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Thread: What would the best of all possible worlds look like?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    2

    Question What would the best of all possible worlds look like?

    Hi all, this is my first post! Though I've been on looking at the conversations getting myself ready for returning to work...

    That was about six weeks ago, and despite my preparation, the experience wasn't great, mostly because the pumping facilities are pretty rubbish. I work for a very large company in England (born in Tenn though), and though I didn't want to make a fuss, I started making some small enquiries about who owns our family friendly policy--I was going to send them an email to say 'this is what happened; does it sound very family friendly to you?'

    I've had a curious response: they want to know exactly what the ideal returning to work experience would be like. This isn't just about BF rights, it's the whole returning to work after maternity situation they're interested in. We're very lucky and get long maternity leave, so that's not really a problem. But it's just too good an opportunity to change things to limit it to what I can come up with--my boss even wants me to take this on as part of my actual job responsibilities!!!

    For a start I think we ought to be put in touch with other mothers who are returning... But what more? Few of us want to return to work, but once we do it, what could our companies do to make it just that bit easier? What would you do? Would it have anything to do with dads? With buddy systems? With health & safety?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    COUGARTOWN Baby! From here on in!
    Posts
    17,404

    Default Re: What would the best of all possible worlds look like?

    What about an "Ease in Policy"? Where when you have to come back you "ease back in" over a period of months? Like the 1st 6weeks you come back for two days, then for 6weeks you come back in for 3days, then at the 3month point you finally come back for 4 days a week and you get to remain there for 8weeks and then at five months in you return to full time? That way you and the baby slowly but surely get used to the separation.

    Also in my "ideal situation" there would be a bank of sick or personal time that would be available to parents to use for when their young children get sick. Because the pressure around using all your sick days is awful. And little kids, especially little kids in daycare, get sick. Often. So either a block of days to deal with this with no pressure, or/and an emergency on site daycare facility that allows employees to still come to work, but keep their kids out of daycare and close to them so they can be checked on. You as the parent could decide. Often daycare make you keep them out if there is a fever.

    Those are my thoughts.

    Way too lazy for formula

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    86

    Default Re: What would the best of all possible worlds look like?

    i the "ease in" idea!! esp for moms who only get 6-8 weeks maternity leave. im a teacher & got lucky that my mat leave ran right into summer break. couldnt imagine going back full time after only 8 weeks!!

    Happily engaged to my best friend , Matthew
    1st time mama to Lucianna Dene' 3/29/08
    Exclusively and for 12 weeks and counting!!
    We discovered that we LOVE !

    Birth: 8 lbs 11 oz 21 in
    2 mo: 10 lbs 11 oz 23 in

    **first in my family to bf!**

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    816

    Default Re: What would the best of all possible worlds look like?

    On site daycare. My life would be easier if I knew my child was a stones throw away and then I wouldn't have to pump, I could just BF her. I think I'd be happier and more productive and just feel better about being a working mom if my child was nearby and I could see her once or twice during the workday. Actually, I might even put in more time at work (not feel like I'm racing out the door the minute the workday ends), if my child was on site.

    The ability to take sick/person time in 1 or 2 hr increments. I can take 1/4 days which is nice because it allows me to take DD to a well baby visit first thing in the a.m. or end of the work day and not blow an entire day of sick/personal time. My husband however can only take 1/2 or full days. So I usually end up being the one to take her because it uses up less of my time and he saves his time for days she's sick and someone has to be home the entire day with her.

    On the same note as the "ease in" days, perhaps shorter work days or flexible hours. I know those first few weeks back are hard trying to get you and the LO out the door on time and you are exhausted and overwhelmed. I wouldn't mind putting in a 5 day week if I was working say 30hrs for a week or two before putting in the full 40 hr week.
    I'm Wendi.
    Mom to:
    DD1 7/28/07 for 21 mos and weaned with
    &
    DD2 12/16/09

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    2,005

    Default Re: What would the best of all possible worlds look like?

    I love the "ease in" idea. I had a lot of problems with my employer when I returned to work after DS2. They expected things to be like it was before kids. I didn't really feel like they understood that my 2 year old, my 8 week old and I needed time to adjust.

    I would add that having a nice room to pump in is so important. Besides the neccessities of running water, a comfy chair, and electricity, maybe a room that had a lending library with breastfeeding related books, a cd player (for playing relaxing music), a bulletin board so moms could share pictures of their babies and a private refrigerator for use only by the pumping moms (you could choose to store your milk in there or just use it for snacks).
    Proud mom of 2 boys, both weaned gradually and with love.


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    For each and every one of us, the person from whom we can learn the most is our own baby: listen to him. - Mary White, LLL co-founder

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    Murray Straus, Ph.D.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: What would the best of all possible worlds look like?

    No kidding about wanting decent facilities and a private fridge - I didn't say what my bad experience about returning to work was. The two rooms I thought I'd sorted out (another longer, painful story) turned out to be either entirely inappropriate or just non-existent. I was using meeting rooms that I got kicked out of, and eventually ended trying to pump in a clean and lockable...closet at one point. Then when I did find the (still inappropriate) room that I thought didn't exist, the milk I was storing in the floor fridge just went missing one lunchtime. I can only guess somebody was cleaning out and didn't know what it was, and threw it out. Now I write my cell phone number on it, and a note to 'please do not discard.' But it shouldn't be necessary at all!!!

    Basic facilities are just the starting point. I really like the ideas about the library, and the flexible time to look after the children. Babies can suffer from our stress about going back and need more of our time... the whole thing can just compound into more and more stresses and problems!!!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    24

    Default Re: What would the best of all possible worlds look like?

    I second the 'ease in', I was fortunate enough to do that when I came back to work by using our Part Time Full Benefits plan. I had to work a minimum of 24 hours and was eleigible for benefits, but only paid 1/2 day for holidays. I started at the 24 hours, then each week increased 5 hours (an hour a day per week) until I was back at full time after a month. Definitely helped the transition.

    ETA: I could have elected to stay on that plan indefinitely, but it's not in the financial cards for my family

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    miles from nowhere
    Posts
    11,108

    Default Re: What would the best of all possible worlds look like?

    I love the easing in idea. Also a flexible schedule would make returning to work much easier- not just when returning but for the first few years, what with doctor's appointments and sick days, it'd be nice to be able to catch up outside of regulated work hours. Along with that idea, the opportunity do do certain tasks from home would be wonderful.

    ahhh wishful thinking...
    “We are not put on earth for ourselves, but are placed here for each other. If you are there always for others, then in time of need, someone will be there for you.”
    --Anonymous

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: What would the best of all possible worlds look like?

    Hi there--I finally reregistered so I could post. Our lactation room, located in the hospital where I work, has no water close by, but I actually prefer to just put my attachments in my cooler bag and reuse them the same day. Then, I just wash them at home. I do have several sets of personal fit connectors, but only one of breast shields (I would like to get another set--I forgot them the other night and was not able to pump!).

    One thing I have noticed is that people are kind of slobby--they leave droplets of breastmilk on the desk where we pump. For this reason, I brought some of the cleaning wipes to the room (they are like clorox wipes). Breastmilk can contain viruses.

    So, my suggestions are:
    Tissues
    Sanitizing wipes
    Gloves to protect you from the sanitizing wipes chemical
    Hand sanitizer
    paper towels
    comfortable chair
    enough flat surface to set out all of your stuff

    Good luck!

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