It's working for Courtney W
I find enormous personal value in working outside of the home for an organization I’m passionate about, so I always knew I wasn’t cut out for stay-at-home mommy-hood.
I find enormous personal value in working outside of the home for an organization I’m passionate about, so I always knew I wasn’t cut out for stay-at-home mommy-hood. With both pregnancies, I told my employer around the four-month mark. Before I had my first child, my job required me to commute 2+ hours a day. I loved the job, but hated having so little time with my son during the week. When he was 8 months old, I accepted my current job primarily to reduce my commute time. I love working for an organization that’s such an important part of the community in which I live. My kids will eventually attend Portland public schools, so it’s that much more important to me now as a new parent.
I went back to work with my first child after 4 months and pumped for another 8 months. Both employers offered space and time to pump. The rooms weren’t anything to write home about, but they were clean, private, and had wi-fi so I could continue working during pump breaks, if necessary. With my second child, I am returning to work when my son is almost 4 months, and I will again plan to breastfeed until he’s a year old. My current employer continues to offer the space and time available, making my decision to exclusively offer breastmilk that much easier.
I took 4 months off with my first and am doing the same with my second. I was very comfortable taking that time because I earned the vacation/sick/personal leave days (although I wish I didn’t have to use that time for parental leave, but that’s another story).
We are lucky to live where I grew up, so my parents have been enormously helpful with our childcare needs. Additionally, we have the resources to afford a top-notch day care, so our kids get the best of both worlds: two days with grandparents and three days of day care.
I think the “new normal” set in after my first child turned 1. Now we’re in the process of adjusting to our true “new normal” with the birth of our second son.
The biggest challenge in the beginning was feeling guilty about leaving my child for 9 hours a day. The guilt subsided when I realized how much he was getting out of our hybrid childcare arrangement. That guilt was then replaced with stress about whether I was pumping enough to meet the needs of my growing child.
My biggest source of support is my husband. He’s always the level-headed, calm one. When I get overwhelmed, he listens and acknowledges those feelings, instead of brushing them aside as if it should all just magically be okay.
As a working parent, I never expected leaving my kid each day would be so hard and finding our evening routine would be so much easier!
As a working parent, a bad day is when I have to work in the evening instead of spending time with my kiddo. A good day is when I can leave work to pick up my kid from day care early.