“Our 'Normal' is constantly changing. It’s gone from one baby plus a nanny to one baby and no nanny to two kids with one in school and one nanny to two kids, two different schools, no nanny! Every year is a new challenge but we make it work."

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

Sleep while you can.

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

I started working for myself extremely young – I was only 22 when I quit my first full-time job and stumbled into freelance PR work, which evolved into my own company. I worked for myself for about seven years before I became pregnant with my first child, and while I was spoiled with the luxury of working from home, I was terrified about how to keep running my company with a newborn. Maternity leave was not an option when my clients were paying for ongoing public relations campaigns and I was – and remain – a one-woman show! Before both births, I informed my clients that I would only be working “selectively and reactively” for the next month or so, and would not be charging them for that month. It wasn’t entirely fair to myself, but it was really the only solution I could think of.

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

Basically none. See #1.

How easy was it to put a childcare arrangement together and did it work for your family?

With both children, I did a part-time nanny for about 18 months and then started full-time preschool.

When did the “new normal” set in for you?

Our “Normal” is constantly changing. It’s gone from one baby plus a nanny to one baby and no nanny to two kids with one in school and one nanny to two kids, two different schools, no nanny! Every year is a new challenge but we make it work.

What was your biggest challenge going back to work?

Travel is vastly more difficult. And sometimes clients want to have meetings at the worst possible time as far as childcare logistics!

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

I have a very supportive husband. We share work and childcare pretty much equally.

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, a good day is when there are no major “wrenches” being thrown into the schedule, like a sick parent or child.

 

As a working parent, a bad day is when _____ and a good day is when _______.

As a working parent, a bad day is when there are wrenches.

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