It's Working Project

“It really helps to have extra time to myself to work without distractions or relying on nap time to get everything done.”

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

No one can tell you the perfect answer or solution, as much as you hope they can.

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

I shared the news of my pregnancy after my first trimester ended. I was living in Portland, Oregon and my husband got a job in the DC area close to my family. I had to quit my job at the same time as sharing my pregnancy news. I set up meetings with each of my supervisors and direct team members to tell them individually. Most people had a suspicion I was pregnant because I had been very sick, but were surprised I was leaving. It was nerve-wracking to tell my boss, but of course she understood.

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

I started working for one of my freelance clients about 3 months after Oren was born for a job I had already agreed to take on. I didn’t realize how hard it would be, though, to have time to work. I couldn’t get much done during the day, so I was working nights after my husband got home. I found it a lot more challenging than I expected, even though I was familiar with this client and the work. It was just finding the time and energy without having any extra help. After that job I took about a year hiatus from freelancing. Now I find it much easier to manage my freelance work. I’ve been able to find some local help on my neighborhood listserv from another stay-at-home mom. It really helps to have extra time to myself to work without distractions or relying on nap time to get everything done.


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

The local mom I use for daytime babysitting has been a huge support. She is able to be super flexible and I felt really comfortable going there. At first I just used the time to work on my own stuff, but soon that turned into a couple of real jobs.


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

My husband has been very supportive. He helps me prioritize tasks when I get overwhelmed, and is just supportive of me working more in general.

I was very sick during my first two trimesters with severe nausea and throwing up. I don’t remember indulging as much as trying to get through it. When I started feeling better I did love getting pork ramen at a nearby japanese restaurant and would get it at least once a week. It was the best thing I ate.

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

I never expected finding time to work would be so hard and accepting your limitations would be so much easier!