Returning To Work After Maternity Leave
Day Care Is Expensive But I Need To Work
Jenna Thompson* of Indianapolis, Indiana was nearing the end of her 3 month maternity leave with great reluctance. In fact, the thought of giving her baby to someone else to care for made her feel queasy and not a little bit heartbroken. It seemed to make no sense that she would work at her well-paying job to pay someone less money than she was making to do the job she felt was the most important one of all: caring for her infant. Jenna knew that this arrangement was the way of the modern world and that she had no choice but to follow suit.
Her first day back at work, Jenna, a high-powered corporate lawyer, winced in embarrassment as her nipples leaked breast milk onto her silk blouse during a deposition. It was time for her son to feed and her body clock was responding to her absent infant and not to her client. Jenna learned to stock extra clothing at her work place for emergencies. She also learned to network information with other working moms, and exchanged advice on the most absorbent nursing pads and where they might be bought. Through such contacts, Jenna made lifelong friends who eased her transition into the workforce. Most of these contacts were found via online chat groups for new working mothers, but Jenna was able to meet some of the mothers who lived in her area. Sometimes the babies were compatible as well, and play-dates were arranged.
Nina Felt Guilty About Being Glad To Leave Her Baby
Nina Carter* from Phoenix, Arizona experienced none of the pangs that Jenna Thompson experienced and she suffered more from her lack of feeling than from the actual separation. Nina felt guilty about being glad to leave the baby and her care in someone else's hands while she went back to the workplace, where she felt secure about her ability to get the job done well. "I felt very insecure with the baby. I never felt that I was doing things the right way. As an interior designer, I work with inanimate objects that never react to me as their creator. There's something soothing in choosing items to fit into a decor."
With time, both Nina and Jenna learned how to balance their feelings about working and mothering. Both mothers felt that networking with other mothers was the best way to resolve the emotional and practical issues associated with new mothers returning to the work force.