Mom to Mitchell
Length of maternity leave: 12-weeks
What did you struggle with most about returning to work after having your kids?
I had all the feels while returning to work. I was excited, nervous, stressed, happy and terrified all at the same time. One of my biggest struggles was the mental load. I worried that I was no longer the same person that I was when I left before baby. I had changed as a person so wouldn't I have changed as a worker? I quickly realized that yes, I had changed as a person but I still was the hard working, determined, problem-solver that I was before baby. And now, I was able to multitask and prioritize better than before. My skills were enhanced after becoming a mother.
What do you find difficult about being a working parent?
I always knew that I wanted to be a working parent. My husband and I have goals that make it important for us both to work for our finances, health, development and character. I didn't realize the stress that would come with being a working parent till my maternity leave ended. How would we figure out a daycare schedule for dropping off and picking up? What happens when the baby is sick? What is I am sick or my husband is sick? And the biggest question, what do we do when we have to travel for business? Of course those answers are still evolving in time but honestly we just figured it out. I think being a working parent will always be difficult but having a supportive manager and company has made going back to work so helpful!
What do you enjoy about being a working parent?
I love being a working parent because I feel challenged every day and solve interesting problems. I work as an HR Manager so my job is to work with people and solve their problems. It energizes me to do this every day and allows me to come home energized to spend time with my baby, husband and puppy. I am a better person because of what I do.
After being back at work for some time, have your views about career and family changed?
Absolutely! I have been back to work for a little over three months now. My first month back I focused on my career, I wanted to prove I was still the same person and didn't want to be seen that I couldn't do my job anymore now that I am a mom. My personal life started to not look like what I wanted, I was spending less time with my son, husband, and puppy and my house was a mess. My personal life was chaotic. I started to realize that I had changed I am no longer who I was. I am a mom and I am still awesome. After I shifted my focus my personal life got better, I was spending more time with my son, husband, and puppy... and my house was clean and my work got better! I was managing tasks better, having more insightful conversations and was more intentional in my everyday interactions. I no longer was hiding that my life is chaotic now that I am a mom, but I am also still a great worker.
Knowing what you know now, what’s one thing you wish you could go back in time and tell yourself as you were preparing to return to work or getting ramped up in your role?
My advice to myself would be to accept that you are a mom and not to try to hide that side while you go back to work. I think if I had that mindset entering back into my role I wouldn't have wasted energy, time and space on trying to be the worker I was before baby, rather than realizing it enhanced who I was before.
What did you choose for childcare, and how has it been for your family?
Grandparents first two weeks back to work then full-time daycare.
The first two weeks it was great to not have the daycare stress along with entering back into the workforce. They had dinner waiting when we got home, which also helped find balance. Now with full-time daycare my son is advancing, happy and is around other babies but he has gotten sick many times already which can be frustrating and last minute.
It's hard to be a working parent but it's hard to be a stay at home parent. You have to do what is best for you and your family. Make time for yourself, even if it is hitting up a yoga class between daycare pickup and leaving work. If you don't take time to refuel yourself you will constantly feel drained and need to be re-energized