I personally have mixed emotions about how becoming a mother has affected my work life.
Prior to returning to work full time from maternity leave, I had imagined my return to be an easy transition due to my ability to create a flexible schedule and work remotely and for the most part it has been. The days that I work from home, work and being a mommy are two completely different worlds. While I work, I tend to remain concentrated and chug along my tasks. I plan Baby E’s feedings, diapers and play time accordingly, so that I can get in a productive day. Of course, we have off days every now and then, but I will keep my fingers crossed that those days remain far and few. I am quite aware that this scheduling will not work forever, especially as he gets older and needs to be entertained and active for longer periods through the day, but we will save the topic of nanny care for another day.
Now here comes the conflict with my mixed emotions/ feelings of how motherhood has impacted my work life;
I count my blessings that I only need to be in the office or away on client meetings 1-2 days per week, but each time I need to leave my little one, I become a little sad inside. Prior to having Baby E, I couldn’t imagine ever wanting to stay home and indulge myself in “motherly tasks”. Not that there is anything wrong with that choice, it just wasn’t me…… or I just couldn’t see it then. Now, I absolutely love being home with my baby boy nor do I mind all the “mommy duties”. I want to be home with baby boy and ensure I am present for all of his “first’s”. The days that I need to be away from him, I worry about the possibility of missing his first word or later, his first step.
Before baby and even before pregnancy, I had always thought that one day when I had kid(s), I would look forward to the normality of being away in the office. I’m sure that at some point in the future, I’ll be able to be away or even leave him with someone aside from Joseph and I comfortably, but for now, we’ll continue to work from home and / or take him on the road with us.
How has work like changed since baby;
- I plan meetings / conference calls around Baby E’s feedings, pamper changes and playtime schedule.
- Office and client meetings are coordinated accordingly between Joseph’s and my in-office schedule. On what day’s can one of us stay at home or take Baby E for the day, so that the other one of us can attend meetings, etc.
- A lunch break on the days I work remotely is most often forgotten about, as I typically use the allotted lunch break to feed or play with little man.
- In our household, falling behind schedule is pretty common, as we need to schedule in baby time during the day. This often results in working after the regular office hours.
- I usually feel like I am always trying to leave early. Well that really isn’t the case, because most of the time, I am still working past regular business hours, however am in a hurry to complete my work, so that I can check out and spend time with the little one.
- Since having Baby E, I have bonded with a lot more at work parents, including clients. Prior, when the conversation topic of children would come up, I excusably didn’t have much to share, because I (simply put) didn’t have the experience or stories. Other parents love to talk about their kids and share photos.
- I haven’t been to a happy hour for over a year and honestly don’t miss them.
I am sure that there will be more changes that I will realize done the road, and I welcome them in their timing.
How has having children changed your career/ work life?