Brand new babies depend on their mothers. Not only is a baby’s early weeks, months, and years a critical time to get their basic necessities met by their mother, this is also important bonding time for a child with his/her parents. Based on these factors, it’s not a surprise that many new mothers find that 12 weeks of maternity leave is a slim amount of time to be away from work as they care for their newborn at home.
Like many new mommas, Emily Reed from Washington was set to return after six weeks of maternity leave was over but dreaded the thought of being away from her little one. To make matters worse, the hefty expense of daycare as well as the idea of trusting a random person to watch her baby left Emily feeling a little sick to her stomach.
“I was stressed about the cost of childcare – and a stranger taking care of my baby from the time I was probably 12 weeks pregnant,” Emily said word for word. “It was this looming dark cloud in our home because of the cost, but what neither my husband nor I thought about was if [there] was any availability for infant-care in our area.”
Due to her concerns, Emily thought about becoming a stay-at-home mother for a while, even though her initial plan was to head back to work. Regardless, she decided she would go back to the daily grind after she gave birth, but her worries about her future child’s care remained.
“After months of feeling unsettled at work, I finally expressed my anxiety to my manager. Her first response? ‘Just bring her with you when you come back! We can have an office baby!’ It was unbelievable. She can’t be serious! But she and almost everyone in the office were so excited and supportive and ready for baby P to join the team!”
On her first day back at work, Emily’s husband stayed home watching Baby Priscilla, so the momma could readjust back to her usual work routine. Since then, Emily brought her baby girl to work with her every single day.
Although it was a bit of a challenge caring for a young baby while concentrating on work, the process got smoother as time went on. To make things easier, coworkers kept an eye on the little one while Emily went to use the restroom or needed a bit of a breather to really focus on her work.
While Emily’s work might have slightly suffered as a result of bringing her baby to work, her quality of work would have likely gone down further if the anxieties of paying for expensive childcare and the thought of her baby be unsafe in the hands of a stranger were still crossing her mind repetitively.
Emily’s story sheds light on the controversial topics of maternity leave and parenting. Hopefully, more mothers and fathers will have the opportunity that Emily has had if they choose to go on that route!
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