I love my work and I’m terribly grateful for the flexibility my employer provides. I’ve had the benefit of maternity leave (both paid and unpaid), some flexibility in my start and finish times, and occasional work-from-home days in emergency situations. It has made all the difference; I have a career and two children and I do not feel torn in half by the process. And my appreciation makes me a very loyal employee, too, so it’s win-win. So I must share a confession: if I had been asked to write this article a couple of years ago, here’s where my conclusions about working part-time would have ended. But I would be lying if I said it has all been easy.
Combining work outside the home with the work of rearing children and running a household has often been a grind. Working part-time has been the best of both worlds, and in some ways a taste of the worst of both, too. We frequently fall short of money, I’m exhausted, the house is disorganised, often I fight a sense of not being taken seriously in the workplace, the children sometimes feel ignored, my after-school care arrangements are in a permanent state of near collapse, and I’m getting increasingly petty about wanting the corner office again. Like the Wall Street Journal article, the workplace is both encouraging and discouraging of mothers returning to work.
Essential Baby asked me to comment on the Wall Street Journal article and write about what it was like for me returning to work after maternity leave. My article is here.
Update: Corrected the link, sorry everyone.