Remember that one time I took my baby to work with me for three weeks? Yes, you read that right, she was my little assistant for a while! Taking her with me was a wonderful opportunity. It had it’s challenges, but I can’t help but feel like I belong to a small group of crazy lucky parents. I’ve never been in a workplace with a baby around and it was fun to see how much she brightened everyone’s day. There were lots of baby smiles, a few cries, and some new experiences–like nursing in front of my superiors. Here’s a little insight to what those three weeks were like for me.
Things that will happen when you take a baby to work
- It will take you at least 2.5 times longer to get out of the house. And you’ll still be late.
- Your baby will wake up during a meeting and announce it by gracing you all with a very loud poo. Everyone will laugh, it’ll be good times.
- You will become really fast at typing one-handed emails.
- You’ll learn that your trash can doesn’t get emptied every night, so you better get those diapers out of there yourself if you don’t want your office to smell.
- Some days baby will sleep most of the day and you’ll get tons done, other days they won’t cooperate and you’ll leave the office early because you feel guilty getting paid to do almost nothing.
- You’ll get used to asking coworkers to watch your baby so you can pee.
- You will get smiled at and congratulated by a lot more by people you don’t know at work. And if there are college students around, they will flock to you to see a human baby.
- You will come to love your job even more for letting you do this and have a little more time with your newborn.
- You will want to advocate even more for a better family leave system in our country, because even though you’re able to do this, most people aren’t.
- You will feel like freaking Superwoman.
One of the highlights of that time was during a meeting with our Associate Dean. She has a Ph.D. in Management, is a mom, and a legit bosslady. We were meeting together to call a student who had a grade problem that we were trying to figure out. Our phone call was on speaker with the student while flipped through her file and nursed my baby, probably more exposed than I thought. Afterwards, we problem solved some other student issues for a while.
As we talked I mentioned that she doesn’t take a bottle from my husband and we were trying to figure it out so I could leave her home, because, while I don’t mind who I nurse in front of, it might not be the most professional thing to do with the students. Before she left, she stopped and said, “I know you don’t feel like doing all of this, the nursing and taking care of your baby here, is professional, but I think it’s good for the students to see it. They need to get used to seeing it. And to see mothers balancing all of these aspects of their lives. I won’t forget the first time I saw a baby at faculty conference. I thought, ‘oh a baby!’ and was amazed that she was there. I’ll do anything I can to support mothers in the workplace, so let me know if you need any support.”
That was a great moment for me. I had been so grateful for the chance to bring her to work with me, but I felt like I must be a nuisance at some level. We were super disruptive in a Safe Spaces training, someone had to watch her each time I went to the bathroom, I spoke quietly on the phone if she was asleep, and she’s a pretty beautiful distraction in general. But that comment helped me know that it was all okay and this experience needed to be seen and appreciated for what it was–a woman taking care of her family.
The most important thing that happened to me when I took my baby to work?
I felt empowered.