Friday, October 3, 2008

Career Thinking

Today is my last day before I take off 5 months for maternity leave. My company is very generous when it comes to mommy and baby bonding so I am taking advantage of all they offer. A couple of fellow co-workers who are also preggers or just had a baby are coming back sooner after their babies are born. My theory is that you don't ever get back the time after the baby is born and rushing to get back to work is not worth it to me, although they have they reasons.

However, my company is about to make some organizational changes, plus I have been working on getting a promotion forever now (my company is generous with maternity leave, however, stingy with promotions) and I can't help but worry that I will be overlooked while I am out or that my time away will effect how long it will take to get my promotion once I return. I know these worries will be out the door once the baby arrives, but I just wonder. A lot of people wait until they are at the top or almost at the top of their careers before they have kids. I knew I wanted to be a younger when I started having kids and with that you some times are not as established in your career as you would like. I have come a long way since graduating college, but I have even longer to go before I reach the top of my game. I am highly competitive at work and the thought of coworkers getting promoted before me because I have been out makes me fired up.

Anyways, I guess what I am trying to say is that I want my cake and eat it too. I want to be young with a baby and a blossoming career (which I know I will still get), but I can't help but wonder if I am going to be treated differently when I return because I am now a mother (even though still on my game and sharp as a fox). My boss is super cool and laid back and has already agreed that I can have a very flexible schedule and will promote me within a short period of time upon my return, but I keep worrying. Is this worry normal? Maybe these worries will be tossed out the window when I meet my little girl and I won't care about climbing the corporate ladder like I do now. I don't know. I guess I will find out, and at the end of the day what I care about the most is being with my hubby and my baby, and not about having the corner office.


Multi-Tasking Mama said...
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Multi-Tasking Mama said...

That is exactly how I felt. I even told my company that I may only take 8 weeks. I took 12, I loved every moment of it and dreaded going back to work.

BUT I did go back. I was told that they were blown away with how strongly I came back. I am now the only person under 40 (or under 30 for that matter) in management.

From one career mama to another, you can have your cake and eat it too.

Steph said...

I would be worried about the same thing!!! But I know I want to take the full 12 weeks off for sure. I imagine that I will enjoy it and work will be the last thing that I think about. However, now I worry about being gone so long, the changes that will take place, and the list goes on and on.

You will be ok. Maybe express to your boss that even with a baby coming, your career is important and don't want the baby hindering your advancement.

Mojavi said...

Every woman's experience is different, however I wouldn't worry about getting looked over. Hopefully, your employer will know better than that.

I also took 5 months off for maternity leave. I combined ALL of my vacation plus the full 12 weeks of maternity leave. I never regretted one minute of it. However during those 5 months I realized my career was no longer important to me at this point in my life. Even though I had gotten the promotion and raise of a lifetime right before maternity leave!!! I also have my Undergrad and my MBA. These next 5 years are already FLYING by. I will go back once Kya and Newbie are both in school, so my education is essential just my career is on hold. And I have to say I am LOVING IT!

I think you will have your own realizations be it career or family, you just have to take it one step at a time.... because your right you can never get those moments back!

Lainey-Paney said...

That IS very generous.

I wanted to be a stay at home mom my whooooole life. Then, I had a baby, and found out that....well, I was eager to get back to work. Now, I work 3 days a week & stay home 4 days a week. It's the perfect blend for me. would have been nice to have 5 months if I had wanted it, ya know?

Lainey-Paney said...

Oh, and I might add that I was on bedrest for 5 weeks before our son's I'm sure THAT had something to do with wanting to get back.

Jeninacide said...

Oh my- before I went on maternity leave I had a talk with my boss and she gave me a raise and basically told me that she can either keep me in the office all day every day (when I came back) and give me even MORE money and responsibility- OR she can give me that last raise and I could work half day from home every day. So, although I know for a fact I am sacrificing my career at the moment because I cannot travel for work with a breastfeeding baby- I also realize that I am only 25 and that in a few years Cole will be in school and I can focus more of my attention back on climbing the corporate ladder...

The one thing that I did find out of this situation is that I always thought I wanted to be a stay at home mom, and now I realize that there is no effing way. I HAVE to work. For everyone's sanity.

Wow! I can talk about this topic FOREVER!