The following is a totally unsolicited (but most welcome) guest post from my coworker, who just started her first week back from maternity leave and already has some things to get off her chest about working motherhood. I say, bring it on! — Susan
By Jacquelyn Baker
Full disclosure, I am now a working mom for the first time. My first child is 12 weeks old and today marks my third day back at work. So far, I have learned A LOT about what it means to be a working mom. I always “knew” it would be hard and a ton of work. But now that I am actually living it, I am starting to see the gaps that exist in modern society today that would make this whole daycare kid/working mom thing better.
Why doesn’t my daycare center have a wonderful coffee station set up in their lobby for moms (or dads) to fill up as they run out the door after drop off? I pay a lot of money to this place. The least they could do is offer coffee!
I fully recognize that I pay these people a small fortune to care for my child and educate him while I am away at the office, not to make my coffee. But, c’mon! Before Lil Dude came along I had a flawless system. Pop my little K-cup into the brewer, add my favorite flavored creamer to my travel mug, and off I went. My coffee was hot enough to drink all the way to the office. Perfection.
Now, after a 20-minute detour to the daycare center, my delicious morning coffee is cold before I hit the highway. All I am asking for is a little coffee station in the daycare lobby to remedy this problem. I don’t think that is unreasonable.
I understand that the lovely teachers and staff at my son’s daycare have lives and probably families of their own to get home too each night. But, so what? This is about my problems!
All daycare centers should be required by law to stay open until 6:30pm. Every one near my house closes at 6:00pm. For those of you suburbanites who work in the city like me, you know rush hour traffic makes a 6pm pick up virtually impossible. Until flying cars or teleportation become the norm I say we rise up and fight for 6:30pm closing times. Getting there on time practically takes an act of Congress, so why not make Congress act and make this 30-minute extension a law?
I am convinced whoever designed these damn car seat carriers was not in charge of drop-off at daycare. I am sure these things are designed to be sturdy and strong in a crash, but this is ridiculous. My carrier weighs 23 pounds by itself. When you put my son in it, now it weighs 38 pounds! I am supposed to lift this out of the car, carry it through the halls of my daycare center, while in hurry to get to work, while carrying his bag of bottles and stuff for the day, while holding my car keys, and while WEARING HEELS!
I feel like I have shin-splints right now from 3 days of daycare pick up and drop off in heels. At this rate, that stupid carrier is going to throw my back out or kill me within a month. I have fantasies of wanting to punch the person who dreamt up this little gem and decided a 23-pound carrier was a good idea.
These are my primary grievances for week one of being a working mom. I’m sure there are more, but these three really rise to the top for me.
I can’t be the only person struggling with these annoyances of life. Three days into this new adventure and I have come to the realization that our culture needs help. We need to support working parents better with small luxuries like hot coffee, extended daycare hours, and baby carriers that don’t weigh more than our kids.
Jacquelyn Baker is a wife, mother, career marketer, and all-around bad ass. She spends her time raising her adopted son, running the household, and closing deals at the office. All of this gets accomplished every day with full make-up, high heels, and a lot of sarcasm.