Mom to JT
Length of Maternity Leave: 3 months
What did you struggle with most about returning to work after having your kids?
I was SO anxious to leave JT that I didn't leave him at all until he was about ten weeks old. I was so nervous something would happen and I didn't want to miss a minute. About two weeks before I went back, I finally had to force myself to go to the store to just practice being apart from him. We had been together for 9 months + 10 weeks... it was really nerve wracking and I felt lonely when I left him that first time. It did get easier each time and now I can't even recognize that anxiety.
What do you find difficult about being a working parent?
The balance is the toughest part. I'm very invested in my career. I'm also very invested in my family. Sometimes I feel like I have to choose one or the other more often and it gets really hard. I'm doing better about balancing during the time I have with JT, so when I'm home with him I'm focused on family. But, at work or after he goes to sleep, I can be focused on my work and other priorities.
What do you enjoy about being a working parent?
Getting up and getting out of the house consistently is something that I really missed. If I could go back and do it again I would be better about this on maternity leave too. It just makes me feel better. I also really like having my own goals and career that I'm working toward. It feels good to accomplish things of my own outside of being a mom.
After being back at work for some time, have your views about career and family changed?
I'm constantly learning more about how to balance everything. Some days I lean more in at home and other days I'm more focused on work and my husband picks up more than his fair share. I am realizing that it's possible though and I have more empathy for other working parents. I feel like I 'get it' now when someone has to leave suddenly because their kid has a fever or something.
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 had so much anxiety about going back to work and I made myself almost sick over it. I would go back and tell myself it will be okay and to just take it slow and go for it. While the transition isn't always easy, it was worth it for my family.
What did you choose for childcare, and how has it been for your family?
We love our daycare and JT loves interacting with the other babies. I actually think he thrives more at daycare than he did at home. My only con is that I don't get to see him often and usually only have about an hour a day before he goes to sleep.