Navigating Family Leave – Part C

Posted on December 6, 2019

Schitt's Creek - New mother pushing baby in stroller "Either he's crying or I am"

Today’s buzz is by Sarah Henricks (LinkedIn and Twitter)

What I’m Watching: My almost-6-week old baby sleeping, hoping she wakes up happy and not screaming like a velociraptor

What I’m Reading: I’m still reading The Goldfinch, because of the above

What I’m Eating: Homemade lactation cookies (TMI?)

This is the third installment of my experience navigating family leave. It is also the first professional-related thing I’ve done since the birth of my new baby, hence it will be very short (just like her naps) and unedited (like my language)!

My final day of work before my leave began was spent working from home because the said baby was causing me so much pain, I was unable to walk. I spent the first week of my leave periodically checking my work email, despite specific instructions from HR not to do any work (oops)! I did not respond to many, but there were a few easy ones that needed a resolution and it didn’t appear anyone else was cc’d, so I answered. I mentioned in my previous post that it’s important to get ahead of a planned leave (medical, vacation, any extended period), and I’m wishing I had realized that sooner. I lost a day with my replacement by working from home on my last day and noticed that there were a few connections I forgot to make and files I forgot to provide while I was checking my emails. Luckily, I was able to fill those gaps and answer any questions before the baby’s arrival.

Image result for new mom gif"Before I went on leave, I assumed I’d continue checking my email throughout the process, answering questions, finding files, forwarding appropriately. Boy, was I wrong? Once my bebe arrived, work was the last thing on my mind. So was showering, eating, and leaving the house. Her arrival has been awesome/awful/amazing/tear-inducing/1 million other contrasting emotions. Some minutes I think there is no place I’d rather be than cuddling or playing with her, while the others are spent remembering this advice.

We’re about to hit week 6 of keeping this baby alive and the fog is slowly lifting. I’m also planning to return to work next week, albeit remotely and only a few hours a day. Hopefully, this will allow me to ease back into work and the adult world. I plan to speak in complete sentences and possibly wear real clothes for a minimum of 3 hours a day until the new year. I’ve got a visit to the office planned for tomorrow so I can touch base with the team and get a status update on the various projects I left behind. We’ll also establish my work schedule so that people know when they can reach me and can expect a response during certain hours. I’ll get a chance to hear what has happened while I’ve been out and if and how priorities have changed, as we know they do. I’m looking forward to getting back to it and, if I can be real, having a few hours away from my precious little offspring. I love her to pieces, but I think we need some time apart to make our love grow stronger!

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