Liz’s Fearless Friday: the new mom job search (with a twist)

by on November 5, 2010

in Link love,Momoirs of a Rookie Mom,Worklife

Today we’re hearing Elizabeth’s story as our sixth and last official Method Fearless Friday post. Liz is Mom to Patrick, 13 mos, 2 mutts, and wife to Brendan. She works in training and development for the biotech industry in Cambridge, MA.

Patrick was born just over a year ago and I cannot believe how many things have changed since then: I lost my job, we sold our house and moved, and I landed my dream job in Boston. When I think about one thing that impacted so much of my perception of the past year it has been our reactions to breastfeeding. These days when I hear breastfeeding discussed, I remember the fear, trepidation, sadness, anger, and (hopefully) JOY!

Some of our my most fearful moments involved him eating: trying to get a latch in the few moments post delivery, getting through the first week, feeding him for the first time in public, the back seat of my car, the changing room of a clothing store – all because he wanted a snack. We totally operated on his schedule.

I feel lucky too. I did not stress too much before he was born, I had a strong supply, I had extraordinary support from my husband, and he was a good eater who never turned down a meal.

I had been let go from my job shortly after Patrick was born due to a national downsizing. At this time, my husband and I decided to sell our house and finally move back to Boston. Patrick had nursed exclusively for 5.5 months when I started interviewing for new jobs in Boston. I was committed to not alerting potential employers that I was the mother of an infant, let alone one that was nursing.

For a particular job interview, I had to fly down to headquarters in New Jersey and was very nervous. My husband took the day off to stay with Patrick. All I had to do was buy a new suit (because nothing fit), figure out how to fly to Newark, interview, and squeeze in pumping along the way.

I planned out a schedule to make it all work. I flew down, took a cab to the interview, and pumped and dumped in the bathroom (I couldn’t bring the liquids home with me) before my interview.

Feeling very proud of myself I walked in to the interview with a huge sense of confidence that I had made it all work.

Then — during the first couple of minutes of the two hour interview — I heard a strange muffled sound. My breast pump had turned itself on in my bag!!!!!! I took a moment, a deep breath, and said to the interviewer “my cell phone is vibrating in my bag, I am finding it distracting, if you don’t mind, I am going to reach in to my bag and turn it off.” And so I did.

The interview went well and I flew home uneventfully. Patrick had done great with Dad, and I got called in for a second interview. Although I didn’t take that job. I was offered my dream job two weeks later. Thankfully, my new company is very supportive of new moms. Patrick has done well with the transition and I am forever grateful for the time I got to spend at home with him.
As a rookie mom, I always tried to overcome my fears with planning. It was in that one moment I learned that I can’t plan for everything, but as a mom, I have a new found ability to think quickly and adapt!

This post is part of Fearless Fridays, a series sponsored by method who make green home cleaning products. If you are already a fan, join the people against dirty™ at facebook.com/method.

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RookieMoms co-founder & mom to 3 boys in Berkeley, CA. Bossy big sister and project manager turned blogger helping moms enjoy their first years of motherhood. Find me on my other site on 510families.com or hiding in my minivan eating dark chocolate.

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