2014-THANKSgiving

A Day in The Life of a Newly Working Mom

62 Comments

back-to-work

• Arrive at work a few minutes late due to chaos getting out of the house.

• Make presence known at work – “I’m here. I’m working. I promise…”

• Visit the bathroom to touch up streaking mascara from crying all the way to work.

• Call to check on baby.

• Check watch; Time to pump already.

• Do a questionable amount of work.

• Start thinking about missing the baby.

• Try not to cry.

• Time to pump again…

• Lunch hour! (Contemplate leaving and never coming back…)

• Attempt some more work, but decide to make a “quick call” to see how baby is doing.

• Breathe into a paper bag (baby was screaming and crying in the background during the phone call)

• Oops, “let down”… time to pump again.

• Have trouble staying awake to do work.

• Begin to worry that you’re going to get fired.

• Try to focus.

• Try to focus.

• Wonder if baby has stopped crying. Best to call just to check…

• Brainstorm financial alternatives to working away from baby.

• Get depressed when there’s no obvious solution.

• Go home.

• Repeat.

• Repeat.

• Repeat.

• Repeat.

• Repeat.

• Repeat.

Comments

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  1. 1

    adrian says

    It is definitely a tough situation and unfortunately, so many people abuse these opportunities, which makes it rough on the rest of us who do stick to the rules. Fortunately, I had cooperative Managers, so I was able to work full time (and very productively) after my children were born. I was able to work from the office in the mornings, then work from home in the afternoon while the baby napped. It wasn’t perfect and it got rough when he became mobile at a very early age – walking at 8 or 9 months, I believe. But we persevered and he’s 14 now and hardly any trouble at all. Well, not as much, anyway!

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  2. 2

    Beth says

    I know this all too well. As a single mom, I had to go back after 2 weeks. I got to bring her with me, but it still sucked. I just wanted to be at home, with her, snuggling. I finally went full time away from her during the day 2 weeks ago. I think my performance at work has gotten better (I am out of the post pregnancy fog), but I still miss her like crazy. I am literally at the point where if some rich man offered me his hand in marriage, and I could stay at home, I would do it – just to be at home with her.

    Ack.

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  3. 3

    Mama and the City says

    Oh my gosh. So true. I had all of these same feelings, after a year of mat leave …yes, your heard it right, but still, very hard when you feel under the loop.

    1. Being on time – arrival and departure.
    2. Not even think of sick days because of baby’s being sick and not you.
    3. Considering working part time.

    It’s hard. We need more companies that support work-from-home kind of activities.

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  4. 4

    Nicole says

    I think it is not a matter of allowing work from home and whether or not it will be abused, but a question of management overseeing the quality and quantity of work being accomplished. There are people who can abuse work ethic being in the office as well. It’s a management situation. If the work is getting done and well, then fine. If not, then axe the person whether or not they are in the office.

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  5. 5

    Grown and Flown says

    First week back from maternity leave. Baby is fine, I am fine, Nanny sick as a dog. No working at home. Did what any sensible mom would do, told my husband to go home…not a solution I could use very often!

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  6. 6

    Wendy says

    We’ve been begging for a more flexible work schedule in our office — and not just for kids. There is only one person who states that 4-10s just “don’t work” for her, which then translates to no one gets to. Unfortunately, that is NOT what having a flexible work day means. A flexible workday means that you work what works for you and as long as you work 40 hours, why should I care if you do that in 4 days, 3 days, or 7 days? We are still stuck in the dark ages when it comes to work/life balance.

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  7. 7

    Heather says

    This happened to me. I was able to work from home with my baby up until she was two at which point the company that I worked for decided it would be better to make all of the work at home employees come in and work from the office. We had all earned our right to work from home based on our previous job performance and anyone who did not perform well from home would no longer get to work from there. I never had that problem, my job performance from home was actually better than in the office even while I was taking care of my daughter and doing my job at the same time. Our job performance wasn’t even considered when the decision to stop allowing working from home was made and I ended up quitting my job as a result. It’s a shame too because I was one of their best employees. It does give me a small sense of satisfaction though that I was able to quit. Their loss for being a company that doesn’t care about their most valuable employees.

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  8. 8

    leighanne says

    Love the way Mrs. Meyer made headlines for her astronomical payday upon accepting her position with Yahoo. A pay that insures her a great nanny and monies to protect her future and the future of her family for generations…..easy way to lose touch.

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  9. 10

    Debbie says

    I totally agree that a blanket policy is not the solution. If you’re doing a good job, meeting your job’s objectives, etc. it shouldn’t matter where/when you do the work.

    However, I am interested to know how the scenario you described above about your “typical” day away from your baby would change if you were home? You’d still be breastfeeding. Still need to attend to your baby crying (which they do whether you’re there or not). Probably still be sleep deprived, etc. I guess you’d save time (not) getting dressed and not commuting…?

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    • 11

      hoyajeda says

      When you’re with your baby, it’s easier to let them sleep on you while you do work… like me write now. Babies cry cause they want the mother, the host. I’ve got both babies with me while I grade midterms… much easier and financially viable for my situation. I’m not even dressed but got all my work done and it’s only 8.20 am. :)

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    • 12

      workingmama says

      I work from home a normal 9 to 5 job after working it out with my manager when my mat leave was nearing its end. I had told him that I’m really on the fence about returning to work and seriously thinking of leaving, and asked if I could work from home with a nanny. I was very fortunate that he was supportive if it so I was able to keep my job and be near my baby. It’s awesome but really, if you want to make it work you HAVE TO hire help. I’m sure I couldn’t get anything done had I worked from home without a nanny taking care of my baby while I worked. Babies only nap for a short time and drops naps as they get old. So working while your baby is sleeping really doesn’t give you enough time to dedicate to work. I loved how I didn’t have to waste 2-3hrs on getting ready and commuting every day or having to deal with pumping and washing the bottles etc. It’s a great perk and because I know that it’s a previledge, I worked hard to better perform at my work. If you really wanna make it work you should hire a nanny. It’s only fair for your company as well.
      The only one downside is that advancement in career is limited. Before I got pregnant my manager and I had discussed for me to be in the management track, but working from home diverted all that. I’m planning to return to the office slowly as my LO gets older, until then I’m really not expecting a big jump.in my career.

