Mom to Una
What did you struggle with most about returning to work after having your kids?
I struggled with the idea that someone else was spending more waking hours with my daughter than I was. I had a trusted family friend babysitting but you don't trust anyone as much as you trust your love for your child. The mom guilt was so bad, I spent my lunch period visiting her for 30 minutes, for a whole year.
What do you find difficult about being a working parent?
The separation anxiety my daughter has when I drop her off in the morning is the worst part of being a working mom. It started when she was 18 months and it breaks my heart every time. I start 90% of my work days sad and frustrated. I don't get to feed her breakfast or lunch, missing simple tasks like that makes it hard.
What do you enjoy about being a working parent?
I enjoy working hard so my daughter can one day be proud of the work I have done in my community. I want her to know that you can make your career about helping others.
After being back at work for some time, have your views about career and family changed?
My family always comes first, no matter what. I will take a sick day if she is sick, and I will leave early if she needs me. That is the one rule I will always implement.
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?
I'd tell myself that she wouldn't notice my absence as much as I noticed hers. I'd remind myself to make the most of the time I did get with her.