If you could afford to stay at home, would you still choose to work? Why?
Yes, I would do what I do now and work part time; I love the flexibility. I can’t just be home all day. I need to have something else.
Do you feel a lot of guilt as a professional mom?
When I worked full time I definitely felt guilty. Sometimes you end up bringing you child to school when you know he is not feeling great. But you have to bring him because you can’t stay at home. You feel guilty about it. Now I don’t feel as guilty. I do have the ability to call my own shots. I can keep my kid at home if I need to. Flexibility in my schedule definitely alleviated my feeling of guilt.
Any advice for fellow professional moms?
To be honest, if you feel overwhelmed, talk to your boss. After three months of full-time work after I had my son I was totally stressed out and overwhelmed. I sat down with my boss and told her I had to quit or change something. She was a woman, she didn’t have kids and I always viewed her as not the most understanding person. But she surprised me and said she didn’t want to lose me and wanted to know how she could keep me. I ended up working three days a week. On Mondays and Fridays I worked from home in the morning.
I couldn’t believe how much that helped and I still had pretty much a fulltime job, but it was so much easier. I did it for six months and then they wanted to promote me, so this flexible schedule didn’t last as long as I hoped. I took that promotion and worked four days a week. It was still good to have Fridays off. Then I got another promotion, where I had every other Friday off – that was harder to adjust to.
You never know what your boss will do for you - I was shocked at my boss’ reaction. Don’t underestimate your boss, you never know.