Mom to Rosie
What did you struggle with most about returning to work after having Rosie?
“I never expected to have such a difficult time leaving her with other people. ”
I knew when we started our family that I would need to return to work and our baby would be in childcare; but, I never expected to have such a difficult time leaving her with other people. Finding people that will love her like I do while I'm away is such a challenge and it is something that I continue to struggle with. I work as much as I can while I'm at work, but also struggle in my focus at times worrying about what she is doing, and how she is doing without me. It is so hard knowing most of her time awake is spent with others. I cherish every minute I have with her before work and after work.
What do you find difficult about being a working parent?
I also struggle with the extra workload. I was an overachiever and struggle with not producing the same amount of work or with the same quickness as before.
Before I had Rosie, I had no problem attending after work social functions, and I enjoyed it! After her, it is so hard to meet at 5pm for co-worker's birthdays, or other get-togethers. It is hard to say "no" to these things because I want to see Rosie before her bedtime at 7pm. I still have trouble communicating this to others because it seems like those without kids think "Just bring her!" or "It's just one night!" But, it gets hard to mess with her schedule or not see her while she's awake. I also struggle with the extra workload. I used to work in the evening. My husband and I would have our computers out and do extra little things, and now it's hard enough to keep up the house, Rosie, and myself! I was an overachiever and struggle with not producing the same amount of work or with the same quickness as before.
What do you enjoy about being a working parent?
I like my job and the fulfillment of helping other parents and kids. I am excited for Rosie to see a working mom and see me being successful at my job.
After being back at work for some time, have your views about career and family changed?
Absolutely. I really thought I'd be able to "turn off" my mom brain and solely focus on work, but Rosie is always in the back of my mind. I choose her over work much easier than I thought I would or could.
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?
Just give yourself time to catch up and don't expect it to happen right away.
When you go back to work, go back in the middle of the week. That first full week away was the longest week of my life. Plan on being behind at work for a little while. I felt so much pressure (put on myself) to jump back in and solve all the problems that happened while I was away. Just give yourself time to catch up and don't expect it to happen right away. I felt so torn between two worlds and I'm still trying to make those two worlds mesh the best they can.