Eleanor

Mom to Veda

Special Education Teacher

Length of Maternity Leave: 7.5-weeks

Childcare: Family member babysitter


What did you struggle with most about returning to work after having your kids?


My biggest struggle was giving my daughter to someone when I so badly wanted to be the one taking care of her. I had fears that she would love her babysitter more than she loved her Mom. I also struggled with my breast milk supply when I had to transition to pumping at work. I had to spend every free moment I had pumping in order to supply my daughter with the milk she needed each day away from me. Pumping and breast feeding became another full time job on top of my career.


What do you find difficult about being a working parent?


The amount of time I must spend away from my daughter during the week is still something I struggle with. I'm always wishing I had more time with her, and always wishing the weekends were just a little bit longer. I find it difficult to miss the little moments with her during the day.



What do you enjoy about being a working parent?


I love being able to still have an identity outside being a mother and a wife. It gives me an outlet that allows me to still feel like I'm my own person. I also love setting an example for my daughter that it is okay to have passions outside of just being a mother and a wife.


After being back at work for some time, have your views about career and family changed?


Yes, my views have changed greatly. I now understand the importance of not only taking care of my family but also taking care of myself. No one can be a perfect parent, but doing self care and making sure you are a happy parent is so important. I also find it very important to have a partner that is willing to share in the huge task of parenting. It takes a village and being a working parent, I need all the help from my partner that I can have.



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?


Be kind to yourself-- savor the little moments and know everything will work out. There are days where you will feel like a failure but know that those moments will pass.


What did you choose for childcare, and how has it been for your family?


Family member babysitter

Pros-- - family member - cost - convenience - only one other child in the household

Cons-- - mixing business with family - can be hard to find a back-up if sitter is sick

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