It's Working Project

"I found a position where I can come as close as possible to "having it all" - challenging work, and flexibility enough to feel fulfilled at home as well."

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

Don’t place too much emphasis on what works or “should work” for other people, and focus on what works for you and your family. Which you don’t always know until you’re in the middle of it!

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

Years before we started actively planning for a child, I left a job where work-life balance was an ongoing challenge and I saw few role models of senior staff balancing work and family life. I found a position where I can come as close as possible to “having it all” – challenging work, and flexibility enough to feel fulfilled at home as well.

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?

I pumped exclusively for 10 months. We worked with a lactation consultant for several months, and ultimately pumping worked better for me and our family than breastfeeding. When I finally committed to pumping exclusively, it was like a weight lifted – one less thing to stress or feel guilty about.

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

I took six months of leave. It was easy to negotiate with my employer (even though I didn’t decide to extend leave until mid-way through), and we were able to live on a single income for that period.

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

We are spoiled for choice in my neighborhood so, while it was difficult to decide between nanny and daycare, once decided it was relatively easy to make it happen. Daycare works very well for our family.

What was your biggest challenge going back to work?

Learning new routines and managing logistics! I was fortunate to have a great situation at work and a great situation at home, but even so the logistics are no joke!

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

Not specifically at work, but I befriended other mothers in my neighborhood who were going back to work at the same time and we kept in close touch – texting from the pumping room and sharing stories and experiences.