It's working for Ashley
"It would have been a huge help to have more milk stored before I went back."
Get to know and love your breast pump early. When I was first on maternity leave, I didn’t really need to pump and the whole concept was intimidating. Pumping and keeping up a supply of milk has been one of the most stressful pieces of going back to work. It would have been a huge help to have more milk stored before I went back.
My boss was a younger, male friend of mine. I told him around 12 weeks because we hung out enough that it was hard to make excuses for not having a beer. He was super sweet and excited but clearly not sure how to communicate about my pregnancy. He made a big announcement in a PowerPoint to our department at a meeting, that was a little awkward but sweet.
I took twelve weeks, six paid and six unpaid. On my end, the back-to-work plan was pretty consistent. I came back when I said I would. However, a junior member of my team had left while I was gone and my boss left on maternity leave shortly after I got back. So my job has been a little bit different since coming back.
The co-workers on my team (all male). They were incredibly patient with late arrivals as I struggled to find a convenient childcare option and never make me feel like I’m not contributing enough to the team.
I never expected finding childcare would be so hard or that getting baby to sleep through the night would be so easy!