It's Working Project

"I knew that if I needed to pump, I had a safe place to do so and the time away from my desk would not hinder my job performance or review. I also know that if my daughter gets sick or the school calls, I am free to leave to attend to the issue."

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

Do what is best for you and YOUR family. Everyone and their dog has advice for you at the beginning, but you need to just communicate with each other and do what is best for you. And have some good mom friends who will let you cry, complain, and celebrate without judgment.

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

We hired a temp to help fulfill my duties while I was gone. When I returned, I picked up where she left off. She did a good job keeping the process moving.

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?

My daughter was bottle fed with formula. She needed nutrition and I was not producing milk.

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

I was able to take 12 weeks paid leave. I was ready to return to work. I needed adult conversation and I was feeling overwhelmed. Returning to work was good for all of us! If we were unable to find care, my husband had the option of staying home an additional 4 weeks of parental leave. We did not need to use it, though.

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

I am still learning everyday, being that I am only 14 months in, so I will get back to you on this one.

What was your biggest challenge going back to work?

Finding childcare. I started researching and visiting childcare facilities almost as soon as we found out we were pregnant. Since we live in the city, many of the best schools had long waiting lists. Hah! I was told by one school that we should have put our names on the list two years before! Wow! As the maternity leave came to a close, I still was unsure of where my daughter would go. I called every place that we had put in an application for! Eventually, my first choice had a spot open and I was able to snag it for my daughter! The school and the teachers have been a blessing, too!