Mom to Dax
Length of Maternity Leave: 1 year
Childcare: Husband and Daycare
What did you struggle with most about returning to work after having your kids?
I struggled the most with what Dax was thinking. Did he think I was abandoning him? Did he even realize I was gone for 9 hours a day? Would this affect our relationship? But he now knows that Mommy works, I get a big hug and kiss and a "BYE MOMMY" as I leave for work, and when I come home from work, he is SO excited to see me. I know he thrives at home with whoever is watching him.
What do you find difficult about being a working parent?
The balance! Trying to balance all of life to be honest. How are you even supposed to balance working full time, being a mom, being a wife, cleaning, cooking, exercising, and any type of social life? It's extremely difficult, and you have to come to terms with not being able to do it all. You have to choose a few things to be good at, and that can change weekly. Maybe one week you are a better mom and wife, while the week after you see your friends more and clean the house. It's a constant balancing act and you are always feeling like something isn't being done.
What do you enjoy about being a working parent?
It's nice to get out of the house & be social at work. And let's be honest, it's nice to go out for lunch in peace and enjoy a hot meal. But I think the part I enjoy most is knowing I am contributing to our family income. The work I do, and the money I earn is important and I know that it's going to my son's future education, or sports etc.
After being back at work for some time, have your views about career and family changed?
Not quite, I still go back and forth on my view of being a working mom. On one hand, I don't want to give up my career and earnings because I don't know where that will put me in 5 years when my son is in school and I have all this free time. On the other hand, I see how fast he is growing up and feel like I am missing out on so much time with him. Family is so important and life is short so I try to enjoy every minute of the time I have with Dax.
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?
It takes time. It takes time to figure out the balance. It takes time to get used to being away from your child. But you will figure it out. You will learn to balance it all, and you will learn what is most important to you and how to use your time wisely. Also, that it's ok to come home from work, cuddle on the couch while watching Paw Patrol, have sandwiches for dinner, and have a large glass of wine after putting your son to bed!
What did you choose for childcare, and how has it been for your family?
We are so lucky with our childcare. My husband works shift work which means he only works two day shifts a week followed by two night shifts. We only need daycare on those two day shifts (unless those day shifts fall on weekends when I am off). Our daycare is amazing and so flexible with our schedules. We also have both sets of grandparents and siblings that help us out if we need them.
My biggest piece of advice is find that other working mom friend. You NEED someone else in your life that understands what it's like. You need that friend that you can vent and complain to, and have her tell you that you are doing a great job.