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Meet Jana

Mom to Aiden and Ivy

Occupation: Licensed Clinical Social Worker

What was your experience like returning to work after having your children? How has COVID impacted that?

Returning to work with my first was emotionally one of the hardest times of my life. I missed him so much and I was overwhelmed with how to balance work, a baby, and home duties. This time, with Ivy, I am so much more prepared. The freezer is stocked with meals, we have solid routines for drop off and bedtime already established.

Most importantly, I’m giving myself more grace this time. I cannot do it all, but I can focus on what matters most to me and model that for my children. Work hard, play hard. COVID-19 means my return to work will be in a hospital with COVID patients and I will have to mindfully social distance at work to not put my family at risk.

What do you find most challenging about being a working parent?

The mom guilt is the worst. There are moments I feel sad that I can’t be with my kids all day long. Or that they have to wake up early to go to “school.” It’s easy to fall into a habit of being on autopilot when you are home, I try to be present and tell myself quality over quantity of time is my primary goal.

What do you enjoy about being a working parent? Any silver linings if you're working from home?

I enjoy being an example for my son and my daughter. Women, and moms, can do hard things. We can work hard in the office and at home. As someone that is in a professional helping role, I hope I’m serving as a model to them about how to care for and support other people.

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

Absolutely, I had to establish boundaries right away. Family will always come first. I’ve learned how to be efficient so I can get home to see my babies.

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?

Slow down. Be present. You don’t have to do all the things right now.

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


Anything else you want to share?

I am returning to work on January 18th and as a healthcare worker, I will be fully vaccinated. My 3 month old, Ivy, is 100 percent breastfed. Lactating women were not included in any of the vaccines trails. I talked to doctors, lactation consultants, and other healthcare mamas to make my decision. I ultimately decided the unknown risk of the vaccine was outweighed the risk of getting COVID and bringing it home to my husband and children. I hope it will inspire other lactating mamas to do the same.

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