So I usually don’t post this many times in one day — and although I am a recent blogger, didn’t think I would link to the same blog twice in a day. But I just discovered Brazen Careerist and have had a great time reading posts related to her Sept 26th post. I just read her post “Blending my kids and my career” and was laughing out loud which really doesn’t happen often to me when i read something. I am not laugh-out-loud kind of person.
I have 2 kids and have not taken a maternity leave with either one. It just wasn’t possible, as I am involved in running a company. This sounds worse than it is. I work in an office where I brought my first son to work with me from the time he was born until he was 8 months old (ok that way way too long and really just crazy) and my second son into the office until he was 4 months old. I breast fed both my babies and as those of you who have done that know — it means that the baby is basically attached to you permanently for the first 3-4 months. Yes you can pump — but I was never the type that could pump that much milk. In order to breastfeed my children i really needed to do it myself for the first 3-4 months.
The first 3-4 months of a babies life — while hard on me to multi-task baby and office, it was actually easier then it sounds. I used a sling, and would just take the baby in there and breastfeed during calls, meeting, etc. A newborn really doesn’t do that much — and as long as my back could take carting the baby around in the sling day and night — my work really didn’t suffer.
BUT once the baby gets mobile, once the baby gets vocal — watch out! I too have been on calls when I run outside on the back deck — looking at my toddler through the glass doors — hoping that he continues to just do anything to be entertained — as long as its not dangerous. I have literally watched through he glass doors as my son “painted” one of our dining room chairs (with a white canvas seat cushion on it) with his non toxic “washable” paint (lets be honest — nothing that is red and gets smushed into white canvas — is ever coming out).
I read a related post that seemed to be chastising Penelope (from brazen careerist) for her post, wondering why we have to pretend our children are not present, when so many people in this day and age work at home. Sure in the perfect world we wouldn’t need to care if the journalist from the WSJ heard kids in the background. But this isn’t the perfect world. And to be honest I think that its also impossible to be interacting with your toddlers and concentrating on another conversation. And if you aren’t going to interact with a 2 year old for 20 minutes — and you want him to be safe, you might end up with coco puffs all over the floor, or red paint all over your white canvas seat cushions. And when my husband wondered why I let my son paint the chairs — I answered that I was just multitasking (keeping a child safe while conducting a conference call). Duh!