It's working for Elizabeth H, CEO Sittercity
Chicago and NYC, IL and NYC
I have only used online tools since that early experience. But overall, the process of finding, communicating with, scheduling, training and paying caregivers is really hard. That’s why I’ve joined Sittercity, to help make child care finally work!
More than my former expectant self, I would talk to my younger self who really wrestled with the decision of when/whether to have children, knowing I wanted to have a career. I would tell myself to just do it – that it all works out, and being a mother and having a family with a partner you love will be the greatest experience in life! Don’t worry about not knowing how it will all work technically, but know it will.
Two equal motivations – one was to work outside of the home and do interesting things with interesting people and the second was financial – to provide opportunities and experiences that I wanted for my family.
I did breastfeed, I wanted to make it to six months, which I was able to do, although the three months after I returned to work was more of a prolonged transition vs. dedicated breastfeeding. There were accommodations at work. I am glad I had that experience and my kids (knock wood) have been very healthy, which I attribute partially to this decision — it’s easy to feel like a failure as a parent, so I will take whatever credit I can!
I took three months off and was very comfortable taking it. At both companies (Yahoo! and Electronic Arts) I had very supportive managers/executive teams and three months pass very quickly.
It was very hard. I used a nanny agency with my first child, and interviewed potential caregivers for months, starting fairly early in my pregnancy. We flew some candidates to us, for trial weekends. The woman we hired, who had moved from the Midwest to live with us on the east coast, turned out to be a really bad fit for my family, and I had to do exactly what I didn’t want to do – hire someone very quickly, under pressure. I found someone that I thought would be temporary, who was with us for five years and was crucial to the early development of my children. I have only used online tools since that early experience. But overall, the process of finding, communicating with, scheduling, training and paying caregivers is really hard. That’s why I’ve joined Sittercity, to help make child care finally work!
Not sure it has or ever will…I don’t know what normal is, and no parent that I know would say they do! The day my oldest was born my husband and I fell so completely in love with her, and subsequently her sister, that we just do our best every day to take care of them and marvel that they are on loan to us.
Realizing how much you miss every day. When they are little, it’s the naps in your arms, or the face they make when they try a new food. When they are older, it’s the funny story at recess that they have forgotten by the time you get home, or wanting to do your daughter’s bun for dance recital pictures but being on the road. Several very awesome stay-at-home moms have taught me that they miss those things too…you can’t be there all the time for all your kids regardless of working or not working outside of the home. So, I just try to soak in every minute I have with my daughters and texting/FaceTime/other apps help a lot!
My husband was my biggest source of support in returning to work. He was and is my biggest cheerleader.
As a working parent, I never expected providing/making lunch would be so hard and being present at school would be so much easier than expected.
Lunch and snacks take a lot of effort!
If you are organized or know someone who is/can help you, it’s easy to be library parent, or craft parent at class parties, attend concerts, or even be a class mom/dad. All of those things mean so much to your kid. Plus, it’s great for you to see them in their daily setting, and most companies/colleagues are very supportive. It’s not many days out of a year, and has made a big difference to my daughters and to me!
As a working parent, a bad day is when my child is sick and I cannot be home to take care of her. A good day is when my family heads to bed and we all feel each other’s love regardless if we are under the same roof, and know we have ALL left it ALL on the field.