Wednesday, August 11, 2010

working mom wednesday

Well, I'm pretty terrible about keeping up with memes & generally don't participate, but one of my favorite bloggers has an interesting prompt today. Julia at Work, Wife, Mom...Life! asks us today: 

 #1. Maternity Leave - How long did you take? Were you ready to come back? How did you survive/manage? Tips for new moms returning to work?
#2. Biggest blog crush (a.k.a. FAVE blogger that you would just can't miss a beat on)
#1. Maternity Leave
When Cassidy was born I took off 6 weeks from work. I work for a pretty small NPO & we don't have paid leave. I worked on a Friday & she was born over the weekend. I'd like to think that I planned it pretty well! During the 6 weeks I was off we had a big grant due, so I ended up putting in a few days worth of work in between diapers, naps & nursing. It worked out well because I then a few extra days to take off around the holidays. When I did start back to work it was a good transition. (Well, except for the fact that it had the bad timing of being the my sister & then future brother-in-law back to the East coast after having lived with us for a semester. I cried.) I worked from home Tuesday, Thursday & Friday. Monday & Wednesday Cassidy went to a friend's home for childcare & I worked from the office or the road. Working from home - with a child - is a big balancing act, but it made continuing to breastfeed until she was 15 months & keeping up with cloth diapers a lot easier.

I worked up until almost 5:00 pm on the day Kalea was 8:28 pm. I had stuff to do! I took off a full 8 weeks & then went back to the same NPO but in a part-time capacity. I think I was less emotionally ready to go back. (Weirdly enough I went back this time right after my entire family left after having come out to Utah for an extended Thanksgiving break. I also cried that day.)  I don't know if it was having the extra two weeks, not having worked at all during those 8 weeks - unlike the first maternity leave, knowing that I was going back to do something completely different & that the position was still a little hazy or just hormones. I do know that I'm really lucky to have been able to negotiate to work part-time. Michael watches the girls on Monday (he works T-F, 10 hours/day) & they go the same friend's house on Tuesday.

Working is good for me. Although there are days where I'd much rather be snuggling my beautiful girls, it's good for me to be around grown ups & keep my head in the game. And of course, those first few days back I kept my online photo album open & called a few times each day to check in. With Kalea, since Michael watched the girls on Monday, he'd bring her to the office at least once a day to snuggle & nurse - which was helpful b/c she was not a fan of the bottle at first. And, I'd prefer to nurse my child any day over pumping!

As far as advice for moms going back to work...put up a few photos in your workspace or keep a few on your phone for those longing moments, call your childcare provider if you feel like it or need to "check in" - they understand that you miss your child, if you're a pumping/nursing mom be sure to pump on a regular basis - it's easy to get busy & ignore it (well, after those first few oh-my-gosh-I'm-about-to-burst months) but if you do so, it annoyingly effects your supply & lastly, know you're doing the best thing for yourself & your child, no matter if you work full-time, part-time, intermittently or stay-at-home. Don't let anyone guilt or question you.
#2. Biggest blog crush
Most recently Ericka at alabastercow has hooked me. I even have her link on my iPhone so I can sneak read her blog while I'm nursing Kalea to sleep in the evenings. And she recently wrote a novel. I've only read a page or so of it - also on my iPhone while nursing, see a trend? - but it's worth a perusal.


D Dearinger said...

I definitely could have used that advice about pumping. I mean I lasted an okay amount of time, but next time I will be more prepared for the fact that I can't "skip" pumping sessions especially when my supply wasn't great to begin with. And that my employer totally supports me in my efforts so I shouldn't be embarrassed about it.

I can't imagine working a little bit while on maternity leave! You must have some superhuman powers :) Your babies are beautiful!

Bridie said...

We are on the same wavelength! How funny! Your girls are gorgeous

rubberbacon said...

You have beautiful children and it sounds like you have a great support system with your husband. Bringing the baby to the office once a day to breastfeed - awesome!!!

Beth Zimmerman said...

This was fun to read! I'm glad you decided to join the meme this week! :)