NPR is having a series right now, The Baby Project. It's amazing and inspiring!! Nine expectant mothers have come together to discuss birth, parenting, and right now the topic is childcare.
You guys, this is going to get a little more personal than I'm used to, but this has honestly been on my mind for about 15 years. And a little more so in the past 5 months. I never knew what I would do when I had a baby - continue working or stay home. I never made the decision because I think it's innately personal and requires a decision made at the point in your life you have children. I never knew the point I'd be at in my career when the babies came along. Now that the time is drawing near, I'm planning to continue working. And it's painful to even think about it. It's all so new to me and thinking about leaving my baby with someone else for 8 hours every day, not to mention learning how to work a breast pump and hoping baby takes a bottle, and all the worries that come along with that - gosh! it's so exhausting!
One of the most comforting things for me is to hear others experiences. Not that I'm clamoring for others advice on how to parent and juggle the work/life balance - but it's helpful to know that other people do it every day. If they can do it, I can do it, too. I'm really looking forward to the series today as it continues talking about childcare. Yesterday the Swedes talked about their parental leave - the parental unit combined gets 480 days per child (to take until they are 8 years old). Per Child. I get a fairly generous maternity leave (16 weeks), but that pales in comparison when you think you could stay at home with your baby the first year of its life.
Can you tell I'm conflicted about this? How do you working moms and dads out there handle the pressures of balancing work and family?