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real ideas, real advice, from real mamas

Going Back to Work: Corey’s Story

My Position: Developmental specialist at Children’s Hospital in CO
Length of Time Off:
Six weeks
Position Status:
Full-time (although I returned part-time for the first four weeks)

For as long as I can remember, I have been as career-focused as they come.

My little man was a surprise, and at first I was actually a little disappointed that with his arrival would come the sacrifice of my envisioned career plan. Immediately after he was born, all of that changed and my whole world was complete because of him.

No career would ever fulfill me the way he could.

Unfortunately, I had only been working at the hospital for two months when L arrived and so I did not qualify for FMLA and had built up very little paid time off. I was only able to take six weeks of maternity leave before I needed to return to work part-time.

I honestly did not know how I would handle it, I was terrified to drive in to work only to be stuck crying in my car because I had left my baby… but I didn’t.

In fact, with one call to my mother-in-law, I was good to go for the entire day. I think having my mother-in-law there to watch L helped my comfort level immensely; had he been in daycare at that point I am not sure how I would have handled being away.

For me, it was very easy to fall right back into my job.

I think that because I work with kids, and absolutely love what I do, it made it easier. I also think that pumping twice a day helped me feel connected to L. It was a huge help that the hospital had private lactation rooms, which really allowed me to “relax” and spend time thinking about my little man.

That being said, pumping at work wasn’t always easy… finding the time was a chore and I often found myself multi-tasking — pumping, eating lunch and finishing work projects at the same time. It was HARD, and I have to admit, it took some real dedication! There were several times throughout the year I was ready to throw in the towel.

Once L turned 12 weeks old, he started daycare full-time.

The first couple of days were really difficult because I felt so miserable knowing he wasn’t getting one-on-one attention anymore. The center was absolutely wonderful and sent me pictures every day (he was always smiling) to help ease my worry.

As time went on, it got easier and I could tell he really did love it there. He often brought home paintings and art projects, which helped me feel like he was having fun at “school.”

More than a year later, he LOVES going to “cool” as he calls it and I know he’s learning a lot while he’s there.

Being a working mom has definitely had it’s challenges… there are days when L screams when I leave him at daycare which is just heart-breaking, or days when I really wish I could spend more time at home with him.

That being said, having a chance to miss L while I’m at work has given me a deep appreciation for the time I do get to spend with him. I make sure that every moment I have with him is filled with interaction and fun-time.

I also feel that having that time to myself (well, kind of) helps me be a better mama because I have a bit of respite/adult-time during the day.

It’s a tough balance and some days I think about how things would be different if I could stay home with him, but then I realize that wouldn’t work for us… he loves spending time with friends at “school” and I love what I do at the hospital.

I’m no longer disappointed with my career path and have realized that working a nine-to-five job with no work-at-home obligations is exactly what I need.

It’s been a learning experience, and I know once my second little one arrives it will be a whole new learning experience, but for us, it works!

 

Check out more Going Back to Work Stories: Debbie’s Story, Christy’s Story

 

Corey P. (11 Posts)

Corey Pollard lives in a suburb of Denver with her husband and son Landon. She is currently the mother of an energetic one-year-old and a newborn. This mama spends her weekdays working with kiddos at Children's Hospital Colorado as a Developmental Specialist but loves more than anything coming home and spending time with her boys! On weekends she enjoys spending time outside, cooking, and turning her house into a home.


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3 comments

  1. Well done for getting back in to work! Big respect from a lady with no kids. I enjoyed reading your story. Rosemary (UBC)

  2. It’s so important to do what is right for you! I stay at home with my babies but sometimes I think that having a job would be like you say, and give me some grown-up time. Each family needs to find their own balance. Looks like you’ve found yours! Good luck.

  3. Thanks for sharing!

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