It's Working Project

"Don't sacrifice important family moments for work. I missed my grandfather's funeral because of a "crisis" at work. I have never forgiven myself and my soul has been in crisis ever since. I would absolutely have done it differently. "

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

That everyone is jugging something. It might be aging parents. It might be a child with disabilities. It might be a brother with mental health issues. Don’t think you’re alone in your struggle to create balance and make it all make sense. You are doing enough, and you ARE enough.

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?

Both of my parents were elementary school teachers. I read that breastfeeding helps to support a child’s brain development. That was all she wrote. That made me determined to breastfeed – at all costs. And there certainly have been costs!

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

My family leave was 10 weeks and I added on 2 weeks of my vacation from that year. I thought that 3 months to spend with a newborn child was deplorably insufficient and still do.

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

I never thought that anyone aside from me could give my child enough love, guidance, social-emotional support, wisdom, educational infrastructure, spiritual underpinnings, etc. I cried incessantly as I walked from my home to the train station the first day back from maternity leave. What I didn’t realize was that no one had to give my child ALL of those things – I would still be her mother, and the primary influence in her life irrespective of the fact that I was entrusting someone else to care for her, nurture her, and teach her while I was at work during the day.