Mom to Olivia Rose
Digital Media Director
Length of maternity leave: 10 weeks
Childcare: Nanny and Daycare
What did you struggle with most about returning to work after having your kids?
I had originally planned on taking 12 weeks (6 paid, 4 PTO and 2 unpaid), but decided to come back part-time at 10 weeks to ease my way back in. It's also worth mentioning that I received a promotion -- or title that was a more accurate description of my responsibilities -- immediately upon return and with it came some pretty ambitious goals, so I ended up coming back to chaos. Almost every department was up in arms over our new revenue goals and as Digital Marketing Director I was in charge of coming up with all of the tactics to achieve them.
On one hand, being so busy right away made my first months back fly by and I barely had time to miss Livy during the day before I came home and snuggled her all night. On the other hand, Livy wasn't a great sleeper and had decided that being with other people at daycare all day, meant that I should l hold her all night, so I was barely getting any sleep and then working through lunch -- it was hard.
What do you find difficult about being a working parent?
I don't know that I have the "mom guilt" that seems to be a common feeling among working mothers. I know that I am setting a good example for Livy by being a leader within my organization and she will never doubt her ability to shoot for the stars.
What I find most challenging about being a working parent is coordinating time with my husband without us both feeling like we are missing out on spending time with Livy. We know our relationship requires that we still prioritize time as a couple in order to maintain the closeness we have always had, but date nights or a night away means that was even more time that we weren't able to hear a new word Livy is trying to pronounce, or watch her master a new skill.
What do you enjoy about being a working parent?
I wasn't prepared for the absolute delight I feel watching Livy master -- or even make a first attempt at -- a new skill. I love seeing her light up during daycare pickup and can honestly say that I receive a second wind almost every evening when I get to reset for Mommy and Livy time.
It also makes me treasure the weekends all the more and any time daycare is closed and I have an excuse to take a couple of days to spend with my favorite tiny human.
After being back at work for some time, have your views about career and family changed?
100%. I have become a lot more pragmatic about success and failure within the workplace -- failures used to be the end of the world and keep me up at night. Now, I have more important things to keep me up at night and know that giving work 100% when I am there (and after Livy goes to sleep, of course) and knowing I am doing my best is, well, the best I can do.
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?
Breastfeeding for a year isn't worth lugging the pump around, spoiler alert: Livy doesn't notice the difference. You need to stop and eat lunch every day - even if it's just a sandwich while you're pumping. Women who don't have kids don't understand, but don't hold that against them, just ask for whatever you need, they almost 100% will always say yes. Also, ask your husband for help WHENEVER YOU NEED IT, he wants to help.
What did you choose for childcare, and how has it been for your family?
Nanny (first 3 months) daycare 6 months old to now
Pro: the best staff, Livy is happy, more independent every day, has friends Con: 30k/ year