It's Working Project

The transition from one to two was not as hard because you have already had to adjust to giving up a lot of the free time and extra work that comes with having a child.

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

Hard to choose just one, but enjoy every moment you have alone with your husband/significant other and really savor every moment you have alone.  The transition from one to two was not as hard because you have already had to adjust to giving up a lot of the free time and extra work that comes with having a child, but any chance at alone time is completely gone with two,  and peeing with an audience is completely normal!  And,  have confidence in yourself.  With my first, every little thing made me question myself as a parent and worry that something was wrong.

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

I fully planned on returning back to work. I told my employer at 13 weeks both times and just sat down and informed them of the news. It was very anticlimactic.

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

With both kids I returned after 12 weeks and worked up until I delivered.  Both times I came back to work I left in one position and returned in a new role, which was challenging,  particularly with the first. 

What was your biggest challenge going back to work?

With the second I tried to get flexibility to work from home since other moms had been doing this, but I was not approved.  With my first,  returning to work was a complete sleep-deprived daze and we found our stride fairly quickly.  With my second,  I was much more upset about returning to work, but once I was back, found the friendships and adult conversations comforting.  Weeknights at home are still hectic and I never stop moving until  my head hits the pillow and I’m out in a matter of seconds (my husband asks how I fall asleep so quickly). My new position has made leaving work behind me easier when I head home and pumping at work less stressful than with the job I had with my first, so the reality is the second time was closer/better than expected.

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

He’d be shocked to hear me admit it, but my husband since the second time I think we’ve got this “team work” thing down a littler better.  And I also owe a lot of the support to my amazing moms group (which Heather invited me into) and ironically,  my last job I got less support from my boss who had kids of her own than my new boss who has no children.

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

I never expected having one would be so hard, and having two would be so much easier.
Returning to work after the second would be so hard and with the first would be so much easier.
Working on my relationship with my husband would be so hard and everything other job would be so much easier.Having no time to myself would be so hard but giving up my time to be with my kids would be so much easier.

Fridays would be so hard and Mondays would be so much easier (as in, making it to Friday 5pm seems to take forever, but sometimes after a long weekend of chores, crying kids, and catching up on everything we missed during the week, a Monday at work where it’s me quietly sitting at a computer drinking a big cup of coffee is a little easier than it used to be, plus it’s not like I sleep in on weekends any more!!)

As a working parent, a bad day is when _____ and a good day is when _______.

Here is a good day from while I was pregnant with my second: We flew cross country to be in a wedding (always pregnant in weddings!) and I got a ridiculous massage at the Bliss Spa in San Francisco with this crazy pillow that allowed me to lay on my stomach.  I would have paid just to be able to sleep on my stomach in that dark quiet room alone and uninterrupted for 60 minutes!