April 28, 2011
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Today is Take Your Child to Work Day, but that’s every day for me! Rhiza has a great “Babies to Work” program which means that our employees can take their infants to work with them up until they are six months old. Ada is nine weeks old and she has been coming to work with me since her third week. I have paid maternity leave, but rather than take it all at once, I chose to taper up my time at work, going from very part time to nearly full time. I’ve managed to keep up with work projects, but keep my schedule to infant-sized portions.
Ada eats, naps, and plays at the office. Most of my programming work and testing gets done when she’s sleeping or eating, but I also spend plenty of time rocking her or taking her for walks. She spends a lot of time strapped to me in her baby Bjorn so she can be as close as possible and I can still have two hands for typing.
Thanks to flex time I don’t worry too much about squeezing 100% productivity out of my workday. I can always save work time for evenings when I have my husband to take over care.
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However, I would say that this is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done (I’ve stopped to feed her twice just in the time it’s taken to write a few paragraphs). Software Engineering is certainly challenging and combining it with something even more difficult like, say, parenting a tiny child is kind of nuts. Ada has done her best to be an accommodating baby, she sleeps at night and isn’t much of a crier, but I’m still thankful that there is a private nap room that I can hide in for the worst stuff.
Still, I feel like I have the best of both worlds. I get to spend all day with my baby and I get to do my awesome job.
Is there anyone else out there who mixes babytime with work? How does it work for you?