Mom to Beren + two angel girls
Length of maternity leave: 4 months
Childcare: In home and family
What did you struggle with most about returning to work after having your kids?
It was hard, harder than I thought. It took a few false starts before I figured out what would work best for me and my family. That meant hustling hard to establish myself as an independent contractor in a new field.
What do you find difficult about being a working parent?
Schedules! I work from home so managing my son's schedule and remaining present with him as my top priority is exhausting most days. I also find that not everyone you work with or for is supportive of your role as a parent. You need to feel empowered to advocate for yourself and make big changes if needed to live out your priorities.
What do you enjoy about being a working parent?
I love the opportunities to contribute to my family financially, for my son to see how hard work and entrepreneurship can impact your life for good, and that his mommy has a multifaceted identity that includes being a mommy and a hard-working, independent businesswoman, among other things. I also enjoy the mental challenges that come with my professional work; I can see myself thriving and know that the gifts I have, and the education and training I've pursued, are benefitting myself, my family, and my clients.
After being back at work for some time, have your views about career and family changed?
Absolutely. I went through waves of stress, regret, and frankly, lots of tears, about motherhood and work. I first believed I'd always be a working mom, but then resigned from my full time position before my son was even born because I just knew I didn't want that. I tried part time, out of our home work for a year and a half before the stress and childcare management felt like their own full time jobs! I quit and stayed home exclusively before that work bug caught again. That and financial pressure brought on by serious medical events pushed me to think differently and define a role for myself that would check all the boxes, the most important one being present and with my son as often as possible. Now that I work from home and am mostly my own boss, I have found the closet thing to balance for our family.
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?
This is an awesome question! I would go back and tell myself that it is okay to have false starts and change your mind. Nothing is set in stone, especially when you have not experienced motherhood or working motherhood yet.
What did you choose for childcare, and how has it been for your family?
In home and family support.
Irregular and dependent on other people's schedules
Anything else you'd like to share?
Being a work from home mom has its unique challenges that I have felt are often left out of the black and white "working" moms or "not working" mom's debate/discussion. I'd like to see and hear more about other moms who work from home and manage dual roles as primary caregiver AND employee/business owner.