“I didn't really have a "back-to-work" plan! I just dove back in and made it work as I went along!”

What is one piece of advice you wish you could offer your former expectant self?

I think I was a pretty level-headed pregnant person and I think I did pretty well in terms of health, exercise, eating well, etc. I don’t think I would change anything about how I approached pregnancy if/when I get pregnant again, so nothing major stands out as advice to give my former expectant self. However, I do wish I had put things in perspective a little more and had not stressed so much about all the annoyances of being pregnant. It certainly gets a whole lot harder when you are actually a mom. Also, I would have told myself to pack the hospital bag a little sooner. 😉

What was your primary motivation for deciding to return (or not) to work? How early did you tell your employer?

I shared the news of my pregnancy after my 18-week ultrasound, once we were confident everything was on track. I met individually with my boss and told him the news, and then shared it with HR and my co-workers.

FOR MOMS: If you breastfed, was there a place for you to pump that met your needs and was conducive to your success? If you breastfed, how did you decide to continue? FOR DADS: What, if any, adjustments did you (or your workplace) make to your schedule after having a baby? Was it specific to your manager or larger, whole work culture?

The hardest thing for me was making the time to pump, but that wasn’t really a surprise. I knew that was going to be challenging and it was.

How much leave did you take, and how comfortable were you taking it?

My son was born in September and I went back to work after the holidays, the first week of January. So my maternity leave was about 3.5 months. It was perfect because I got to enjoy all of my son’s “first” holidays without trying to juggle a work schedule.

I didn’t really have a “back-to-work” plan! I just dove back in and made it work as I went along! I’m very fortunate in that I had an easy transition back to work in terms of my work load. My co-workers didn’t treat me as if I missed a beat and I jumped back in on projects I had been working on before I left.

 

Who was your biggest source of support in returning to work? What was your biggest pregnancy indulgence?

My husband Russ was definitely the biggest source of support. He was still home with our son when I went back to work and he did so much (like made lunch for me and cooked every night!) so that I could focus on work and wasn’t totally exhausted. My indulgence was It’s-It ice cream sandwiches.

Fill in the blanks: As a working parent, I never expected ____ would be so hard and ____ would be so much easier!

As a working parent, I never expected getting ready in the morning would be so hard and falling asleep would be so much easier!

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