job involved phone work -- not writing, like mine (which is completely incompatible with having a baby around, and the reason I have a full-time nanny). "I want it all, you know?" she went on. "A career, a baby . . . It makes you tolerate less bullshit. You just don't work for the clients who don't pay." 

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