From Sales Engineer to Sales Assistant at a Breastfeeding Bazaar

Breastfeeding is the most natural thing on earth and your body will know how to feed your baby, people said. That is true… but not for all of us. Nothing about it felt natural to me. Sadly, I didn’t enjoy breastfeeding though I did it for a combined total of eight months. Pain and guilt overshadowed those sporadic moments of contentment. I was sore everywhere and if anyone other than my babies touched my boobs, watch out for my Wolverine claws!

The guilt was the worst. I was wrecked with it for not being able to keep up with my babies’ appetites and supplementing with formula milk. I hated sneaking away from my office desk for my pumping schedule knowing people would immediately assume I was slacking. Going out was a chore – I ran out of frumpy breastfeeding-friendly clothes pretty fast. Buy more? Damn it! One blouse was equivalent to the price of two big diaper packs! I’m not even going to start on the actual act of nursing in public which is a whole other plethora of complexities.

My body was swirling with a lethal cocktail of hormones and exhaustion. I was ashamed that I couldn’t gush about breastfeeding (and motherhood in general) like some of my other mommy-friends. While my babies thrived in every way, I was losing myself.

Don’t give up! Breastfeeding gets easier over time, people also said but I didn’t have the gumption to stick around and find out. There was more to motherhood than breastfeeding – this much I was certain of. Funny, I don’t feel as much guilt over weaning off early than I did about struggling to breastfeed. A psychologist might have plenty to say about that. All I know is, I became so much less of a psycho.

baby-child-newborn-arms-47219

So I suppose it was an odd choice to spend a whole weekend at The Breastfeeding Advocates Network (TBAN) Gift of Love bazaar considering my experience with breastfeeding. Hey, just because I suck at sports doesn’t mean I don’t cheer my heart out for our Malaysian athletes, right? Same thing here. And if it wasn’t for this amazing group, I think I’d have given up on breastfeeding within a month. Oh by the way, when I say amazing I mean A.M.A.Z.I.N.G.

The bazaar itself featured a lot of homegrown brands but let me tell you, this wasn’t your run-of-a-mill kinda bazaar. Almost every booth was manned (oh, the irony) by a momma. As they engaged with customers and rocked lil’ babies to sleep in their baby carriers, there was no way I wasn’t infected by their energy. They and so many like them are the new generation of stay at home moms who are proving to the world that giving up your career for your family doesn’t mean giving up your dreams and your brains.

Surrounded by such inspiring women (and the men who have their backs), the hours I spent as a sales assistant for Shereena Gill’s Milk at 27 (cool non-aunty nursing wear designs, by the way) whizzed past unnoticed. It was interesting to be on the other side of the counter as a sales person and realize how diverse human behavior can be. Some know exactly what they want. Some are terribly indecisive. Others are easily persuaded to spend more by a good bargain. The rest just think you’re going to eat them when you smile and try to hand out a business card.

sheerena n me

We clicked right away with Shai of Bonda by Shai at the booth behind us who designs elegant Muslimah nursing wear. During a lull in customers, we’d take turns to make circuits of the other booths to shop. I came away with a bunch of books from Little Bookworm, the cutest pasta I have ever seen by Foodies with Love and bag-fulls of freebies (who knew that lactation cookies could be so yummy eh?).

I’m so glad I put myself out there to try something new because it was just the distraction I needed after moving back from Japan. As for the friends I made over the two days, well, they’re a wonderful, unexpected bonus 🙂

 

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  34 comments for “From Sales Engineer to Sales Assistant at a Breastfeeding Bazaar

  1. August 19, 2016 at 1:25 pm

    Such a big changes to your career. It takes lots of courage to make the decision. This seems to be an interesting event.

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    • marilynwrites
      August 19, 2016 at 4:34 pm

      Thanks for your kind words. It’s an adventure to say the least 😉

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  2. August 20, 2016 at 11:37 am

    Such a nice experience you gained from working at the bazaar, it’s really priceless 🙂

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    • marilynwrites
      August 20, 2016 at 8:59 pm

      It was fun 😊 Thanks for stopping by!

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  3. August 20, 2016 at 1:32 pm

    I also wish to change my career. Your changes is good can help and encourage more people in breast feeding

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    • marilynwrites
      August 20, 2016 at 8:59 pm

      Wish you all the best with your plans 😊

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  4. August 21, 2016 at 2:25 pm

    wow this is interesting! very nice job there!

