All throughout my pregnancy with my daughter Hannah, I assumed that I would return to work full-time and put her in daycare. I can honestly say I didn’t think there was any alternative for me. Then on my third day home from the hospital with my baby girl I called my grandmother to tell her the happy news that Hannah was finally here. That conversation changed my view of work and my life forever.

Her words were simple, but they haunted me for weeks afterward. She said, “Why are you going back to work when you wanted that baby so much?” My grandmother was sweet, but blunt, and after crying for three weeks I knew that if I wanted be with my child and not put her daycare then I was going to have to make it happen.

Grandma

So I hatched my plan to turn my full-time job into a job-share so that I could work part-time, half-days while my mother watched Hannah so that I could be with her for the rest of the day. I credit my former boss John Checklick at United Way for giving me the opportunity to work in this capacity, even though I could tell his first instinct was to say no. The arrangement allowed me to be with my daughter and still contribute to my family’s household income.

John Checklick and Hannah

I couldn’t have done this successfully for 4 years without my husband being on board and supporting me, my boss, and my wonderful mom who watched my children every day. I had family and amazing bosses who supported me. I wanted to pay tribute to them and to every other amazing employer in the Hudson Valley who supports and offers part-time, flex-time, on-site childcare, maternity-leave and paternity-leave, and alternative work arrangments. I truly believe that when employers help support parents in their quest for a work-life balance it’s a win-win for all involved.

Mom

I have worked in almost every capacity since becoming a mom 6 years ago. I have worked part-time, full-time when I had my own daycare, and worked exclusively as a stay-at-home mom. Now I’m working at home for Hudson Valley Parent Magazine doing what I love most – writing about my amazing family. I couldn’t be happier, despite the kids begging for snacks and bickering even as I’m writing now. That’s because I can be with them all day and write for a magazine I love.

Hannah

No working arrangement is perfect, just like no parent is perfect. It’s a constant juggle. There have been plenty of days in all my work situations where I’ve felt like I was playing a losing game, but it’s one I will gladly play for the rest of my life. I’ve learned that most parents, moms especially, have guilt no matter where they work and what hours they work, even if they stay at home.

I’ve also learned that if you pursue with passion whatever it is that makes you happy, you WILL find a way to make it happen. So thanks to all the employers who’ve adopted flexible work arrangements so that parents can do what they do best – love and provide for their kids!

If you have an awesome employer or work arrangement, share it here with other parents in the Hudson Valley. They should get loads of accolades and maybe just maybe other employers will follow suit.