Monday, August 8, 2011

Working Women

You may or may not know that I have continued working since having Eliza.  And I took her with me.  Just as of the past week we quit going in.

People constantly told me, "oh you're so lucky that she's just like that and will go". That was partially true and I KNOW we had help from above to make it work, but it's also all she knew. She went to work since she was six weeks old so it just became her life.

The long and short of it: It was HARD, SO HARD, but it was also a great blessing to be able to continue to have some income and to keep me busy because that is important for my mental health. 

I really think that more employers should give this a try because it worked really well for us.  The reason it even came up was because I suggested it to my boss when I was pregnant and asked if he would be willing to give it a try.  He said yes but, of course, said we'd have to have a trial period (which we passed) :). 
So my tips for having it be possible are to work for a small company so that your boss can make decisions like that and to be nearly irreplaceable.  That may sound prideful, but I have worked really hard over the past 6+ years to make it so that my boss would not want to lose me and would give this a try.  And the most major tip would be to go with the flow.  Every month brought a new challenge of how to make it work and with a lot of prayers, I was able to come up with new ideas to make it last just that much longer.

I had planned on it ending once she crawled, but we were able to stretch it a couple months past that though those were the worst and hardest months.  All in all, I would definitely not suggest going in every day like I did.  It was incredibly stressful on me and Eliza hated it by the end.  (Can you blame her?  5 hours of being sweet in a 5 foot by 5 foot area?  Definitely not.) 

Anyway, here's just a little recap of our working life together.  :)
At first it was pretty easy since she slept a lot and would sleep in my arms.  I became really good at one-handed typing!
I would take her out to the car every few hours to eat.  When she refused to nurse, I would take her into the bathroom with me while I pumped and she'd sit in her swing. 
After she refused to sleep in my arms, we used this little bassinet.
But then that quit because she is such a light sleeper and sometimes it was pretty loud.  So then we tried the swing which helped her to sleep through some of the noise.
That worked for a few months, and then she quit doing that too because she has an issue with me seeing her fall asleep (?!?) but I was able to get her to sleep in her carseat under my desk by letting her get really tired, giving her a bottle until she would drink no more, put the shade over her, and rocking her like crazy.   And luckily that continued to work until we quit going in.

While she was awake, it was all about change.  The past few months have definitely been the hardest since she only slept for about an hour of the 5 hours we would go in.  After she quit using the bassinet, I used it to store her toys and any bit of trash she seemed to like.  I would lay a blanket on the floor and sit her on it and she'd usually entertain herself with the toys for a short while.
Once she started crawling, she found that sucking on the casters on my chair was fun.  :)
Once she was able to pull herself up, she would play under my desk a lot. 
(Weird face, eh?  She went through a stage where she made it A LOT.  She still does it occasionally, but definitely not as much.)
(love those eyes!)
I also emptied a file drawer and filled it with stuff so that she could empty it all.  She'd stand there holding onto the edge and reach in over and over and over.  I occasionally would set up the swing and she'd play with it.  I'd also give her a stack of papers and ask her to make a huge mess of it.  (30 minutes of mess making for her = 29 minutes of me being productive + 1 minute of cleaning up after her!)  Every day was a new challenge of helping her make it through.

Now I'm working from home 4 days of the week and going in 1 if my mom is able to watch her.  The past week has been DIVINE.  Words can't express how much being a stay-at-home mom is a luxury!  We love going on walks daily and spending time working in the yard and such.  To put it simply, we love it!  It's so nice to finally work on getting her on a dependable schedule (which DEFINITELY suffered) and do what I've always dreamed of doing--being a homemaker.
I'm so grateful my boss was willing to work with us and that I've had the opportunity to continue working, and I'm excited for the future of working at home and being able to be more of a mom.


Andrea J said...

I'm totally shocked! I had no idea Eliza was a Design Source employee for a year. You really were a trooper, and good on Kipp for being so flexible.

Amy said...

Oh my gosh - that sounds TERRIBLE! Good for you for being such a trooper! We always had staggered schedules, which hasn't been easy, but much easier that brining a little babe along! Glad you get to be at home now!

Julie said...

Very interesting post, I'm so glad it worked for you! And how great you get to work from home. I am with you--I kind of go crazy if I don't have stuff going on!

Adventures of the Barfuss family said...

That is a huge blessing. You are lucky! good luck:)

Melody said...

Wahoo. You get to work from home. It is good to be irreplaceable. I keep some secrets just so my supervisor appreciates me:) I hope you and Eliza enjoy your freedom from the office.

Jessie said...

I'm so happy you've figured out a way to work from home--what a blessing for you guys! I can't imagine taking Cailin anywhere (besides home) with me for 5 hours a day, every day, let alone a place where she has to be quiet-ish, confined, and most likely, bored. You are amazing. :)

Mandy Torgrimson said...

Wow! I don't think Cambria and I would've passed a two week trial period at's a good thing I can just stay home. It's been fun.

Emily said...

Hooray for working from home! I'm glad this is going so much better for you. Props to Kippersnapper for being open to trying things out. And nice work at finding ways to entertain her for so long in such a small space! I am curious to know where you fit the swing though - I can't believe there was enough room for it!

Matthew and Hillary said...

Yay! I'm so glad for you! I always wonder how people who take their babies to work do it. That's got to be such a relief!

Gary and Alycia said...

I am so happy for you!! I can't imagine taking either of my babies to work, let alone accomplishing anything while being there. You are amazing! Your post made me so grateful that I am able to stay at home! Enjoy being a little homemaker, you will love it!

Cami and Mitch said...

Yay for working at home!! I am so behind on your blog, but cute pictures, I didn't even realize that Eliza was one already! Time flies. You guys are living in Salt Lake right? Well, if you get bored during the day, give us a call. I would love to catch up.

Meg said...

Congrats to you for making it work for so long and congrats on being able to home with her more now! And way to go Kipp for going along with your plan from the beginning!!

Tannie Datwyler said...

That's awesome - thanks for sharing!!