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  10. 13

    DCWriterGirl says

    I think it just goes to show that yahoo is out of touch. I work for a govt contractor and we have flexible arrangements available (I like being in the office–I’m in sales, it suits my personality to be around people) but when I have to write hard core, I’m at home doing it. She’s going to lose her best people over actions like these.

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  11. 14

    Mama D says

    Unless work requires face to face interaction, productivity should be the relevant measure. Period. If the work gets done from home, or on a flex schedule, why alienate or lose good employees??

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  12. 15

    Roshni says

    It’s ridiculous! Is she going to bring all her employees to one huge building so they can all enjoy Face-time?! And, how do Yahoo customers interact with the employees…do they get visits to their house?!! Which world does she live in?!

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  13. 16

    Sarah says

    I think you’re right on the money. Also, I know that I can be very productive when I work from home. Sometimes, I can get about 3 to 4 times more done at home than I could at work, with the constant interruptions of people dropping into my office, phone calls, being attached to the email, etc. Thankfully, I have a boss who was a working mother herself, and who understands exactly what can be done from home, and when someone needs to be at home. She knows employees are better when there’s flexibility in their work-life balance. I know of some other people who could learn from her!

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  14. 17

    shonna says

    It seems horribly hypocritical for a woman who said she planned on working from home while on maternity leave to balance her corporate duties with her mommy duties to then turn around and deny her employees that same privilege.

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  15. 18

    Lindsay Cresta says

    As a working mom I to was shocked to hear this decision but then again I was surprised how quick she was to say she has a good baby and being a mom is easy! Well she must have amazing loving support or she pays a shit ton of money to hire 24 hour nanny service. I had such high hopes for her :(

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  16. 19

    Amy says

    I remember when my first was born and I said- I don’t know how anyone who works from home manages to squeeze in any work and take care of a baby at the same time. My kids are 3 and 1 and I still find it really really difficult to get any “work” or writing done while they are awake. And the overlap of nap time took a long long time to sync up. I think that the daily routine in this post would be really similar for a new mom trying to work from home. Maybe we need more job sharing or alternative arrangements that would allow you to be 100% at work or 100% at home and not trying to do both at the same time.

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    • 20

      Jen says

      Amy I agree. I am a SAHM mom to a 17mth old and a full time student, trying to finish my degree. I had to put my darling girl in child care a few hours a day just to get some homework done during daylight hours. She is so demanding of my attention. I can understand the Yahoo CEO’s point if she realized just how hard is to focus when home for some people. Not saying this is EVERYONE, but for some it is not so easy. I also would agree that an arrangement to work and be home would be ideal

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  17. 21

    Anna says

    Someone at work shared this with me and it infuriated me. I used to look up to this woman however now I’d like to rip her friggin head off. Must be easy when you can employ a team of nannies and housekeepers and not be a real mom.

    I struggle daily with work/life balance and my two little girls. I recently had a flexible arrangement ripped out from underneath me and its causing tremendous problems at home. I was always more productive working 15 hours a day from home (2-4 times a month) and knowing my babies were safe and being able to take care of a basic errand at lunch. Now I’m planning vacation days around my kids shots.

    Ahhhgghh, don’t get me started. She is a disgrace to working families.

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  18. 22

    Koren Barwis says

    My guess is that she is trying to weed out old timers who abused the system. I agree that when a company is striving to be innovative and collaborative, it is easier if everyone is in one physical place. But you have to give people, especially working parents, flexibility. And you have to make them believe that you trust them.

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    • 23

      Sandra says

      You can quite easily weed out the people who abuse the system through proper management. In my opinion working from home is a perk, so if you don’t perform and don’t get the job done, you lose the perk. If you keep abusing the system or if you keep underperforming, you lose your job. It’s that simple. You don’t need to remove access to this perk for everyone to sort the wheat from the chaff. Having said that I think this change is only the first sign that there soon will be layoffs at Yahoo anyway. The cynic in me also thinks that either Marissa Mayer or Yahoo or both won’t last long…

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      • 24

        zumpie says

        Agree with you completely! And what I found most hilarious was the claim that these people weren’t being supervised, especially given that this is a very large, (hopefully) technologically advanced company.

        I almost worked from home for a call center and while a very small company, they had an entire series of logins and metrics to monitor their employees. If anything, they kept closer tabs on employees than most in-house companies did.

        I now work from home as a Marketing and Business Development Manager. WHEN or even how long I spend on task is completely immaterial—what matters is getting my assignments completed and increasing enrollment (36% in my first year!). Like many jobs, I might come up with something great while sorting laundry or at 3AM. No one cares, as long as I do what I’m supposed to do.

        As I read more about Mayer, she seems like someone with a history of desperately trying to display the size of her balls (yes, ladies can do that, too). It worked at Google initially because she was a cute girl and thus their mascot to be indulged. That evolved into her being their public face for much the same reason. Sadly, her PR skillz (given the fallout of all this and her penchant for keeping underlings waiting and no-showing for clients) end there. She’s riding high on queen bee status and that’s coming to a quick halt

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  19. 25

    Jenny says

    I work from home and I am due in April. Unfortunately I take phone calls during scheduled hours and will need to hire a caretaker either in my home (preferable) or outside the home. I love working from home!

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