Making Working Work with a New Baby

It was about 1:15 a.m. when I got the first text from my husband, after not hearing from him for several hours. He was at a conference in Atlanta for three days. The text said:

Husband: Jon Hamm at [my] hotel.

Me: OMG!!!!!!!

Husband: Yes. Next to him [at the hotel bar] having a Guinness. Awesome dude.

Meg and SpencerI was awake and checking my phone at 1:15 a.m. on a Tuesday night because I was feeding our 14 week old. And on day two of my second week back to work after maternity leave. I hadn’t slept in three nights. I was exhausted and had to get all of us fed, cleaned up, dressed and out of the house, to school, daycare, and work, five hours later, for the third day in a row, all by myself.

I might have two kids, but this is the first time I have been a working mom with an infant. I was fortunate to be able to stay home after my first child, Mattie, was born. She was 18 months old when I went back to work, and so I had 18 wonderful, sometimes boring, sweet, fun, laundry-filled, relaxing and exhausting months at home with her. As difficult as eight straight months of 1:15 a.m. feedings can be, back then I didn’t have to leave the house six hours later dressed in anything other than yoga pants. I didn’t have to leave the house at all, actually, if I didn’t want to, for the entire day. And I only had one child to take care of.

Now things have changed.

That morning of the 1:15 a.m. Jon Hamm text, I dropped Mattie at school and, once I arrived at work, cried harder than I had in months. After a good conversation with the head of my office, a very understanding (thank heavens!) mother herself, I realized several things were different this time around, because not only did I have an older child and an infant to take care of, I also had to be present and add value at the office. I had to come up with ways to make room for an infant while balancing a job and the needs of an active four-year-old.

So here’s what I did:

  • I admitted to myself that I needed help, and lots of it, especially with a husband traveling and with an infant with severe reflux, and so I scheduled a babysitter at least three nights a week for most of the summer (I understand how fortunate I am to be able to do this!);
  • I talked to the head of my office, and we adjusted my work schedule. I now work 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. two days a week so that I have time to do fun things like go to the park, get ice cream or do art projects with Mattie after school like we did before Spencer arrived;
  • I learned to start over-communicating with my coworkers – who were, of course, sympathetic and understanding if I shared with them my exhaustion after a rough night up all night with the baby, or if I had to be out for two doctor’s appointments in one week while Spencer was going through GERD.
  • I forced myself to let things go – I stopped picking up my house, worrying about what I was going to wear, trying to fix a complicated dinner or planning anything more than a week away – and focused my energy on figuring out the daily dynamics of our new family.

So now, after six or so months of being back at the office, continued help from great babysitters, and catching up on work some nights after they are both asleep, I think I’m starting to get this working mom thing down – during a good week anyway!

My final realization: I should have packed the kids in the car at 1:15 a.m. and driven straight to Atlanta to meet Jon Hamm. It would have made those tough three days worth it!

How have you readjusted with work after a new arrival?

Meg Sacks
Meg is a working mom of four and an avid community volunteer. She has worked in corporate communications and media relations for more than 18 years, for a Fortune 500 company as well as a non-profit. She took some time off to enjoy life as a stay at home mom after the birth of her first child in 2008. Her sweet, introverted daughter, was excited to welcome her baby brother in 2013, and then boy/girl twins joined the family in 2016. Meg finds being an “office mama” a constant balancing act and never-ending challenge but enjoys the opportunities it offers her for personal growth. A Virginia girl at heart, she loves Florida’s warm weather, the great quality of life Jacksonville offers her family.


  1. Oh my…this brought back some “fun” memories! I feel for you Meg and I send you all my encouragements. I remember delivering my second baby without my husband around, as he was traveling that week. I used to dread going shopping with my 1 year old and my infant. I remember saying constantly; “Why don’t they invent …. so moms could ….. easily”. One gadget that saved me: the automatic swing for my baby…and the binky.
    A hug to you Meg!


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