It's Working Project

I’m the boss, so it was a constant choice between my business and my baby.

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

Be easy on yourself for the first 18 months. It took me that long to feel like a (somewhat) normal human being.


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

It was never a question for me. I’ve been an entrepreneur since age 23 and I’m so fulfilled by my work. I also need to work – living in the city is expensive!


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 did have my own private office where I could pump, but what really enabled me to nurse for a whole year (9 months exclusively, before supplementing with whole milk), was that we lived just four subway stops from my office. My rockstar nanny would bring my son to me at my office in the middle of the day for nursing so I could skip a pumping session. It was heaven and made me really appreciate my circumstances.


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

I was totally offline for the first 3 weeks and then began checking in once weekly with my team. I eased back in with some half days after about 3 months. I changed my out of office email reply from “on maternity leave” to “adjusting back” so my inbox and pressure to attend to it could reflect the easing in. All of our clients were so respectful.


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

We found a nanny pretty quickly that we were very happy with. We paid her cash the first couple days when I was still around and she was training, and then the next week she didn’t show up. Later we got a text she was dealing with family issues and we should find another nanny. It was so shattering – we thought we’d made this huge decision and it wasn’t meant to be. Which is true, because the next nanny we hired was so perfect for us (she brought my son to my office so I could nurse!). Even though she’s since moved away we still stay very close to her, and we’ve been very lucky with other nannies since.


When did the “new normal” set in for you?

When my son was about 18 months.


What was your biggest challenge going back to work?

Not having a boss or a structure to tell me when I needed to be at work. I’m the boss, so it was a constant choice between my business and my baby. It’s gotten easier over time, or I’ve gotten stronger, but it’s never easy.


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

Hands down my nanny.


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

As a working parent, I never expected spending time with friends would be so hard and falling asleep at 9pm would be so much easier!


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

As a working parent, a bad day is when you realize you have a superhero sticker on your butt and a good day is when I get to exercise.