The Infants at Work Program gets babies and parents off to a good start

When I first heard about the program, I
thought that it would be really hard for people to actually get work done
while they had a baby with them, and that proved to be wrong. So my fears were not
realized, and it actually worked out quite well. It was a really good program
and it was implemented right at the time that I came back from maternity leave, so
it was pretty right on time. Management was very supportive.
Diane Rosado was my section manager at the time, and she was really happy about
having a baby in there, so it felt good to have that support. It was fun to be
the first ones to implement the Infants at Work with Talia and her baby Anaya,
and I think it proved to the agency that it was going to be a positive experience.
Anaya was an incredible baby — she was very good. Talia was a great person to
have with that whole program herself, so we felt like it was a good start to the
program and showed the positive aspects of it. For staff who are trying to
balance work and family and the financial impacts of a new child in the
family, is that they can use it as one of the tools that they use to manage
bringing the new child into the family. So they can take leave until they’ve
recovered from pregnancy and childbirth, they can bring the baby in from six
weeks old until the baby turns nine months old, they can participate either
full-time or part-time in the program, and then once the baby graduates they can go ahead and take additional leave to finish out their
bonding time. It was really nice to be able to take my
son to work. I was not ready to leave him. I was a first time mom and I just
couldn’t imagine leaving him, and so he was able to come with me and it was nice
for his father as well that we knew he would be with me. I was able to
breastfeed, I was able to use cloth diapers, too. Finn has always been a really social guy, and I work in a really great
area where he was able to spend time with people in my section but also
people in other sections. It was an incredible opportunity to spend time
with my son at work and have a flexible schedule now, and be able to telework. Really, they’re so supportive of the work-life balance, it’s incredible to me.
I feel very fortunate. I think it’s great. It worked really well with my older
daughter, who’s now two, and we did it when she was born right after the policy was
rolled out to the agency. So I think she was one of the first babies, and it was
great. Everyone in the office loved her. I had her here a couple days a week — not
every day — but mixed with the agency’s telework policy, that was really great.
My manager is actually going to be a grandpa soon — so this is his grandpa in
training — having the baby in the office. I really haven’t had anybody not be
supportive. Anyone who’s had a child knows that that first six months is the
most expensive. So not only does it help with the expense, but it does help have
help with the bonding of a newborn, whether it’s their child or child placed
with them for adoption or foster care. My wife’s a first grade teacher and she
went back to school — went back to teaching again — and so we didn’t have any daycare for her, which would be expensive. Daycare is at least $800 to $1000 a
month, so it really helps with that. The bonding is by far the thing that I I
knew, but it’s hard to fathom, until you’re doing it. Just being able to be
with your child at work all day and having that experience. On the seventh I won’t be able bring her anymore and I’m really gonna miss it.

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