Working mom profile: Jessica Trader
Jessica is a former coworker of mine whom I love and to whom I owe a debt of gratitude for being so kind during my first transition back to work as a new mom. She was an IT Project Manager in Omaha, NE, for during her first maternity leave and return to work. Here is her mom story:
As I entered the last few weeks of my maternity leave, I kept thinking to myself “How in the world will I put myself together each morning, have successful adult conversations, find time to pump, and yet survive eight hours of being away from my baby boy? And do this FIVE DAYS a week!” My first child was born July 30, 2016, and my plan was to take 12 weeks off which consisted of five weeks Short Term Disability leave and personal vacation days the other seven weeks. In the end, I pushed it to 13 weeks as I was just not ready.
Returning to work was nothing short of an emotional roller coaster. Balancing work, mommy life and remembering to take care of myself was rough. The days felt long and evenings/weekends extremely short. Before I had my son, I knew staying at home wasn’t for me, but going from spending every hour together to being away from him all day was extremely HARD. I experienced so much guilt leaving him each morning (and I still do). I had to remind myself quite often to stop and take a deep breath. The mom guilt is “NO joke.”
It eventually got better, but it took several weeks to get into a routine and get adjusted to it all. My work schedule was very flexible and allowed me come in a little later and leave early. I took advantage of working from home as much as I could. My mother-in-law watched my son two days a week and a nanny came to our home the other three days – which is still the arrangement. Not worrying about loading him up to drop him off somewhere every day was such a relief. My mom came down and helped as well, and I realized family support is very much required! I could not have survived those initial week without all their help!
I know it won’t be any easier when it comes time for child #2, but I do know 13 weeks was personally not enough for me. The good news, though, for child #2 is that my company announced a new maternity/paternity leave in 2017 – which is a total of four months fully paid!
If you are a working mom with a transition-back-to-work story you'd like us to share, please contact us today! We'd love to hear about your experience.
We are also looking to partner with employers in Omaha, NE, who are looking to offer an exciting, pro-family benefit for our fall 2018 launch. Hit us up on the Employers page for more details!