One week from today I “go back to work.” I have that in quotes because I’ll be working from home, a transition I made when I moved to Indiana two months ago. Of course, I only experienced this for about 2 weeks because I went into labor early & have been on maternity leave ever since.
You may notice it has only been 6 weeks since I had Jacob. True, I am not taking the traditional 12 weeks off that many moms do. Of course, I know there are also many moms who aren’t able to take 12 weeks because they can’t afford to…another post for another day.
Of course this is a professional, full-time job (that photo has my blog up but my real job is here) that will require all my mental energy and commitment so I am preparing for what that will look like in this new life of mine.
Why did I only take 6 weeks?
Of course my work is required by law to allow me to take up to 12 weeks unpaid maternity leave. However, since I knew I would be working from home — and I had just moved with this major request that I get to keep my job (which my employer was so awesome to allow because they value my work) — I wanted to do what was most efficient for me and beneficial for them. I also didn’t have much paid leave to work with so that was also a factor in my decision.
I had no idea if 6 weeks would be enough time, though I guessed it was not. Now that we’re here, I do wish I had more but because I don’t have to commute or be at an office, where many minutes are often wasted with small talk, lunch breaks, etc., I am confident I can get my job done well here at home.
I have also seen stories from moms who took everything from 2 weeks to 6 months to part-time to freelance to full time stay at home…and like everything else that comes with parenting & children, everyone’s preference, capacity & ability is different. I will be seeing what mine is!
Will I have childcare?
Not yet. Since Jacob is still a newborn, he sleeps a lot during the day and I’m able to keep him occupied with vibrating chairs, play mats and just holding him (hello baby wearing). I don’t know how easy this will be to do all day while completing my job. Also, he’s only 6 weeks old so I would never send him to daycare this young.
Thankfully, Rick gets home from work by 4pm — and many of our big stories (I work for a news magazine) come out later in the day so I will probably end up spending quite a bit of time in the evening working. The majority of work will still be daytime, though. Since I’m not on a 9-5 schedule and I don’t have time sheets or anything, I will be able to work throughout the day, starting early and ending late with breaks in the middle.
Can I get an “Amen” to workplace flexibility? I’m truly thankful to work for a company that allows it — and trusts me to do my job!
I was reminded of how important this is when I read this trending article the other day from a female CEO: “I’m sorry to all the mothers I’ve worked with.”
What about future childcare?
As for childcare, I’m not 100% sure yet. His name is in for a nearby church ministry daycare (accredited) at the start of March. I don’t feel great about the daycare thing at this point but am also not sure about finding a nanny or nanny share. I feel overwhelmed with how to find the right person. I also don’t know how much care I will need. The next couple of months will be revealing that is for sure. I sure wish I had a friend or family member that could take care of him instead of strangers but I know getting work done will not be possible when he gets older and needs more supervision.
Right now I can’t imagine dropping him off at daycare! I also think about all the germs and sicknesses you hear about in daycares. Plus, there’s the whole daycare debate. Long ago, I was securely in the stay-at-home mom camp but in the past few years, I’ve shifted a lot. Again, another post for another day.
My ambitious goal is to make it until 6 months without daycare but I am just not sure that’s realistic…I also know that every child is different and I have heard it all from friends & family on what is or isn’t possible.
What am I worried about?
Mostly, sleep and mental power. My job requires a lot of creative thinking, being on your toes with ideas and staying on top of breaking news, etc. I really don’t know how to arrange my schedule yet. In my old life, I got up around 5, spent about 30 minutes working before working out and was back to working a little past 7am – then working throughout the day and into the evening with breaks.
Now, I will not be working out in the morning but I am definitely most awake & alive very early. The later the day gets, the more tired I get. Currently, my night to morning looks like this:
9-11:30pm — sleep (Rick takes over & goes to bed when I get up at 11:30)
11:30-12:30am — Feed Jacob, pump
12:30-2:30am — hopefully sleep
2:30 -3:30am — Feed Jacob, maybe pump
3:30-5:30am — hopefully sleep
5-6am — Feed Jacob, pump
6-7:30am — hopefully sleep
7:30am — Get up to feed Jacob, pump again & stay up for the day
I say “hopefully sleep” because half the time I’m just laying there half awake listening to all his little noises and grunts — or just can’t sleep. Also, sometimes, he is just awake and I have to just stay up for one of the sleep sessions holding him and watching Netflix, trying to keep him from crying.
I know this is how it is with a baby, but I myself am a big baby and have a really hard time with nights. That’s obviously normal but I still have a lot of anxiety about getting enough sleep, especially with work looming just 7 days away. Of course Rick has been doing this almost the whole time and he less concerned with sleep than me. I couldn’t tell you who gets more because he is very hands on and couldn’t be more helpful so I am very lucky! Plus, I know that many moms have a harder night schedule than me…with babies waking up every single hour or that have colic.
I will probably get rid of that last hour of sleep (sometimes already eliminated anyway) when I start working.
What do I anticipate?
I anticipate that I will adapt and life will work out just as it should. Yes, I’m nervous but we are all very adaptable and I’ve been told by many a momma how amazed they are how well they can function on little sleep. I’m sure such will be the case with me and after a few weeks, I will fall into a schedule that works for me. It may be a rough start but we’ll get there. I love the work I do and wouldn’t want to give it up…I’m BEYOND BLESSED to have this flexibility and opportunity to continue it even while moving away from Washington, DC.
So that’s where I’m at with working and what’s up. I’ll be sure to share an update on how it’s going in a month or so.
Have you worked from home with a baby? I’m certainly open to tips & tricks for making it work well!