Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Wrapping up maternity leave

Tomorrow is my last day of maternity leave alone with Alice before I return to work on September 23, which means no more of this for me:

Marceline tries to make more room in my lap.
After the upcoming holiday weekend, our lives are going to change pretty dramatically.

Starting next Wednesday, Jon will officially start his new gig as a work-at-home dad. We'll have just two weeks to devise and implement a new schedule and make the transition before I head back to the office full-time. Our plan is that he'll get up at an ungodly hour to get about 6 hours of work in before I leave for the day. I'll be on baby duty until I head out and then Jon will spend the rest of his day caring for Alice, squeezing in the rest of his work while she naps (or after I get home, if necessary). One day a week, our wonderful parents will take over while Jon spends a day at his office.

This may not be easy for any of us, but the benefit of having a parent home with Alice is a huge motivator to make it work (not to mention what we'll save in child-care costs). I hope the close bonds that everyone will form with Alice and the joys of being able to fully nurture and participate in her development are rewarding enough to make it worthwhile for all. I'm looking forward to plenty of lunch dates and photo and text updates that I wouldn't get from a day care center.

I am so thankful that Jon is such an involved dad, willing to taking on such a challenge. I'm beyond thankful that we have such supportive parents. More than anything, though, I am immensely grateful to Jon's team at Alfred Publishing for being so flexible and accommodating. With so many technological tools at our disposable, it is becoming so easy, effective, and economical to work outside of an office. Especially in these uncertain economic times when companies may not be able to offer raises to their workers, quality-of-living benefits like allowing your employees to work from home or take unlimited vacation days (like this company does) can be a huge boost to morale and productivity. I hope this is something we'll see more and more often as companies look for ways to both streamline their operations and offer creative benefits that aren't a drain on the bottom line.

So next week, we'll be getting up every morning and practicing our new normal to make sure we can all function as needed. Cross your fingers for us and send along any insight or experience you have to offer!

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