It's Working Project

"Having my blog and writing and consulting have allowed me to work from home, which has been awesome for our family."

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

I wish I would have known that there were a million ways to cross the same bridge, and I really needed to figure out my own best way. I was so worried the whole time that I was going to do the “wrong” thing — that I was totally going to hurt or harm my baby by not bathing her at the right time/giving her the right food/keeping her on a strict routine. Our pediatrician was an old school doctor who had been practicing for years and years, and finally during Maddy’s 3-month appointment, he said to me, “Amy, put the books down. Don’t read any more books. They’re all going to say different things, and really, you know how to do this. You will be fine if you just listen to your gut.” I needed to hear that.

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

I always knew that I was going to stay at home with my kids, so I went on leave in December of 2003, and I did not return to work in the school system. Instead, I started my own business in 2010 and have been at it ever since. Initially, the plan was that I would return to teaching when our youngest child entered Kindergarten or first grade, but having my blog and doing the writing and consulting I’m doing has allowed me to work from home, which has been awesome for our family.

I found out I was pregnant in early spring, and I told my employer mid-summer that I would be going on leave the following December. Because I taught in a high school, I knew that summer was the best time to sit down with an administrator, find a long-term sub, and start preparing plans for my leave.

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

My husband has always been an incredible support for me, no matter what I happen to be doing, whether it was tutoring, consulting, blogging, or writing. He has faith in me always and is my biggest cheerleader.

My biggest pregnancy indulgence was always ice cream. And it still is.

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 thought loving my job would be so easy and maintaining a work-family balance would be so hard.