Mom to Charlotte, Flynn and Harrison
Customer Engagement Innovations
Length of maternity leave: 12 weeks
What did you struggle with most about returning to work after having your kids?
It was TOUGH after my first one. I gave myself the goal of going back full-time for at least two months to see how I felt. After that, due to some team fluctuations, I realized it would have been more stress to go part time than stay full. So I was able to stay full time, and worked out with my boss to come in a little early and leave around 3pm.
I have a job where I can work from anywhere, so catching up after the babe was in bed was an easy trade-off for me since it meant I got 4 hours with her in the afternoon. That being said, I knew I wanted to be part-time. So after the birth of my second child, I moved my hours down to 30/week.
I have a team, so being in the office/accessible everyday is important to my role and to me. But this way I was able to be at home in the afternoons with my kids. This was a game-changer.
What do you find difficult about being a working parent?
My biggest challenge as been my own psychological one. I'm proud to work part-time, however I would make up negative stories in my mind when I would tell co-workers that I was part-time.
The ironic part is, my company is incredibly flexible and supportive of its employees. But it's still not very typical to see parents making the choices I've made, to be a part time manager with customer responsibilities AND a stay at home mom in the afternoons.
What do you enjoy about being a working parent?
I feel like I get to be my best, every moment of the day. In the a.m. I give my job my all. And in the afternoons I give my kids my all.
After being back at work for some time, have your views about career and family changed?
Absolutely, how can it not! This is a life transforming experience, taking on the responsibility of children. I want to encourage every single parent out there to remember that it's all a 'season.' Whether it's a major hustle at work, or the tender years of your babies, it's a season.
I don't feel I've in any way sacrificed my career by being part-time. My company gets the absolute best from me when I'm 'on.' And my kids get the same. Whatever season you're in, or that you want to be in, embrace it and start making it happen.
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?
To ask for what I wanted from my employer, and not worry so much about what they would think about me. Every time I've asked for flexibility, they've supported me in it. By staying focused in my work when I'm 'on' and producing great results, they've in turn supported me to be focused on my babies. Every day.
What did you choose for childcare, and how has it been for your family?
We have been blessed with a babysitter who has watched our kids from Day 1 of me going back to work.
She's amazing. We trust her with our most precious gifts in this life. So many pros. The only con that I have felt, which is why I made the decision to go from full-time to part-time, is that as amazing as she is, she's not their mama. I am. And it really meant a lot to me to be able to be a bigger part of their days than just the tail end.
Anything else you'd like to share?
I would encourage every parent going through this transition to not look around at what their parents did. Their siblings did. Or their best friend. That this is YOUR decision, and take the time to really think about what YOU want for this new season of your life. Are you at your best as a parent because you work full time? Then rock it! Are you at your best staying at home with your babes? Then rock that! Just make the best decision for you; because that will then be the best decision for your family. All my best, Christa