It's Working Project

"When I was off, I emailed my manager and asked for an additional two months leave and they were supportive of that."

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

Take as much leave as you can (it’s not the same when you go back to work!) and make a plan for when you go back to work. Divvy up responsibilities with your husband, hire a housecleaner, get organized. Freeing up your time to spend time with your children when you are home will make being away from them during the week much more bearable.

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 had always wanted to breastfeed. I thought it was healthier and more natural.

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

I took six months of leave. My company was very generous about the amount of time that I was able to take off and I felt very lucky. I was very emotional about returning to work. I felt devastated, guilty, relieved and overwhelmed.

What was your biggest challenge going back to work?

Maintaining work/life balance (before children I had none), childcare options (was my child going to thrive in daycare?), and missing out on all of the amazing moments with my son.

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

I was lucky to have someone in the office who had recently returned to work after having a child and could help me navigate the pumping situation and commiserate over the challenges.

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

That I would never, ever have any time to myself (or for myself) ever again. Being a working mom means that you have at least two full time jobs and are constantly juggling everything. People always talked about it but it is just something you can never really know until you experience it for yourself!