It's working for Anonymous
Hillsborough, North Carolina
"I am confident in my ability to do my job, but I have very little confidence in my employer's understanding or ability to build a work environment that eliminates unnecessary pressure and burdens on all employees, not just the parents."
Getting permission to work part-time is far different than actually having your employer’s support to adjust your work responsibilities to accommodate a reduced schedule.
I wanted to return to work and I’m glad that I did – but becoming a parent and choosing to be away from my daughter has made me recommit to seeking *meaningful* work. If I’m going to be away from her, it had better be for something that truly matters and is worth the sacrifice.
I used my full 12 weeks of unpaid FMLA leave prior to returning to a part-time benefits-eligible status at 30 hours per week, as well as an additional 160 hours of protected leave offered by my employer that I was approved to use incrementally to reduce my weekly part-time workload from 30 hours down to 20 hours per week.
We were on a lengthy waitlist for infant care at our preferred daycare and couldn’t get my daughter enrolled until she was more than six months old. We had to scramble to find a part-time nanny to support my incremental return to work and bridge the gap between my maternity leave and the availability of full-time care. This was fairly expensive at a time when we were already feeling the pinch from expensive infertility treatments, labor and delivery costs, and unpaid maternity leave.
We have both supported coworkers with their pregnancies, miscarriages, and infertility treatments. I have counseled several coworkers on how to maximize their available leave and develop a flexible plan for returning to a normal work schedule – at the encouragement of my own supervisor.
From day one as a parent, you’re always going to be behind the curve. There is no such thing as getting ahead or expecting things to calm down. You have to find a way to accept your powerlessness in some situations.