Jessica

Mom to Madeline & Adam

Director, TRIO Student Support Services

Maternity leave: 7 weeks

Childcare: Daycare & Family


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


I struggled with carrying a heavy wave of guilt on my shoulders. The thought that I would be "missing" out or creating more distress on my children always comes at me without warning.

It's that hidden thought that if something happens to my child outside of my presence; it had to be "my" fault. I always put more pressure on myself to gain the confidence I need to provide my children with the proper child care while I am at work. I wouldn't wish that concern on anyone. It's that thought that during my work days, I spend too little time with my children and the feeling they don't have enough of my time.


I struggled with providing my children with daycare that I could trust. I didn't want to put my newborn in a daycare facility. I wanted to place my 2.5 year old and 6-week old baby together. My 84 year old mother watched my daughter for two years and I couldn't envision placing two children in her care. It was daunting and frustrating.


What do you find difficult about being a working parent?


Being a working mother can be difficult because sometimes I feel that I have to force myself to disregard the daily guilt that tends to climb my shoulders. I have to remind myself constantly (when I drop my children off, if they may be crying or asking questions) that at some point they will be in school learning and developing and will grow with the appreciation that mommy did all this for our future.



What do you enjoy about being a working parent?


I enjoy the balance of finding myself professionally and growing within so that I can pass the same knowledge on to my children. It connects me and being a working parent makes me a better person. It enriches my life so that when I am away from children, the reunion to see them makes it even more sweeter. It provides a level of discipline and structure that I can apply to my home that inspires me everyday.


Vacations and weekend family time are more meaningful.

I feel I can embrace the time with my children in a more precious way. It's not taken for granted.

I feel less overwhelmed because I apply my working structure life in my home to create meaningful moments. I love the art of balance it provides to me knowing that being away from children creates meaningful moments.


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


Yes. Being at work has changed my views. I realize how important it is to establish myself so that I can prepare my children to be the best they can. I have an entrepreneurial desire to add to my life because I want the flexibility to grow our family legacy and be present in my children's lives as they grow in school. I realize that the maternity benefits were limited and I had a short amount of time provided to stay home. I want the benefit to work on my own and provide the childcare for my children they deserve.


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?

Realizing that I don't have to be perfect, just present for the priceless moments.

Knowing when to say it's enough and call for help. Understanding that each stage is a season and that season will change so don't rush anything. Leaving work and being PRESENT for your children and enjoying the moments you have with them. Children understand more than we give them credit for. They know when they are loved and that doesn't go away being gone for 8 hours a day. Gather your "tribe" of women that will support and be there for you when you can't keep it together.


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


Daycare & Family

The Pros: Currently, my children are watched by my God-Sister. I trust her, she is a teacher and pastor wife. She is considered family so I know my children will be loved.

The Cons: Life happens so--- she may not always be available.



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