Melanie

Mom to Drew and Wesley

Occupational Therapist

Length of maternity leave: 10 weeks

Childcare: Nanny & Center-based daycare/preschool

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

I work in direct patient care so I have productivity standards to meet. I was busy and would pump while eating lunch. A lot of my co-workers have young children so we support each other. My sister nannied for us for 3.5 years so that was a huge help.

What do you find difficult about being a working parent?

Initially it was lack of sleep and having to get up and function at work the next day. Last fall, we transitioned from having my sons at home with my sister to taking them to daycare/preschool. That was a huge adjustment for all of us. I questioned if it was the right childcare for us and I worried about how the boys would adjust to a new place.

What do you enjoy about being a working parent?

I love being an occupational therapist. It is challenging and rewarding. I love my children but I also enjoy my adult time at work.

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

My family comes first no matter what. I am limiting my career path at this time for the sake of my family. (Working 4 days per week, keeping a job close to home etc.)


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?

Take it one day at a time and everything will work out.


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

Nanny & Center-based daycare/preschool


Nanny:

Pros: I didn’t have to do drop off/pick up everyday. And being my sister, I knew they were well loved and taken care of.

Cons: were the kids had less interaction with peers.


Daycare:

Pros: They have lots of social interaction and structured learning time.

Cons: Illnesses keeping kids home and high price.


Anything else to share?


I have hope that the United States and also individual employers can improve their maternity leave policies.

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