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Nowadays, more than half of all mothers with infants work. And even more mothers with older babies and children are working. How did you navigate the transition? Help other new mothers by sharing your story on womenshealth.gov!

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Community stories

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Jamie from NY (US)
May 03, 2012 14:28 PM
My pregnancy was unplanned, and soon my life as a workaholic came to a screeching halt with the birth of my beautiful son. I have only been to work for about two months, and I am still struggling to find a balance. Most mornings it is near impossible to leave my son and head into the office, however making the choice to become a single mom I knew that I would have to return back to work soon. Even tho i work for a local government, if I had not been a workaholic with little to no social life and never went on vacation, I would not have been able to spend the 3 months home that I was able to. It is time to have a real, merit-based discussion about providing all mothers with protected PAID maternity leave. I know if I did not have my vacation days, I would have been forced to either go back to work 2 or 3 weeks after giving birth or, face the consequences of not getting any compensation or healthcare benefits during my "protected" FMLA leave.
Jane (CA)
October 31, 2011 13:22 PM
I'm a 57 year old mother of 4. My "children" are now 32, 30, 21, and 18. Memories are still pretty vivid. When my daughters were born, I was privileged to stay at home. My circumstances changed later, with a second marriage, and I had 2 boys. After maternity leave of 6 months, I had to go back to work and it broke my heart. I did a gradual return to work, working part-time for the first month. I chose to have in-home care for them, which made life easier for the first year. The transition was emotionally difficult. I missed my babies so much. With changes to maternity benefits in Canada, women are now able to stay home for the first year.

I'm now a grandmother, but it seems that pregnancy is a passion of mine. I've attended and assisted with childbirth with 12 women. I use great sites like womenshealth.gov to do my research and provide accurate, informative and up to date content at http://letstalkpregnancy.com Hope you'll come by and visit, share your stories and comments.
amber from NY
April 13, 2011 14:17 PM
All my life I wanted a baby. When I was a child, I would stuff my stomach to make believe I was pregnant. Later on in my life, those fantasies turned into reality ... I was a teen mom. I was so shocked by my pregnancy that I didn’t even want the baby. But as soon as I pushed out a living and breathing human being, all those bad thoughts just went away. I felt so much happier and so blessed to be a mom. Even if I wasn’t a total grown-up, I was still a mother :)
Dejoie from CA
February 25, 2011 19:57 PM
After having my second child, I returned to work after 6 weeks of postnatal care and bonding with my baby. I felt a need to go back to work because, at the time, I thought it was needed and necessary. My husband was in the military and was sent oversees to do a tour while I stayed stateside. I was not surrounded by family, but I did have newly found military wives that later became my friends. I found a babysitter where I lived, and I felt I could trust her. She was wonderful. I not only worked one job, but I worked a second job three nights a week. I stopped after two months. When my husband returned after 12 months, I felt the crunch of time lost with my children. I felt I lost the first year of my youngest child’s life. My husband reassured me that I was a good mom and that I did the best I could. From that time on, if my husband worked days, then I worked nights and vice versa. We were always there for our kids. We only used babysitters when we had date night. Now my first oldest daughter is married and has my granddaughter. She also has a degree in art history and art administration. My second oldest has a Masters degree in psychology and is engaged to be married. Our relationship couldn't be better.
Chichona from VA
October 19, 2010 13:38 PM
I was unemployed when I became pregnant. It was an unplanned pregnancy, which added to the stress of the situation. I am a single mother, and I am currently going to school online. Once my daughter arrived, I never stopped going to school, but my personality type does better with a schedule. So, once I started working, I had more energy and wanted to make sure that I did certain activities with her every day. I graduated with my associate degree, and I am still in school. I think that my daycare is the one thing that gives me piece of mind. She is safe, and she loves her teachers. I still feel like it is my responsibility to make sure she gets what she needs development wise. So, I must say it is hard to leave her, but it makes me want to get back to her that much more. From this experience I want two more kids. What helps me is being prepared, getting in some “me time,” and keeping track of my short- and long-term goals.
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Content last updated December 03, 2012.

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