It's Working Project

I was given about 100 hugs that day and it made my time back at school much more enjoyable.

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

Pump WAY MORE before returning to work. Don’t listen to what other people told you about waiting until you return to work to worry about building up a stash. Pump all the time, whenever Remi is sleeping or full, just pump all the time!

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

I teach special education, so I needed to let my principal know quickly so we could find a certified special education substitute, which can be difficult.  I let her know when I was 11 weeks along.

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

I had 3 weeks of extra time off with a full week for Thanksgiving break and 2 full weeks for winter break, therefore I was able to stay off for 15 weeks. But it was considered 12 full weeks, as the 3 weeks of holidays did not count towards my leave.  I was really dreading going back to work. However, my students and colleagues made the transition much easier.  There were welcome back posters with my new baby’s pictures on them all over the room and on the lockers outside.  I was given about 100 hugs that day and it made my time back at school much more enjoyable. 

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

It did take me a little more than a week to get back into the swing of things.

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

Everyone, from the students to my colleagues, down to my husband and my oldest daughter.  They were so sweet and understanding. My friends and family helped me to set small goals, like getting to Spring break so I could be home for a full week.  My husband kept a count down for me and still reminds me every few days, how many school days I have left until summer.  I think being a teacher is a very nice profession to have when you have children!

I loved Thai food while I was pregnant and I got into a really bad habit of eating shortbread cookies all the time, but boy were they good!

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

I never expected (leaving each day for work) would be so hard and (pumping at work) would be so much easier!