I’ve received a few requests to talk more about taking my kids to work with me and how that works for us. Basically, I work for family in a very small commercial real estate office (three people). My stepdad is my boss, and my mom works here, too. Generally, it’s just my mom and I at work on an everyday basis, with my boss stopping in here or there. As long as I get my work done, he doesn’t mind me bringing the kids in, and my mom is here to help if I need it.
With Knox, working was pretty much a piece of cake. At first, he was more demanding since he couldn’t really entertain himself at eight weeks-old. We did a lot of singing, holding and typing with one hand. After a couple months, he was on a great nap schedule and slept through lunch each day, making it a breeze to go out to eat on a daily basis. He had a pack ‘n play in my office, several buckets of toys, and a play yard aka “the baby jail” in my mom’s office with a little travel dvd player for when he got fussy.
Taking him out to eat so often (my company pays for lunch, otherwise I would be eating a turkey sandwich every day!!) has turned Knox into the easiest kid ever to take out to eat or out anywhere, for that matter. He’s great in the car and well-behaved in public places, so I’m thankful for that learning experience for him! He never knew anything different, so he’s very relaxed when we go out.
With Brody, I have to say, it’s a lot more difficult! It’s very true that every kid is different, because personality-wise, these brothers are totally opposite. Brody is extremely social, not that Knox isn’t, but Brody is already conversational- he “talks” to us, waits for our response, then says something else. I do not remember Knox being like that so early on. Brody loves for us to talk to him and smiles and coos and spits like crazy when we do. I am pretty sure he’ll be an early talker (thank you, God!!).
With that love for socialization also comes a hatred for being alone. By alone I mean anywhere other than his mom’s lap. He either wants to be 1) nursing 2) nursing or 3) talking to me, face-to-face. Yes, I said nursing twice, because he does it twice as often as most human children. It is a challenge to bring him to work. He is NOT on a schedule, try as I might to put him on one, he despises the car (I’m talking screams every single second, hates it) and will not be set down. He must be moving at all times. I think that’s why he hates the car so much. The second we stop, and I lift his carrier out, he’s silent. Even though he hates stillness, it’s not exactly possible for me to walk around with him all day. It’s really hard to answer the phone with a screaming baby on your hip. I have to do a lot of setting him down and leaving the room to answer a different phone so I can actually hear who’s on the other line.
It doesn’t help that I have PPD/PPA this time around, either. I am pretty sure my meds need to be upped because I don’t feel as calm as I did at first. That’s a pretty common occurrence on Zoloft, though, needing a dosage increase after a few months. For now, I’m biting the bullet with bringing him to work with me in hopes it will level out soon. I keep trying to tell myself that I went through this same tough period with Knox when he was so little, too, and it got so much easier with time. I love being able to bring them with me. I like being able to continue breastfeeding on demand during the day (even if Brody’s demand is HIGH), I love being able to see him all day (I don’t want to miss his milestones!) and it’s a huge money savings to be able to skip daycare.
Knox stays home with Trevor and/or his Grandpa when Trevor’s on shift at the fire station. It would be way too much to have two here, and plus, Knox is now a crazy little boy instead of a calm little baby. He visited a couple weeks ago and it was pure chaos! It’s also too much for Trevor to have both of them during the day by himself. Some days it’s hard for me to watch both of them, and I have the magic boob power to calm Brody down. You just can’t compete with that!
So, in a nutshell, that’s how it “works” taking my kids to work with me. Though it’s not the most fun at this point in time, I loved it last time around, and I am sure it will be more enjoyable in the near future! Some days are great and work out very well, it’s just those few in between that make you want to pull your hair out and pop a Xanax. In short, it really depends on the individual child, your job and your patience level when it comes to making this arrangement work. It’s not for everyone, but it’s very worth it if you can swing it!
And just for fun, I had to share this! Here’s a side-by-side of both boys at the same age. I snapped a few pictures of Brody this weekend and was struck by how similar his expressions are to Knox’s at this age, so I had to do a comparison! Look at those same big round eyes… love!