It's Working Project

“I only took 6 weeks [maternity leave]. I am a part-time, wage employee, so I don't get paid for time off.”

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

Relax and don’t worry – everything is going to be fine!

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

Actually, my mother-in-law spilled the beans to him at maybe 8 or 10 weeks. I guess she thought I’d already told him. When she realized I hadn’t, she asked him not to tell me that she had told him … but he did! Ha ha! I was planning to tell him after the first trimester. I had not yet decided how.

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

I only took 6 weeks. I am a part-time, wage employee, so I don’t get paid for time off. I worked overtime before my daughter was born to save up for those 6 weeks off. Six weeks was not enough time off and it was too rushed; I like to think that I would have worked harder on our breastfeeding relationship had I not needed to go back to work so soon. Who knows, though?


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

My mom watched my daughter while I worked 3 days/week. I never had anxiety about going back to work because I knew she was in her own home with her grandmother. That made going back to work kind of just a nice break for me. And we didn’t have the financial strain of needing to pay for childcare. I like the balance of spending part of the week away and part of the week at home with her. At the same time, though, I sometimes wonder if it prevents me from really being able to give either aspect of my life my full attention.

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 meal-planning/household chores would be so hard and leaving my child would be so much easier! Easier than I thought it would be. I am happy that my daughter knows other people can take good care of her and that she has other people to learn from. I think that is good for her and I know that it’s good for me to have a life separate from her. Were it not for the unpaid leave thing, I’d say working part-time is the perfect balance!