It's working for Samantha H
"[Pumping] was a bit of a challenge, but I made it work and developed a schedule for myself. It was definitely easier for me as a salaried white collar employee."
Planning for leave should start WELL in advance. My son’s birth at 30 weeks made my exit far more hasty than I would have liked.
My son was born 10 weeks early, so breastmilk was very important. However, he never got the hang of nursing so I exclusively pumped for 9 months or so. After that, he had formula.
I was out for 12 weeks. I was able to take 8 weeks paid with my company’s short term disability insurance and then extend it to 12 weeks with concurrent FMLA. I would have liked to extend that time since I was only home with our son for 4 weeks (he spent the first 8 in the NICU). I realize now that I probably could have arranged that only because I have many years of service and built up goodwill within my organization.
I struggle with work/life balance. I worried that people would think less of me and think that I wasn’t interested in projects or after-work events because I had a family now.
How people would assume things about me now that I’m a mom.