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    • marilynwrites
      August 22, 2016 at 6:43 am

      yup, it was fun 🙂

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  5. August 22, 2016 at 7:43 am

    I think the most important thing is to be happy in what you choose… I choose to be a blogger rather then a unit trust consultant and chase for more clients etc…hahaha…

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    • marilynwrites
      August 22, 2016 at 7:48 pm

      Hahahah.. U r absolutely right!

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  6. August 22, 2016 at 11:02 am

    Great stuff!! Good message you are spreading. All the best!

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    • marilynwrites
      August 22, 2016 at 7:48 pm

      Thank u!

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  7. August 22, 2016 at 2:21 pm

    Such a great experience to work in the bazaar! Seem you enjoyed it.

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    • marilynwrites
      August 22, 2016 at 7:49 pm

      I did! Reminded me of school days.. Hehe

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  8. August 22, 2016 at 10:10 pm

    Awww you’re doing great now! Breast feeding fashion is something we need in the market too! Great experience =D

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    • marilynwrites
      August 23, 2016 at 7:50 am

      Thanks babe 🙂

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  9. August 23, 2016 at 1:11 am

    I am sure this leap will be more rewarding, as everything happens for a reason..As cliche as this may sound, but even as a 25 year old girl..I truly believe this…all the best dear!

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    • marilynwrites
      August 23, 2016 at 7:50 am

      It’s a cliche that’s 100% true 🙂

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  10. August 24, 2016 at 12:31 am

    Sometimes good things are not as good as they seem. I have read of the good and the not good side of breastfeeding. Honestly, even though it’s not in the near future, I have yet to decide on that. One major point is I could save money from formula because I know those aren’t cheap!

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    • marilynwrites
      August 24, 2016 at 1:35 pm

      Just do what feels right to u😀 thanks for stopping by!

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  11. betty
    August 24, 2016 at 9:58 am

    Change of careeer is something good as you get to explore different field and chase for your dream. Breast Feeding fashion is something new to me but like the idea.

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  12. August 24, 2016 at 10:03 am

    That is a brilliant move and very thoughtful of you to take this step.

    http://www.themumsandbabies.com

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  13. August 24, 2016 at 11:49 am

    Great way to support breastfeeding.. 🙂 How’s sales? hehe..

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    • marilynwrites
      August 24, 2016 at 1:36 pm

      Up and down.. Hehe

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  14. Arisa Chow
    August 24, 2016 at 5:57 pm

    would most definitely love to meet and see how we can collaborate someday to support more of these activities! 🙂

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    • marilynwrites
      August 24, 2016 at 8:23 pm

      Sounds great! Shereena (the other lady in the pic) is actually the owner of Milk at 27 😀

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  15. August 25, 2016 at 12:14 pm

    seems an interesting event… hug sweet ^^

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  16. August 25, 2016 at 8:58 pm

    My kids are now 12 and 10. I fared well with breastfeeding but wasn’t into babies and pre-schoolers in a big way and am really enjoying parenting now my kids are growing up. My kids take me on all sorts of adventures through their music, scouting and other activities and I grown so much as a person. There’s so much more to life than work and money and people matter.
    xx Rowena

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    • marilynwrites
      August 25, 2016 at 10:08 pm

      Thank u for that little nugget of wisdom. I really appreciate moms like you who share their stories in such an honest way

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  17. hui ying
    August 26, 2016 at 1:05 am

    breastfeeding is a wonderful time for baby and mummy!!!

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  18. August 31, 2016 at 10:25 pm

    i love bazaars too! like what you said, it’s mostly homegrown brand, and i love to stay within the community, hear out the stories sellers have to tell. hope to see you in person in next bazaar!

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    • marilynwrites
      September 3, 2016 at 7:03 am

      I hope so too 🙂

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  19. September 25, 2016 at 1:54 pm

    I can relate to this so much! Breastfeeding is truly driving me nuts!! I’m constantly about to give up!

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    • marilynwrites
      September 25, 2016 at 2:43 pm

      I’m so glad you do because it’s encouraging to know there are strong, good moms like you that struggle with this too

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