15 pounds in one week....

...that's how much I gained from mom guilt and poor work/life balance after I returned to work from my second child. 

Mom guilt. That struggle is real.

If you’re a working parent, especially a new mom, you may connect with my story.  I'm a mom of two small children, both of whom were nursed for an extended period of time.

While I was adamant about growing my family I was also committed to my career and company, at that time. 

After returning to work from maternity leave, I hit an ultimate low.  My mom friends didn’t understand my struggles in my career. My colleagues didn’t understand my struggles as a new mom. My leadership was limited in their ability to provide any additional support.  My workload began to increase as my productivity decreased. This also meant I was working at home after I put my kids to sleep and on weekends.

Due to the stress, My body was unable to continue nursing my infant. I gained 15 pounds in less than three weeks. The mom guilt I had was eating me alive. I remember trying to pump at work, (backstory: as if mom guilt wasn't bad enough, I had to pump while in a restroom for the medical team. I could overhear EVERY conversation they had), and one day it took me over an hour to produce anything.

I sat there and cried like a baby. 

Eventually, I left my promising career. It was the hardest decision that I made because I absolutely love my company and I knew that I could continue to grow. But I also knew that my stress levels were unsustainable. Everything around me was falling apart and all I could do was watch. 

I never want another working mom to feel that way. I know the struggles you face. But I also know that many companies lack the resources to support them. I am on a personal mission to see that that changes. 

So often, women returning to the workforce just need a safe place to talk through their struggles. Or someone to remind them that it's okay. Companies often lose out of knowledge and experience when a mother resigns during maternity leave. It costs them an average of 1.5 times her salary when she does. From a recruitment standpoint, there's a demographic which has left the workforce due to the lack of flexibility. Highly educated, organized and ambitious women who may want to work but feel that the cons (lack of support, flexibility or expensive childcare arrangements) make working not worth it.

Question: In what ways could your organization better support you as a working parent?