These days, modern moms everywhere are opting to keep their careers while venturing into motherhood. Petunia Pickle Bottom’s Creative Director, Janelle Key, shares some insight into how she has been able to successfully balance work and home life, all with two little ones.
After 6 weeks maternity leave and another 6 weeks of working from home with my first-born, I’ll never forget the day I had to take her to a childcare provider for my first day back in the office (this was before I worked for Petunia Pickle Bottom). It was heartbreaking. Throughout her first year, I would get home as fast as humanly possible to spend a couple of hours with her before putting her to bed each night.
I was not fortunate enough to have grandparents or relatives who could help us out. My husband was working full-time, too. We asked ourselves what we really needed to do to find balance for our family, and that’s when I decided to make some changes.
Ask for what you need
I was nervous to ask about going part-time, but it was important enough that I had to try. Fortunately, it worked out and I was able to keep working while cutting back a few hours. I had mornings with my daughter, and then I was off to work in the afternoon while she napped.
Get creative with child-care
A close friend had a similar parenting style, so we figured out a ‘child-sharing’ situation where we took turns watching the kids. My 1-year-old daughter found an adorable playmate, and I found peace of mind that my daughter was spending afternoons with a family that truly cared about her.
Learn to take turns
Finding balance is a family affair. Mothers have been historically tasked to find the balance, but this new generation of fathers is willing and able to make this a true partnership.
Last year, I started working at Petunia Pickle Bottom full time. I had a 6-year-old and a 2-year-old, and was ready for a change. My husband wanted more time with the kids, so we switched things up. We decided it was his turn to experience what it was like to stay home before this short window of time was over and both kids were in school full-time. So, back to work I went, knowing our kids were lucky enough to spend more time with their dad. It’s working for us, because we’ve been in each other’s shoes. We understand the challenges and rewards of staying home, juggling part-time and working full-time.
I work in a very family-friendly environment (obviously), so I’m fortunate to be able to set schedules around birthday parties and vacations. I can leave for the all-important preschool graduation and still be back for afternoon meetings. Being able to set boundaries is one of the most important pieces of balancing work with motherhood. I’d much rather leave the office at the same time each day to have dinner with my family even if that means working after the kids go to bed or before they wake up in the morning. I’m proud to set an example for my kids (especially my daughter) that if you love being a parent and you love your job, there is room for both.