It's Working Project

“I waited to tell my boss and my team members until after I received a promotion that I had been applying for. I told them around the 5-6 month mark.”

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

As much as you can, make every moment count. You will have precious little time with your new addition when you go back to work. In the moment, the diaper change or the endless amount of laundry will seem mundane and a hassle, but in the bigger picture those moments will be memories that you will cherish. So take a minute to tickle his feet, to give him a raspberry on his belly … everything else can wait.

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

I work in a remote office away from my boss and my team. I interact with colleagues from other teams in my office. I informed those colleagues around 3-4 months. I waited to tell my boss and my team members until after I received a promotion that I had been applying for. I told them around the 5-6 month mark. I told my boss via phone, as well as my team. It was a very easy conversation, and I was pleasantly surprised at how flexible he was with my doctor appointments — I was a high risk pregnancy due to age and preeclampsia.

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

I took the full 12 weeks that I was entitled to by my employer/state. My back-to-work plan did not align with what I wanted. However, that was no fault of my employer. I gave birth 5 weeks early, and I was very stressed about wrapping up several projects for work that I did not plan appropriately.

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

My plan was to have a nanny (or do a nanny share) for 6 months, and then transition to daycare when the baby was around 9-10 months. Instead, we moved straight into daycare as soon as I went back to work.

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

My husband has been amazing. He understands my stress and he “gets” all the issues and frustrations I have. I am also lucky to have a co-worker who recently had a baby and went through all the emotions that I am going through. She has been a good sounding board as well.

My indulgence was that I went shopping ALL.THE. TIME. I loved looking at maternity clothes, baby clothes, baby gear, etc. I mostly bought things at consignment stores or online, but I was always looking at something for the baby or for the baby’s room or for the car or for the house or for daycare…

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 him at daycare would be so hard and getting up in the middle of the night would be so much easier!