This is the last of a three-part series, written by a guest TAPA who has some actual life experience that I don’t.
I would advise you to be physically strong to help get you through childbirth. Childbirth is a very crazy thing. Truly, you are just happy to get through it alive and with a healthy baby. You will probably never be quite the same after childbirth. Depending on what happens, you can either snap back to basically 100% or you may end up with some pretty terrible injuries. No matter what, you will still have to find your new normal.
It is good to have a plan for going back to work, but keep in mind that things may have to flex. You or your baby may have health issues that need addressing. Even relatively mild stuff like diaper rash can still be quite taxing to handle. For me, I needed to branch out into different areas of my industry that are a little more friendly to my status as a parent.
What I am finding out right how is that I am really tired. My body didn’t react very well to some of the hospital drugs and atmosphere and I am dealing with the effects. I am working but I’m barely doing anything compared to how much I did before and it’s still exhausting.
Plus, I’m trying to raise my son well. The outrageous costs of American childcare mean that I take my baby with me to some of the projects I do, and other projects I have to do exclusively in the few hours of the evening when my partner is home.
In terms of bringing your baby with you to work: My attitude has been “ask forgiveness, not permission” and I will just show up with him. Frankly I’m very lucky that I get to do that at all. Most employers will not even consider taking on the risks and liabilities that come with bringing a child onsite, and of course your attention will be diverted. In some positions you would be laughed right off the set if you brought a baby with you. It is very hard to do a good job at your work when you are also taking care of your baby at the same time. It’s very hard to take care of your kid well when you’re trying to do a good job at your work.
I’ve decided that I’m giving myself until the end of this year to achieve certain career goals I’ve set for myself. If things aren’t progressing the way I need them to, I’m going to go back to a survival restaurant job, work in the evenings, and spend at least 6 months making regular money so we are not always sweating everything. I want to enjoy this time with my beautiful baby and it’s hard to do that when I’m constantly carving out a place for myself in a system that is not built to be accepting and accommodating of young parents.
If you have questions for our guest TAPA, please shoot me an email and I’ll forward the message along to her.