"After I had my first child, I really did not want to go back to work, but finances made it necessary."

Did you always know you would go back to work after starting a family? Why or why not?

After I had my first child, I really did not want to go back to work, but finances made it necessary. I wanted to stay home and rear my child.

Tell us about your planning for your new child – timed around your career? Not at all? Share the skinny!

We planned our first child when my husband was out of school.

What was your biggest initial concern and/or obstacle to going back to work after starting a family?

Childcare was a big concern.

What factors contributed to your chosen feeding method?

I had heard breastfeeding was the best for your child, so I did it. My mom had breastfed, so I just assumed that I would. 

I breastfed for a little while, but it was hard to maintain while working. I pumped for the first couple of weeks after returning to work, but eventually gave it up. My workplace did not provide a location, and I did not have a private office at the time. (This was 17 years ago.) Soon after I returned to work, I quit breast feeding. 

If you are in a relationship, how did you decide which partner would go back to work? What issues factored into that decision?

I’m married, and my husband made more money than I did, so it was never a question. Also he did not have an innate desire to stay home. 

If you needed to return to work, did you have a back-to-work mentor? How did they help?

I did not have a back-to-work mentor, but I had supportive friends that I worked with.

How long was your family leave? If you needed to return to work, how did you feel about it?

My family leave was around 12 weeks. I was very sad when I returned to work, but eventually settled into a routine. 

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