I want to start off by saying I know I’m in a place of privilege to frame work as a choice. My husband and I are both in highly paid STEM jobs, and we could afford to live on either of our incomes with some belt tightening but no major inconveniences. I have 16 weeks of leave that I am 2 weeks into and already wondering how on earth I would go back to work and send my baby (and my 3 year old, who has been so much fun to spend time with) to daycare.

On the other hand, though, I don’t want to completely drop out of the workforce. I work in a rapidly changing, male dominated field, and worry about how a gap in my resume would be perceived. Also the job I have now is exactly the job I’ve wanted for a long time. I work with great, smart people in a mission-driven organization, and there are few jobs I see as being a better fit for me.

Right now my plan is to pitch a part-time transition back through spring and summer (our busy time is fall) to my boss when I get closer to my return date. She has been extremely flexible, but I know being even half a person down is going to be hard for the team.

I’m wondering how others have made decisions about work-family balance with tiny babies. My first was born just before Covid and stayed home until she was 1, so I have no experience sending a tiny baby to daycare.