Work-life balance, it’s possible

I recently wrote about Maine receiving a “B-” for its family-friendly workplace policies. Basically what the report found was the while Maine businesses do more for their working families, there’s lots of room for improvement.

Number one change requested by parents I’ve talked to other than paid maternity leave? More flexibility post partum.

My bosses were very open to options when I proposed my postpartum plans to work from home, and I think with a little preparation you may find yours more willing to listen to your desires and ideas as well.

1. Set the stage: I made sure that in the months leading up to my departure, I made sure my editors had no reason to question my work ethic, taking on additional responsibilities and talking openly about my desire to stay with the company.

2. Talk early and often: I created a document that I shared with my editors before I went and sat down with them. I also talked to them multiple times before the baby was born so we could iron out details and make changes as needed.

3. Do your research: At my job, several people already work either from home or in bureaus throughout Maine. I knew that while it was unique to have someone working from home in the same city as the main office, it wasn’t unique to have people working remotely. Find out how many people already work away from the office, write down why you think it’d work for you and come up with options. Maybe you work from home once a week, a few hours a day, everyday, whatever you think will work best for you and your employer.

4. Go in with an open mind and be willing to compromise: I first went in to my editors with the idea that I would work 30 hours from home doing my former job. They instead proposed 25 hours from home as a reporter. I agreed and at least from my end, it’s working out pretty swell.

5. Be confident: You know your track record at work, you know your supervisors, but you also know what you want your family life to look like. Approach the topic with confidence in yourself and in your desires postpartum. And good luck!

What did you decide to do after having kids? Have any other tips for the pregnant moms and perhaps fathers out there interested in making changes postpartum?