When Are You Going Back To Work?

going back to work after baby

On me – Jeans: Madewell | Top: Everlane | Sweater: Nordstrom | Shoes: Adidas | Diaper Bag: Fawn Design | Initial Necklace: Nordstrom | Sunglasses: Nordstrom

On Zain – Pants: H&M | Shirt: Nordstrom | Shoes: Nordstrom

 

Most often when I see people (those that I see occasionally and even those that I see regularly) this question always seems to creep up at some point in conversation. I understand my series of events post baby hasn’t exactly unfolded traditionally and that people may genuinely be curious. If I’m being honest though, I also feel a certain amount of judgment one way or another. 

Let me be clear, the judgement I feel is most likely self induced and similar to what most of my working and stay-at-home mom friends describe. No matter what profession they’re in, they feel some sort of way about how people approach them about the subject. I didn’t quite understand it till I had Zain, but now find myself feeling the same way. 

Let’s start from the beginning. As my pregnancy progressed Trevor and I sat down to discuss how we thought we wanted to move forward. I was pregnant, working a full time job as a dentist, managing this blog and taking care of life. Most things would fall on me simply because Trevor’s fellowship allowed him virtually no free time.

As much as a blog seems effortless and lighthearted, it takes a great deal of time and energy to own and maintain. In the past, my blog had been more of a hobby and creative outlet however, over the past year it has required more time and become something I could potentially run as my full time career.

Getting to this place with my blog was no easy feat and not something I wanted to throw to the wayside. Since my background is rooted in math and science, It has required me to invest a lot of energy into improving my skills in writing, editing, photography, social media marketing, web development and graphic design all while maintaining my other job as a dentist. Also, I’m definitely still not at a pro at any of those things but am enjoying learning more everyday. 

Since most, if not all dentists maternity leave is not a covered time away from work I was happy to be able to blog while on maternity leave. I work as an independent contractor so essentially when I am not at the dental office producing treatment; I am not making any income. 

Taking all of this into consideration, we had decided I would take a 4 month ‘maternity leave’ and return to the dental office part time after having Zain. I had previously been working 5 days a week so I thought this part time schedule could offer me more time to dedicate to my blog and life in general when I wasn’t with Zain.

Without going into too much detail, my office was undergoing some major transitions and turned out to not be the right place for me any longer. A few weeks before I was set to start my maternity leave, the owner informed me that the previously privately-owned practice had been sold to a large dental corporation. Based on my prior experience working for a similar company post-dental school, I decided this wasn’t the business model that would best fit our lifestyle, and Trevor and I agreed that when it was time to go back to work, it was time to find something new. 

Unfortunately, interviewing for jobs when you are 8 months pregnant and unable to actually work for the next 3 months wasn’t a feasible option so I was left with having to wait till after the baby arrived to figure out how to move forward. 

Well, as you all can imagine life has gotten crazy around here. I never stopped taking on work for the blog and days after I was home with a newborn, I was back to work. Trying to manage a new baby, my husband being back to work two weeks after I delivered and searching for jobs proved to be quite challenging.

I’m very grateful to be able to blog full time while being home with Zain and that’s it’s allowing me the freedom to take my time while searching for another dental office I love. Maintaining the blog full time and being a stay at home mom has been quite the juggling act, but I honestly wouldn’t trade it for the world. 

I know it may seem naive but my hope is to return to dentistry part time, maintain this site and spend as much time with Zain as I can. I hope to be the best mother I can be and show Zain that anything really is possible. Honestly, I feel guilt on both sides. One day he is driving me crazy and I am so ready to get back to an office and the next day I am squeezing him wondering how I could ever leave.

 

How will I trust someone else? Won’t I miss him too much? Will I enjoy getting back to my previous life?

 

No matter which way I slice the deck, there are pro’s and con’s. Every situation is different and I’m not sure there is one right or wrong answer for me or our family. We’ve been trying to take life as it comes and are really just starting to feel like we have our footing again. 

With things calming down a bit, I’ve been interviewing a lot and am trying to be very particular about what I open myself up to. I’m not totally sure what the future holds but I would like to give a round of applause to all those moms out there. Whether you stay at home or go to an office job, it’s crazy hard and I’m just trying to navigate the waters. 

Connecting with so many of you during these past 6 months of motherhood has been amazing and really refreshed my passion for blogging. Hopefully, I find something I’m in love with soon and whenever that happens I will be sure to update you all!

Thanks again for all your compassion, support and encouragement and for now I’ll be sure to soak up every second I have home with my sweet boy. 

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  • Priya N. Patel

    I appreciate your candidness!! I moved to Chicago while pregnant with no job prospects! After I had the baby, I stayed home for 6 months and finally got a job at a dental office part time – 2 days. I can completely relate to how you feel! I felt a lot of pressure to go back to work, most of it I probably put on myself. I definitely felt judged though when people asked me when I was going to work (especially by family members)! Dentistry is a tough job with sometimes very little appreciation! Juggling that and being a new mom is the toughest!! Take your time to go back to the office, time goes by so fast with the little one!!

    • Yes to all of this!!! I’m so glad you found something you like and am really hopeful I can make that happen too! Thank you for sharing, it give me a lot of encouragement!

  • Brittany Warren

    I work full-time and leaving my son at daycare was SO hard at first. He’s now 2.5 and literally runs into school everyday to hug his teachers and play with his friends. It makes my heart happy to know that he is well cared for and loved while I work. Good luck finding the best fit for you, Zain is just adorable!! 🙂

    • Aww, thank you! Yea, I think finding the right place for him will make all the difference and I want him to be playing with other kids and enjoying his independence away from me so thanks for the encouragement! Also, I’m sad for the day he runs from me which I think is coming very soon haha!

  • Whitney

    You should be commended for working so hard trying to juggle so many things. You should also be proud that you’ve kept an open mind and try not to be hard on yourself however it unfolds!

  • Rebecca

    It’s a really tough decision and I truly think that every family has to do what is best for THEIR family and not worry what others think. Trust me though, I KNOW that is easier said than done. I’m a stay at home mom (my son just turned 2 and I am very early pregnant with our second which will be our last as long as everything turns out ok), and 2 years later I still feel like I have to give people a complete explanation why I stay home when they ask what I do! I had a job that I LOVED and was very good at, but I did not make a lot of money, worked until 9 two nights a week, and commuted to a far out suburb (we live in Chicago too). When you took into account full time day care and commuting costs and the fact that my husband travels a lot very last minute for work, it just didn’t seem worth it. And although it was a HUGE adjustment at first, I love being home and not missing anything with my son. Overall, it makes all of our lives less stressful. Am I missing out on work experience and years applied to my pension and opportunities to advance my career while still paying off student loans for my 2 masters degrees? Yes. Do I feel like I will regret it? No. I know I’ll go back to work in the next few years and that’s ok with me. It’s such a very personal and difficult decision. You’ll figure it out!

    • Agreed! I wish it was more cut and dry but that’s life I guess. For now, I’m enjoying being with him but I hear you. Some day it’s noon and I’m ready for the day to be over hahaha. Thanks for sharing your experience, it really is so nice to hear how other mom’s navigated the waters!

  • Hang in there! It really does work out in the end. Follow your gut and do what works best for your family. That’s all that matters!

  • Katelyn

    Love this post and your blog! I’m also a dentist and used to work in Chicago during/after my GPR there. I, like you, am looking for the right office after moving from WI to AZ for my husband’s new job. I feel you on the multiple interviews and being picky. I have taken to saying ‘you have to kiss a lot of job frogs to find the job prince’ of dental offices, for sure! Best wishes!