Babies at Work: Part One

Hey there. I’m Moe Rice. I’m a human person, a Brains on Fire employee of five years, and, as of May 10th, 2018 I’m also someone’s mom.

Yeah. I know. Pretty wild.

Nolan Towers Rice was born in the wee hours of the morning after 24 hours of natural labor with a head full of dark hair and the biggest Disney puppy dog eyes you’ve ever seen. In our time together, we’ve come to find that he loves the following: sitting on the front stoop viewing life, looking at plants, listening to music, staring at people with glasses, laughing at dad and his favorite book, Hello Garden Bugs.

Maternity leave was such a sweet time. It was hard as all get out, yes, but no surprise there. I went through a transformation of the largest magnitude: part physical, part mental, part spiritual. I came out on the other side changed at my core (pun not intended, but I’m gonna leave it. LOL #diastasisrecti).  Maternity leave was, first and foremost, a time to get to know my baby, but also a time to begin to piece together my own changing roles and identities. Who is Moe now? How do I balance Moe the individual, Moe the friend, Moe the daughter, Moe the wife, with this new, HUGE Moe — Moe the mother?

And oh, yeah. Where the hell does Moe the employee fit in?

Before I knew it my eight weeks were up and it was time to get back in the saddle at work. As you probably know, Brains on Fire has a baby-friendly policy. To read up on the specifics of this policy, click here, but the basic gist is that I can bring Nolan to the office with me until he’s six months old or starts to crawl. What a gift, right?

Why then, when I shared my plans to return to work WITH a baby, did people look at me like I’d just sprouted a tail?! “Ha HAAAA!!! Better up your prescription of Prozac,” one person said. Dozens of eyes widened in disbelief. I got more “IIII could NEVER do THATs” than I can count. Needless to say, as the time drew near and we shared our plans with more and more people, I got more and more nervous about how this would go.

Like most anxious mothers in the digital age, in the days before my triumphant return, I googled it. Hard. You’d be amazed at how little there is out there on this topic. Badger Balm rules the search with their widely celebrated policy. There’s a really interesting PopSugar piece on this woman, Meesha Chang, who is applying to jobs WITH her daughter. According to the Parenting in the Workplace Institute, over the past 10 years they’ve recorded only 200 businesses with Babies at Work policies, with just 2,100 babies hitting the office. If a baby is born every 8 seconds in the USA, at 86,400 seconds in a day, we’ve got over 75,000 babies A WEEK. These numbers just don’t add up.

So of course people are bewildered by our plans. It’s uncommon, this whole bringing baby to work thing. It’s rare, weird, and sounds complicated. At just two days in, it turns out that’s all true, but that doesn’t mean it can’t work. I was (and am) hell-bent on making this a success and sharing the process. For me, for Nolan, for Towers and for our family, but ALSO for any other mothers and fathers and companies out there that are on the fence about adopting a policy like this.

I’ve got about four months of this program left to enjoy, so if you’re curious about our journey, tune in. I’ll be popping onto the blog from time to time to report on tips, tricks, and our progress. In the meantime, you can see it unfold in all its messy glory on my Instagram stories. WARNING: it guest stars occasional tears, spit-up and blow-outs. You’ve been warned. 🙂



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