“Security Compass has made me more proud of myself than I’ve ever been. I honestly feel that I’m a better Mom because of my work-life balance. ”
— Michelle Dizon, Director of Training
My Mom helped build my Dad’s business. So, she worked, but it was flexible and I was fortunate enough that she was able to be at home with me often. Growing up, it was wonderful to always have her around. I, however, am just not built that way. Or, am I? This question, debate, guilt-ridden conscience, haunts me on a weekly, if not daily basis.
Welcome, to the real work-life-balance.
I returned to work after 9 months of maternity leave. In Ontario, Canada, we are granted 12 months of maternity leave, so returning to work early is shameful. I answered the question, ‘why?’ while feeling judged by other moms.
To be honest, and I feel guilty even now admitting this, I was excited to get my brain working again. I love my son, more than anything, deeper, stronger, and in the truest unconditional form. But, solving problems, building something, interacting with others, those things make me, me.
So, with my son at 9 months old, I ignorantly picked a daycare, put a plan in place, and started back at work. My days looked like this:
Wake up. Nurse son. Get dressed to son’s screams for love. Feel guilty. Get into car. Battle traffic. Park at daycare. Drop son off. Cry while watching him cry. Get coffee. Walk to work. Work. During ‘lunch’, pump breast-milk. Check in on son — still crying. Feel guilty. Work. Walk back to daycare. Get son. More crying. Get into backseat of car in parking garage. Nurse. Drive home while son screams. Feed son. Put son to bed. Make dinner. Get ready for the next day.
How’s that for balance?
It’s been one year.
We’ve changed daycares, had multiple nannies, and still hold on to the majority of our sanity. Looking back now, I am proud. In those early months of no sleep, constant worrying and feeling insecure about my choices as a mother, I wasn’t sure I had made the right decision. Now, as I see what I have achieved, and see that my son is thriving, I remind myself that my definition of being a ‘good’ parent may be different from others, and that’s OK.
I am lucky to have returned to work at Security Compass. I brought my pump to work, and as everyone listened to the thwump-thwump-thwump and saw me carrying a little bottle of breast-milk to the fridge, nobody judged me. In fact, I was supported every step of the way. I had to come and go, sometimes cry, take multiple sick days, and sometimes just take time to be with my son. Flexibility when returning to work is what is going to keep you sane.
At Security Compass, we have flexible work hours, unlimited vacation days, and unlimited personal days. No one judged me, in fact through everything, I felt like my support network grew. Security Compass has made me prouder of myself than I have ever been. I honestly feel that I am a better mom because of my work-life balance.
How do you feel about your successes, both at work, and at home?
Michelle Dizon, Director of Training at Security Compass