It's Working Project

"When I became a parent, I felt I left a job I was very good at for one I was woefully unprepared for. Now, it's the reverse. I'm confident in my role as a parent and less sure about my role in the workplace."

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

When an employer promises a flexible work schedule before you have a baby, they can’t always deliver after.

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

I know the first five years of life are critical, and I wanted them to be as full of rich, positive experiences as possible. While I realize that’s absolutely something that can happen in a quality child care environment, I still feel that parenting should be my principal occupation – not employment.

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 believe breastfeeding is 90 percent stubbornness, 10 percent dumb luck. And I am very stubborn.

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

12 weeks, unpaid. I initially returned one day a week in the office and worked the rest of my hours remotely. That was ideal, but it didn’t last.

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

The extreme shortage of quality, affordable child care options.