It's Working Project

“I am so blessed to have such a supportive and understanding team at work. They let me take as much time as I needed off work, which was so critical because I had a really difficult pregnancy and few months post pregnancy.”

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

You can’t control everything, and it’s okay. It will all work out in the end, even if you go through an extremely difficult period for awhile. What’s funny is I fully knew I’d have to learn to let go of my “I like to be in control” personality when I had kids, but it wasn’t as easy as I had hoped it would be! I’ve certainly come a long way since day one and have learned to let go many times, but it’s still a work in progress. Toddlers will certainly teach you that relinquishing control in certain situations is well worth avoiding a meltdown! “You want that green cup instead of the red cup you just insisted on? Whatever. It’s yours!”

Another important thing: never strive for career/life balance. There is no balance! Aim for career/life efficiency. It’s a more attainable and realistic goal.

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

I had a bit of a unique situation because I found out at my 8-week appointment that I was pregnant with twins. So I shared the news a bit earlier than I likely would have if I were only pregnant with one. I told my department lead (who luckily, is also a good friend) a few weeks after that appointment. Then I told my agency partner at about 11 or 12 weeks. We announced to the rest of my agency at about 13 weeks. That was a good idea, because by 15 weeks, I was popped out already! Everyone was extremely excited and supportive.

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?






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

Again, a unique situation. I was diagnosed with vasa previa at 16 weeks, which isn’t a very common condition, but more common with identical twins. I was told I would have to go in the hospital at 28 weeks and remain for monitoring until 32 weeks, when I would deliver (if I could make it that long without complications). Thankfully, I made it to 33 weeks and 1 day! My boys stayed in the NICU for 13 days, but they had no serious health issues. I was in the hospital for a total of 6 weeks. My maternity leave started when I went in the hospital mid-January of 2013. I am so blessed to have such a supportive and understanding team at work. They let me take as much time as I needed off work, which was so critical because I had a really difficult pregnancy and few months post pregnancy. Combine a traumatic pregnancy/lengthy hospital stay, with being a first-time mom to twins, plus postpartum depression, and you get someone who really required 8 months of maternity leave! I started back part time in August of 2013 and returned full time in March 2014.

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

It definitely took me a few weeks to get my groove back, but I feel like I got it back pretty quickly. It helps that I truly love my work and my agency. It made it really easy to come back. Of course I missed my kids and enjoyed the time I got to spend with them, but I have zero shame in admitting that I am not built to be a stay-at-home mom. Bless all you moms out there who do it! I admire you. I have such a passion for my work that a part of me wasn’t whole until I learned how to be a mom and get back to focusing on my career. I certainly had to change a few things to make being a full-time working parent doable (no more staying at the office super late!), but I’ve made it work. And I’m happy with my life.


What was your biggest challenge going back to work?

People have joked that God gave me twins for a reason (haha, the super Type-A girl got a big surprise!). There truly is a reason I was blessed with twins, and no challenge or frustration will ever make me forget how lucky I am.

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

My husband, my dad, my closest friends and my work family. Hands down, they gave me the support and guidance I needed to have the confidence that I could return to excelling at work and still be a great mom.

Kind of sad, but I didn’t really have a pregnancy indulgence! I remember having Taco Bell at least once! I think it may have been because I knew I was going to gain a lot of extra weight due to having twins, so gorging on fatty foods wasn’t that appealing. I learned I had gestational diabetes right before I entered the hospital, and I was put on a pretty strict (and blah!) diet the entire time I was there. I do recall one particularly difficult week at the hospital, which happened to end on Valentine’s Day. One of my doctors saw how bummed out I was, and he gave me a freebie card to eat what I wanted that day. I enjoyed my favorite pizza and a cupcake with my husband and best friend. It was amazing.


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

I never expected parenting would be so hard and work would be so much easier! Truly, my professional work doesn’t even come close to comparing to my parenting work. Parenting work is much, much, harder! Everyone says parenting is the most rewarding and challenging thing you’ll ever do, and I absolutely agree. Part of it for me was in the beginning, I didn’t have enough confidence as a parent. I didn’t know what the heck I was doing, I didn’t know if what my child was doing was normal/okay, I didn’t know if certain phases/stages were normal, etc. It’s really overwhelming when you feel confused and off balance. Back to the control thing, I feel much more in control at work. I feel confident in my ability to successfully execute my work. It was a tough transition, but no amount of reward at my professional work could compare to the reward I see each day in my beautiful, healthy, ridiculously smart boys.