It's working for Elissa F
"Get rid of the notion of 'balance!' I find that word puts too much pressure on people. Instead, concentrate on coping to the best of your ability."
Get rid of the notion of “balance!” I find that word puts too much pressure on people. Instead, concentrate on coping to the best of your ability.
They say that pregnancy takes you by surprise . . . and they weren’t kidding. As an older woman, I figured it would take a while for me to become pregnant. So, imagine my surprise when it only took three months. Now that I think back, however, I wanted to hold off as long as possible before I told my co-workers. I’m not sure why, maybe because age created a greater risk? Seeing as I’m tall, I was about five months before I divulged the big news . . . but I’m sure the Saltine crackers on my desk pretty much gave it away. I should also mention I’m Canadian – which in maternity leave terms means I was fortunate to have a comparatively long leave. Fifteen years ago, that meant 6 months; but with accumulated vacation it worked out to about 10 months. What a treasure that was. Now, Canadian women get one year, are eligible for “unemployment” benefits during that time, and many companies do top up the salary during that time.
My biggest concern? Childcare. I had one child and wanted her to have fun with other kids, so going the nanny route right away wasn’t our first choice. Though it would have been great not to do laundry! However, we went with Wee Watch – a service where a licensed in-home provider takes care of your child with max 4 kids. It was fabulous for us and my daughter – we used that service for three years. However, I also negotiated to work one day at home, meaning we could do a “mommy and me” program together and I could work while she napped in the afternoon. That made all the difference when it came to re-entering the workforce.