Pratiksha Dey is a Quality Assurance Engineer and has had the opportunity to work with three teams over three years at Indeed – she’s been with the Indeed Feedback, Notification Platform and now, in the Revenue Systems team at Indeed Hyderabad. She recently returned to work and shares her experience managing major changes concurrently – having a newborn, moving homes and going back to work, all during a lockdown.
My maternity leave was really challenging as I was going through it not just during a pandemic and lockdown, but also at a time where I had to shift to a new home. There was very little time for me and my family to adjust to having a newborn, and at the same time set up our new home. Having to manage all of it, including the constant fear of contracting Covid-19 took a toll on my mind and body.
“Being a mom is the toughest job in the world. I never used to feel that way when my mom used to say it’s a real struggle raising kids… until the day I became a mother myself.”
Having the right support has been crucial in times like these, and for me, my biggest support were my parents and my husband. They really took a load off my shoulders by helping to care for my son and home. We also did a lot of online deliveries which helped us in stocking up baby and daily essentials during lockdown.
After six months of maternity leave, I had to get back to work, and adjusting my schedule according to my baby’s needs was my biggest challenge. In the initial days, it was difficult to attend meetings as they would either clash with my baby’s nap or feeding time.
I was torn between my responsibilities as a mother and managing work, so at the beginning I refrained myself from declining meetings with the thought of being judged so I pushed through them, even when my baby was cranky.
Soon after, I realized the importance of communicating more openly with my team and being upfront about the challenges I face. I started letting them know when I could (and could not) take on meetings and informed them ahead of time so everyone would be able to manage our schedules. All my team members were approachable and were supportive of making adjustments to meetings. They were also thoughtful enough to schedule product sessions to help me get up to speed as I started in a new team.
The support I’ve gotten at Indeed has helped me transition seamlessly into getting back to work in these challenging times.
In addition to a supportive team, the flexible working environment as well as the additional YOU Days extended to employees has really helped me bring myself back to pace while focusing on my family.
This experience has definitely sharpened my organizing skills. I also learnt how to be more efficient. Little did I know that having a little human to go back to after a long day at work has got me doing a lot more in a shorter period of time!
Another aspect that has helped me manage the challenges is the work from home stipend offered to all employees. In addition to setting up my home office, we managed to get a dishwasher which really saved us plenty of time washing dishes.
From this experience, my advice to new working parents is to be forgiving to yourself.
As much as we have compassion for our children, it’s important to also extend the same for ourselves as a parent.
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