Sunday, February 7, 2010

The Necessary Choice

Scarlett started to come to work with us as a 6 week old baby. She's now a toddler, so we've been at this over a year now. And bringing her to work with us was less of a decision or choice and more of a "this is what's going to work".

Being self-employed, I either had to replace myself at work, or just go back. I managed to find an 8 week locum for my maternity leave and was happy with that. Even leaving the office for that period of time was the longest I had been gone, ever. For whatever reasons, I didn't find a more permanent solution to bring someone new into the office and so decided to work with what we had. And so I prepped myself to go back to work quite early on. If you're forced to figure things out with a new baby, that does surprisingly give you enough time! We had the nursing part down by then, had no routine for naps or anything else, but we were good to go back to the office. By then, I could leave the house with an hour of prep time, and aside from sleep and feeling like a normal person again, what else would I need?

And yes, the lure of staying at home with Scarlett has always been tempting, but we haven't figured out how to make that an option yet. I may have been able to financially stretch out my leave longer, but knew I was just putting off the inevitable.

We've been asked a few times about family, day home, nannies, etc. We have no family in Calgary, so that wasn't an option. We may have been able to find a loving person to be a nanny to Scarlett, but we weren't willing to share her or even think about needing to trust someone so early, so no. We wanted her with us, that all it came down to.

And how does it work? I have an incredible boss (me!) so I have the best hours for this. And I also have the best husband who just happens to work with me, and we tag team childcare. And great clients, co-workers, and who else plays a role? Scarlett is a very flexible and social baby who seems to thrive on this.

I work short shifts, so Scarlett only needs to be away from me for 3-4 hours normally. To start, we were luck if I managed an hour or two at a time before she needed to nurse again since of course, she was on her own schedule. These days she sometimes comes to the office and sometimes is at home or in an activity. I own a few slings which we used a lot in the early days. And we just happen to have a Chiropractic and Health office that has other babies, pregnant moms, and very understanding clients.

I hope to meet other moms who have hauled their babies around like this, to share that it is possible to take your baby to work and answer any questions that this may bring up.

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