Mom to Liam and Maxwell
Technical Apparel Designer
Length of maternity leave: 6 weeks
Childcare: Daycare and After school program
What did you struggle with most about returning to work after having your kids? With my oldest son the company I worked for went under when I was on maternity leave so I went back to work as a waitress at 6 weeks in order to make ends meet and as a single parent ended up moving back in with my parents until I found a job in my field 3 months Lester. The stress of it all caused my milk to dry up, and I was determined to make a better go of maternity leave my second go around. With my youngest son I was in a supportive marriage but still had to go back to work 6 weeks after he was born because that was all my employer would pay for and we couldn’t afford to me to stay home without getting paid. I wasn’t ready to go back and think this contributed to my postpartum depression.
What do you find difficult about being a working parent? It can be hard when you work alongside people who don’t have kids or whose spouses do 100% of the sick days and doctors visits, because you get the comments like “oh you’re leaving early again for a kid thing?”. It’s also difficult to manage the kids expectations and disappointment when I can’t go to all of their school things because I work.
What do you enjoy about being a working parent? I have two sons so I love being able to be a positive female role model for them, they think it is completely normal for mom to be a corporate badass. We had a fun role reversal last year when my husband went back to school full time and I was the sole bread winner and I’m glad my boys will remember that as they get older and join the workforce. I also really love my job and knowing that I can support our family.
After being back at work for some time, have your views about career and family changed? Before I had kids I had this idea that I would shoot through the corporate ranks and be an executive, but I’ve calmed that down a bit since actually having children. I’m still goal oriented and moving my way up, but I’m unwilling to sacrifice my family life for my career which has slowed it down a little - and that’s okay.
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 would tell myself that it’s okay to both not be okay with being back, and be okay with being happy to around adults again. The mom guilt feelings are real and I would tell myself that guilt lies, and I am a good mom.
What did you choose for childcare, and how has it been for your family? Daycare and now an after school program at their Taekwondo school.
All of the teachers are thoroughly background checked and there are other kids from their school there, but it’s expensive.
Anything else to share? I find myself gravitating towards other working mothers to try to give as much support as I can and share ideas, and think that all organizations should have more resources for working mothers.