Everyone needs advice when going through a pregnancy, and all mothers are quick to give it. Everything from doctors visits to diets and everything in between, someone is going to tell you how to handle them. One thing that not many people bring up is how early couples need to be thinking about child care. More than dealing with the fact that you have to leave your new baby with a stranger in a matter of weeks, you have to figure out who that stranger is. This mom was terrified at just the thought of finding a quality care provider and also affording it as well.
“I was stressed about the cost of child care – and a stranger taking care of my baby- and a stranger taking care of my baby- from the time I was probably 12 weeks pregnant.” said Emily Reed of Washington. “It was this looming dark cloud in our home because of the cost, but what neither my husband or I thought about was if their was any availability for infant-care in our area. (People should really tell you to plan for child care during your pregnancy instead of all the the other unsolicited advice, but I digress!)
Emily had always planned on going back to work, but it was starting to cross her mind to be a stay at home mom because it would just be easier. Then she started thinking about not working, not going back to a job that she enjoyed, and not having that income to support her family. “After months of feeling unsettled at work, I finally expressed my anxiety to my manager. Her first response? ‘Just bring her with you when you come back! We can have an office baby!’ It was unbelievable. She can’t be serious! But she and almost everyone in the office were so excited and supportive and ready for baby P to join the team!”
Once Emily had gotten the okay to bring in her newborn, that’s exactly what she did. After the baby was born, Emily spent 6 weeks of maternity leave with her baby, then braced herself for jumping back into her work schedule. Her husband watched Baby P the first day back just so she could adjust, and from then on she brought her in every day. Each day consisted of hauling in baby and the diaper bag, doing as much work as possible before her nap, and co-workers lending a hand during bathroom breaks or just a moment of focus. The level of support was incredible.
There were a few downsides like missing phone calls, not making meetings, and nursing- but the peace of mind that Baby P was with Emily and not an expensive care taker was worth it. Eventually after a few months things started to shift. Emily started working from home and got her dad to take the baby a few days a week so that she could catch up on work. Emily and her husband also managed to get on the waiting list for a real day care during that time and were able to get Baby P in sooner than they thought. Now their routine is a bit more concrete in taking the baby to day care and working normal hours. This has set the bar for other pregnancies though and her office has an employee that will be in the same situation after her little one arrives. It just goes to show that an accommodating and supportive work environment can really make a difference in the loyalty of employees, and hopefully we will be seeing more stories like Emily’s in the future.
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