It's Working Project

My husband also received two months paternity leave so we had coverage for the first six months of my daughter's life.

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

I thought everything would stay the same after having a child but it doesn’t. So I would tell myself, get ready. There will be no more brunches and movies in the theatre. Instead your weekends will be full of children’s museums and playgrounds. It will be great, but different.

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

Money. And I was finishing up my doctorate so there was no question — I was going to work.

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?

There were several new mothers on staff so there was a room our workplace made for us that served our needs. Also my daughter’s daycare was a block away so I would walk over and feed her there.

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

I had four months leave and three months of it were paid. My husband also received two months paternity leave so we had coverage for the first six months of my daughter’s life.

How easy was it to put a childcare arrangement together and did it work for your family?

Very difficult. I will always say that childcare is the hardest part. Piecing it all together is impossible. We were constantly having to adjust our daycare situations based on the kids, commutes, and other needs.

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

As soon as I got back to work.

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

As a working parent, I never thought parenting logistics would be so hard and maintaining my work identity would be so much easier!