Job and Career Changes After Baby: Did You Make Changes? How?

Career Changes After Baby | CorporetteMomsLadies, have you made career changes after having your baby? If so, how did your career, job, and general standard operating procedures change because of family? Did you effectively plan for the change before meeting your son or daughter, or did you change plans midstream? We talked once about planning your career for babies (back when I was pregnant with Jack!) but not really since, and I’m curious for your take.

Kate recently sent me a snapshot of a local article, quoting a pregnant television producer/host:

DeTar hopes to film Fringe Benefits past the second season and expressed interest in moving into other countries and writing a companion book for the show. With a child on the way, she doesn’t expect her aspirations or goals to change.

“I feel so thankful for the timing of all of it… maybe I’m being really naive, but I don’t see anything changing,” she says. “I… have the most supportive husband in the universe, and I don’t think he would let me not continue with the show.”

This is well-timed with other stuff I’ve been seeing recently — there was a recent article in Forbes about how a lot of women become freelancers, contractors, or entrepreneurs when they become mothers. And there was a great discussion (on this site and Corporette) on how to have a baby when both parents are working in BigLaw. SO, ladies, let’s hear it — how, if at all, has your Plan changed since having kids? Were there particular deciding factors (money, time, etc.), or was it a more general sense of “everything is different now“? For those of you who HAVE adhered to your Plan (since I’m assuming, cynically perhaps, that most of us have switched gears a bit) — how much focus did it take? Were there factors that were must-haves (double nannies, SAHD, etc)?

Pictured at top: Whychus Creek, originally uploaded to Flickr by Ian Sane

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N.B. These substantive posts are intended to be a source of community comment on a particular topic, which readers can browse through without having to sift out a lot of unrelated comments. And so, although of course we highly value all comments by our readers, we’re going to ask you to please keep your comments on topic; threadjacks will be deleted at our sole discretion and convenience. Thank you for your understanding!

“The Best 15 Minutes of My Day”: How Do You Find Time to Spend With Your Kids?

spending-time-with-kidsHow do you find time to spend with your kids? How long each day do you have with them?  I can’t find the original article, but there was a story a while ago where a female CEO was quoted as saying that the 15 minutes she spent with her children were the best 15 minutes of her day. At the time, the reaction to this quote on Corporette (I think the quote predated CorporetteMoms) was immense — why even HAVE kids, a number of people argued, if that’s all the time you’re going to spend with them? But I know soooooo many working fathers who get home well after the kids are in bed, and leave pretty early in the morning — one mom I know actually asked her husband to stay away until their child was in bed, because she didn’t want the child to get all excited right before bedtime.  So: 15 minutes on a daily basis might be a generous statistic for some people! Let’s discuss: how long on workdays do you get to spend with your kids? Do you think daily time is less important than quality time on the weekends? Is the daily number different for your husband — and do you think fathers have a different bar? If someone magically created a 25th hour in each day, would you spend it with your kids — or would you find other things (work, working out, sleep) to spend it on? Do you think there are times in a child’s life that it doesn’t really matter how long you spend with them?

For my own $.02, I try to remember that sometimes just physically being with them is important — if I’m in a busy period for work and need to be in front of a computer when I should be on mom time, I try to work on a laptop with Jack snuggled next to me on the couch watching cartoons.  Harry is getting old enough now (and we finally finished weaning) that I’d like to set up “parent dates” on the weekend where we each have dedicated one-on-one time with each boy.

Ladies, what are your thoughts — how do you find time to spend with your kids? How long do you get to spend with them on a daily basis?  What habits and hacks have helped? 

Pictured: Kikkerland Owlet Kitchen Timer, $7.75 at Amazon.

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N.B. These substantive posts are intended to be a source of community comment on a particular topic, which readers can browse through without having to sift out a lot of unrelated comments. And so, although of course we highly value all comments by our readers, we’re going to ask you to please keep your comments on topic; threadjacks will be deleted at our sole discretion and convenience. Thank you for your understanding!

Working Moms and Cloth Diapering

Cloth Diapers and Working Moms | CorporetteMomsUsing cloth diapers might seem too time-consuming or too much of a hassle for busy working moms, but CorporetteMoms reader Miranda Hlady has found a way to make it work for her family. Today she shares her cloth diapering tips and suggests a couple of products she likes. Thank you, Miranda!

Cloth diapering is definitely popular with many moms these days, including working moms. We currently cloth diaper our almost six-month-old baby boy using made-in-China pocket diapers. We use GroVia O.N.E. diapers for daycare, and when travelling we use disposable diapers. (Pictured: GroVia All in One Cloth Diaper, available at Amazon for $23.95.) Before considering starting, supplementing, or switching to cloth diapering I would suggest considering your priorities:
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Sick Kids, Work Schedules, Childcare Arrangements, and Excuses

sick-kids-excusesHow many layers of backup childcare do you have? When your child is sick, who is the first responder (and, if it’s different, who is the person who stays home)? If you have to miss work, what excuse do you give your boss?

