It's Working Project

"Don't assume you can keep up with your old work habits! I'm too exhausted these days to work at night . . ."

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

Don’t assume you can keep up with your old work habits! I used to stay late and work at night- I’m too exhausted these days to work at night and since we need to pick-up by 6pm every day, we have to negotiate who stays late at work. We each get maybe one or two days a week.

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 wanted to breastfeed and it worked for me so we went with that. It was the most convenient and the cheapest.

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

With my first, I took 12 weeks. With my 2nd, I was out for 10 weeks but then was part time another 4 months and with my 3rd, I was out 10 weeks. I wish I had stayed out longer with the 3rd. He’s the last and I enjoyed that leave the most. Take your full leave if you can. The organization is going to survive without you.

What was your biggest challenge going back to work?

I was worried about the money mostly–how to pay for daycare.

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

During my first leave, my boss was a parent to young children herself and had just come back from leave when I got pregnant, so she was very sympathetic and helped me figure out scheduling and pumping logistics.

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

That the juggle was going to be so hard and was going to keep changing. My oldest is 9 and in some ways, he needs more than the 2 year old. My school-aged kids have multiple activities while the little guy just goes to daycare and comes home everyday. His schedule doesn’t need to change.