It's Working Project

"Day care is not evil. You're not a horrible person for liking your job. When you live the life you're called to live, everyone will be happier."

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

Do what is best for your family. Do what you feel called to and not what you feel that you are supposed to do. Day care is not evil. You’re not a horrible person for liking your job. When you live the life you’re called to live, everyone will be happier.

FOR MOMS: If you breastfed, was there a place for you to pump that met your needs and was conducive to your success? If you breastfed, how did you decide to continue? FOR DADS: What, if any, adjustments did you (or your workplace) make to your schedule after having a baby? Was it specific to your manager or larger, whole work culture?

My mom breastfed all of us, so I was honestly expecting to try. My daughter was born tongue-tied, and while that was fixed early, she had a very difficult time latching and feeding. I had a Medela pump which made feeding so much easier and so much less stressful.

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

With my first child it was 6 weeks. As a teacher, you get to take 6-12 weeks but you have to take it all unpaid. Even still, I was out of a paycheck for 3 months. I did like my time at home, but I missed teaching greatly, so I was excited to return.

What was your biggest challenge going back to work?

My honest concern was what other people would think of me. I went to a very conservative college, and most of my friends who were having babies were staying home. Even friends who had husbands who were full time students were either living off of their parents or were choosing freely to accept government aide. In good faith I did not feel like I could do either of those things while I had a great job, was using my talents and had the support of my husband. My mother-in-law told me that my baby needed to be with someone who loved her, and my heart was broken. I was so afraid that my friends and family would think I was an awful, selfish mother.

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

I did not have a given mentor, but luckily, one of the teachers in my department had twins the year before I gave birth. She was a wealth of information and support before, during and after my birth.

Fill in the blanks: As a working parent, I never expected ____ would be so hard and ____ would be so much easier!

That every family is different, and what’s good for one family isn’t good for all. Our life is good and we are happy because we’ve lived the life we were supposed to and not because we’ve tried to match everyone’s expectations.