I actually just found this post in draft, from May 2014. I had written a long story about how when I launched this site (in April 2014) I was so frustrated because the DAY I launched, my toddler came down with a sluggish fever — and it dragged on for ten days. I was heavily pregnant at the time and trying to get a million things done to prepare for maternity leave, amidst feeling generally lousy and trying to run to all those late-pregnancy doctor appointments… and yet Jack often Only Wanted Mommy. It felt like balls were dropping everywhere because I was missing hour after hour of work. My husband stayed home for some of the days we couldn’t send Jack to daycare, but it was extra stressful for him because he already felt like he had a million things to do before he took paternity leave.

At the time I didn’t want to mention my frustrations or health woes at my job (the blogs), even though readers were equally frustrated… so the story sat in draft. But I think that in and of itself is an interesting topic, because it comes back to Professionalism With Kids. One lawyer I knew years ago told me that I should always say that I was sick, not my (then future) kids, because I wouldn’t want my boss to question my childcare arrangements and parenting relationship (i.e., which partner stays home?). And in my situation, where I’m dealing with many (many) people, I’ve found it’s better to just keep my personal issues out of it, since everyone will react a bit differently — if it were just one boss or one coworker I might think about it differently.  But how do you guys feel about it — are your kids an acceptable excuse to use at the office, or do you feel safer giving another explanation (except when you really can’t)?

So I’m curious, ladies — what are YOUR thoughts about how to deal with sick kids, particularly if your usual childcare arrangements don’t allow you to send your kiddo when he’s not well? What excuse/explanation do you give at work if you have to miss it, come in late, take off early, et cetera? Between you and your partner, how do you decide who is the first responder on any given day? Is it solely schedule/location based, or is it presumed that the non-breadwinner is the first responder, or that the mom is?)

Pictured: ShutterstockPreartiq.

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The Parents’ Budget

Rebecca Minkoff 'Ava' Zip Wallet | CorporetteLadies, let’s talk BUDGET. Mine has changed after having a kid (and definitely after my second) — how has yours? Do you miss the days of being a DINK? Are you going into debt for childcare (i.e., paying to work)? Is the money coming from savings? Credit cards? If you’ve made cuts for your budgeting, how keenly do you feel them? (Pictured: Rebecca Minkoff ‘Ava’ Zip Wallet, available at Nordstrom for $110; was $165.)

For my $.02: I remember hearing a lot while pregnant about kids and budgets, and to be honest, it was all noise to me. I just didn’t get it — I thought people were talking about diapers or toys or something. (I’ll wait while you catch your breath from laughing so hard.) Obviously, childcare is the tremendous expense I didn’t foresee — but other things add up, like classes (preschool and extracurriculars), food (damn those $1.40-per-pouch babyfoods), and yes, the ever-present need to purchase a seasonally-appropriate wardrobe that fits. [Read more…]

Daycares — and Waiting Lists

daycare-waiting-listHow insane are the waitlists for daycares in your area — and how many layers of backup plans did you have in case you didn’t get in on time? What was your best resource for finding a good daycare worth waiting for — friends, parents’ listserv, neighbors, mommy friends, etc? When did you really start to get anxious about it, and how did you manage the anxiety? We’ve talked broadly about other childcare arrangements, but not specifically about daycares yet.

I’ll admit that I did little to no research on daycares in our area, relying almost entirely on the recommendation of one of my brother’s friends. Anyway, they recommended one specific daycare, which I toured when I was five months pregnant (around April 2011), and we were added to the waiting list for part time attendance.

After Jack was born and I figured out that I couldn’t do this “SAHM while blogging” thing, we notified the school that we’d accept a full-time position as well.

We got the call that there was finally a part-time spot for us in March 2013. TWO YEARS LATER — and bam, we were finally in daycare. Yeouch. (We found childcare in the interim through sitters and amazing family, and when we finally got into daycare we added it to the mix instead of substituting it for something else.)

How about you ladies — did you have to wait a really long time to get into your preferred daycare? When did you first sign up for daycare or start thinking about it generally? (If you’d include your general location and/or city, that would probably greatly help the discussion!)

(Pictured: WAIT, originally uploaded to Flickr by JBrazito.)

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N.B. These substantive posts are intended to be a source of community comment on a particular topic, which readers can browse through without having to sift out a lot of unrelated comments. And so, although of course we highly value all comments by our readers, we’re going to ask you to please keep your comments on topic; threadjacks will be deleted at our sole discretion and convenience. Thank you for your understanding!