Saturday, September 26, 2009

Working Moms

Let it not be mistaken that "all mom's are working moms," but some of us have a job outside of the home as well as inside.

When my oldest was born I continued teaching Elementary school until he was 9 months old. I remember well what is was like to leave my baby, pump in the faculty lounge, and juggle endless demands at work and home.

So, the purpose of my post is to have us collaborate and give you working moms some ideas and advice for how to keep it all together.

My two cents...

1) Leave work at work and home at home. When you are at work devote your time to it and then leave when you devote 100% at home

2)It is all about an electric pump and these microwavable steam clean bags! They were a life saver while working!

So, lets hear from you! What advice, product suggestions, and helps can you offer?


Megan said...

The electric pump is a life saver! I only worked for 1 1/2 months after my son was born, but the electric pump, if you are nursing and want to continue, is a must. Also, the steam clean bags are also a must. They save so much time on sanitation. I lucked out and my teenage sister was able to watch my son for me while my husband and I worked, but always have a backup sitter. If you are in a daycare, this shouldn't be a problem.

Alyssa Harper said...

I didn't work, but I was a full time student when my son was born 9 months ago, (still am, with a 2 year masters program left) and the electric pump was my lifesaver!

I just used bottles that attached to my pump, and threw them into the dishwasher after my baby drained the thing. ALWAYS date your milk, even if you think you'll use it within a day. Sometimes when I went to grab a bottle out of the refrigerator door, I couldn't remember which one was oldest.

I would stock up your freezer with extra milk anyway. Saved my life during my son's teething-time. He LOVED sucking on cold milk out of the refrigerator (instead of me...which left me pumping...again.)

For sitters, I was lucky with amazing neighbors and a mom who lives fairly close that offered to babysit, but I would also try working out date-night/work-day swaps. Every baby's parents need to get out sometime. You might be able to find someone who will sit your baby for free once a week or so if you take their child/children for their date-night. Whatever works (aka reduces child care bills). Every one does child care differently though. Really, it's up to you!

Chris and Laura said...

I have a 1 1/2 year old daughter and am set to deliver my second in just over a week--and I teach fifth grade full time. I'm taking four weeks for maternity leave, then I'm right back to school. This is a timely post for me. :)

I wholeheartedly agree with Courtney about keeping work at work and home at home. It was hard, especially at first, to leave my daughter with a babysitter every day, but I found that if I let myself dwell on it all day long, I couldn't concentrate on teaching. It negatively affected my job, and I was emotionally drained by the time I got home. Ironic, because then I couldn't pay the kind of attention to my daughter that I had been wanting to all day!

All the same lines, I try as hard as I can to not do schoolwork at home when my daughter is around. I get as much done as I possibly can before I leave school. If I do have to bring something home to work on, I try to wait until Jane is in bed so I am not using what little time I have with her to do work. Of course, there are always busier times when things just have to get done, but those times should be the exception. I have found that I am much happier, and my daughter is much happier, if I am able to focus on her during the evenings rather than trying to get other work done.

Probably the one thing that makes the biggest difference sanity-wise is finding the right babysitter. If you aren't comfortable with where your child is spending the day, you won't be able to be productive at anything. There are a lot of options (relative or neighbor, in-home day care, day care center, etc) and a lot of things to consider (cost, convenience, scheduling). The #1 most important thing, though, is that you are comfortable leaving your child there. If you are not 100% certain that your child is getting the very best care possible (second, of course, to mom's care :), then you need to keep looking. I personally send Jane--and soon the baby--to an in-home day care. I really like the provider, and I am very confident in what she does. That peace of mind is worth paying for, even though day care can be quite expensive.

I have a lot more I could say about day care--my mom did day care in our home all while I was growing up and she is now the head trainer for all in-home day cares for the state of Utah. I also have done a lot of personal research in finding the right day care for my own kids. I don't know how many working moms are out there who read this, but if anyone needs to know about day care, just ask!

By the way, Courtney, I had never heard of the microwavable steam clean bags. Don't know how I missed it last time, but I'm excited to use them this time around! Thanks for sharing!