It's working for Katherine Stone
“You can read every single pregnancy book ever written and still not know exactly what is going to happen once you become a mother.”
My one piece of advice is that you can read every single pregnancy book ever written and still not know exactly what is going to happen once you become a mother. Books and classes are helpful, for sure, but they can’t prepare you for every eventuality or tell you exactly how you are going to feel. I wish I had let go a little more. I was trying to plan and plan and plan, thinking that could somehow give me more control over what was going to happen, and that just wasn’t the case.
It’s been a long time, but as I recall I was probably a good solid 12 weeks before I said anything. I worked at a large corporation that had pretty good policies in general so I wasn’t at all nervous about telling my boss. I just walked right into his office and told him.
I was home for 4 months before I went back to work. I had planned on only being out for 3 months, but I ended up having postpartum depression and I really needed that extra month to be able to get even close to any sort of place where I could contribute. Even then I really didn’t feel like myself until about a full year postpartum, but I was able to muddle through with work until that point.
Once I went back to work the hardest thing was the daily competition between being needed at work and needing to leave so I could make it in time to pick up my son at daycare. That cause me constant stress, much more than I could have ever imagined. I always wished we’d had a “Grey’s Anatomy”-style on-site childcare with super flexible hours so that at least he’d have been nearby at all times and I wouldn’t have had to freak out about picking him up on those days when senior management needed me for 5 o’clock meeting.
I ate a $35 tennis ball-sized hunk of imported parmigiano reggiano cheese that I stopped by to pick up at a gourmet shop on the way home from work one day. Chowed down the entire thing while driving in my car, like a rat or something. There must have been something in that cheese my body needed!
As a working parent, I never expected the push/pull between work demands and parenting demands would be so hard and that having other working moms nearby to commiserate with would would be so much easier!