Mom to Eliam and Raylyn
Maternity Leave: 12-weeks and 10-weeks
Childcare: In-home Daycare
What did you struggle with most about returning to work after having your kids?
I most struggled with guilt that I am/was abandoning my children. It made me so sad to think that for 12 weeks I was everything to them and pretty much all they knew and now I'd be leaving them for 8+ hours a day. I was so afraid that our bond would change and they would somehow doubt my love for them.
What do you find difficult about being a working parent?
Most difficult for me is finding enough hours in the day. I feel like I will spend every evening just prepping for the next day: dinner, clean-up, pack lunches, washes bottles/pump parts. On top of that I want to enjoy my kids and spend quality time with my husband!
What do you enjoy about being a working parent?
First, I really love my job. As a PA, I get to challenge myself mentally, socialize with my colleagues and make an impact in my patient's lives. I find it incredibly rewarding. I also feel that I'm a better parent when I am working. Maternity leave has been overall wonderful and necessary, but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't ready to go back to work. The time I do have with my babies I cherish much more than I think I would if I wasn't working. My children get to see me and their dad have careers they love and have worked hard for; and I'm proud of that.
After being back at work for some time, have your views about career and family changed?
After going back to work with my son, I knew I wanted to work less. I was previously working 11 hour days, and if I continued that, I would have no time at all with him. I knew that was not what I wanted as a mother. I've also come to realize that for me, a job that I can clock in and out of is a must. I never have to bring work home and my schedule is incredibly predictable, so I can be dependable for my family. In terms of my career, I've also realized it's OK to have a season of life where you aren't necessarily "climbing the ladder". That you can scale back and give more to your family; and that doesn't mean that you aren't giving 100% while you are working. Because for me, my primary role is to them.
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 your babies will still know how incredibly much you love them! That you will slowly work your way into a new normal; and that while life will be so busy, it will also be so full and wonderful. Lastly I would say: give yourself some grace. Grab a pizza some nights, leaving the cleaning, or better yet, hire someone else to do it! Read the books, wrestle on the floor, sing one more song before bedtime.
What did you choose for childcare, and how has it been for your family?
In-home daycare with close friend
We are so fortunate to not only have someone we trust; but our kids adore her and she has love for them as well. Being in her home, it is extremely flexible which is helpful with my husband’s schedule. The one con is that it is located in the opposite direction of where I work, so I get so spend some extra time in the car.