It's Working Project

"Employers need to look at task completion and not time in a chair. I could do my work in 40 hours over any stretch of time. Very little of it necessitates being in an office. And then I could do more with my time for my kids (dr appts, school stuff) without taking entire days off."

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?

I wanted to breastfeed and also give formula. We mix fed both kids. Younger kid was/is lactose intolerant, so my diet changed and his formula was specialized. I pumped at work for both kids for about 2-3 months after returning.

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

12 weeks of FLMA. I was miserable to leave my kids and they looked so small to be without me. I cried. I ran through train stations to see them. My second kid was colicky and I had PPD and it was a bit more fraught. But I still hated leaving him.

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

Save all your money. If someone stays home, be realistic about if they can return to the workforce. Try to be creative with your time. Get all the help you can from family and sitters. Have a cadre of at least 5 sitters for emergencies. IT GETS EASIER.

What was your biggest challenge going back to work?

Daycare where I live is prohibitively expensive. I made enough after taxes to pay for daycare for 2 and not much else. My job provides free health insurance for myself and my family, so the hidden paycheck is great. I had no idea the emotional toll of going back to work. Also, when pregnant and until my younger child was 6 months old, I worked 70-90 minutes away using public transit. The commute and lost time with them was difficult.

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

How hard it would be to walk away from my newborns when I returned to work. How much people now see you as a mom first, even at work. How little respect my husband’s work would give to being a parent.