When are you returning to work?
It's a discussion had with employers long before the birthing process even begins. It's one of the first questions asked once the haze of newborn excitement dust finally settles. It's the inevitable conversation that two new parents have, unsure of what the right answer is for their family.
Throughout the last few months, I've seen an increase in parents reaching out to family and friends due to feeling conflicted about their decisions to return to work after having their baby. For some parents, returning to continue their career is an easy decision. However, many others are left with an unsettled taste in their mouth as they fumble through trying to make a decision on what will work best for their financial situation. Others parents simply do not have a choice. Either keep your job or face financial hardship. Rather than offering alternatives, people quickly hit the negative train, responding with short, sharp and often unempathetic answers.
"This is just the way of life"
"Just a part of being a parent"
"You'll love being away from your child, just give it time".
What breaks my heart the most is seeing mothers put in a position where they are forced to return to work, simply because they could not afford it otherwise. I've seen mothers who are only able to have one child, return to work after 12 weeks in order to pay for the IVF treatments that helped them create their little bundle of joy. I've seen mother's distressed that they will miss their child's milestones because they have to take up full-time employment to pay off the mortgage.
In the age of the internet, we shouldn't have to make sacrifices that compromise the way we want to raise our children. This shouldn't be "The way of life". Families should be able to create a lifestyle that is flexible around both work and family. I know, it sounds like a dream. But I assure you, there are ways to make this a reality.
Throughout the next few months, I aim to put together more ways for people to earn an income online or showcase employers who will offer flexible work opportunities. If you have a success story where you have built a life that implements a flexible working lifestyle for both you and your family, I want to hear from you. Millennials, it is our time to re-create the workplace. Let's start living our dreams.
To read my first list of employers that offer work from home options, head over to https://www.acoldcupofchloe.com/lifestyle/2017/4/13/flexible-work-where-can-you-find-it