Lagos, Traffic and life of a working mum

Although scores of authors have written simple, easy to follow guide on motherhood, I dare say none of those books cater's for some weird edge cases. I'll go out on a limb and say motherhood has no manual.

A few days ago, I sat in traffic for over 5hrs, that's almost two-third of my average working day. You see, traffic in a city like Lagos has a mind of its own.

No one told me how painful an engorged lactating breast can be. I am a working mum living in Lagos and my daily commute from work on any given day varies between an hour to an hour thirty minutes.

I leave the home before dawn and don't get back till dusk. So I am typically away from my little son for 10+ hours daily.

It hasn't been easy, but we have been making it work just fine. I am getting better at managing my time these days and knowing when and how to apportion my time to things, this has been a way of me hacking working and being a mum.

On this particular day where I had to spend 5 hours in traffic, nothing prepared me for it. I just thought to myself, give and take I should be home in 2 hours or less, but that didn't happen.

An hour journey gradually snowballed into 5hours and this happened between the hours of 6:00 pm and 11:00 pm. I boarded the bus by 6 pm and didn't get home until 11 pm. It was one hell of a ride, at some point, the bus stayed on a spot for almost 2 hours. I was hungry and tired. All I had on me was a 50mls bottle of water and I drank all of it.

It wasn't long before I noticed the stain on my shirt. The patch was that of an African map. I had exhausted the breasts pads I took to work that day. By the time I finally got home, the front of my entire shirt was wet with milk as a result of an engorged breasts and I was also smelling of soured milk 😩

My breasts became really hard, heavy and painful. I developed fever almost immediately. The warm water bath did help, I used it to soothe my breasts.

My little son was asleep and wasn't going to suckle on me. To help calm the pain even further, I expressed the much I could and I felt a lot better. Expressing did help the pain.

I barely had enough sleep when my alarm rang for a new day and I woke up sick.

So going forward, I have decided to go to work with at least a dozen of breast pads to prevent running out of clean ones. I am adopting the Boy Scout motto; be ready always. I have also decided to always carry a shawl/scarf with me whenever I am going out. At least it will help in covering my blouse if and when it gets stained.

Wheww ...Motherhood and its challenges, but I am loving every bit of it.


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