ruthieMany years ago, in my first job after college, I had a co-worker who went on maternity leave intending to return and during her three month leave decided she’d rather be a stay-at-home mom. I can remember thinking that she was crazy for choosing not to return to work. I was all of 23 years old, and I was sure that stay-at-home parents had the dullest lives I could imagine.

Today, 13 years later, I am in week 10 of my own 12 weeks of maternity leave. As the date of my return to work approaches, I have a new-found sympathy for that former co-worker and every other mother I’ve known over the years who decided to make motherhood their full-time gig.

The birth of my daughter has changed everything. Everyone told me that it would, and I knew that it would, but I did not really understand. I love working. I am good at my job, and I take great satisfaction from it. I will even admit that I have been a little bit bored now and again in my weeks of leave. Even so, I feel the same urge to stay home that my long-ago-colleague heeded.

I will be returning to work as I planned all those weeks ago, but the decision to do so is not nearly as cut-and-dried as my 23-year-old self imagined it would be. It is made a little bit easier by my choice for childcare. My little one will be at the Simon Family JCC. I’ve always loved the facility at the J, and so I was pleased to learn that they are now providing infant care. My husband and I were looking for a facility that provides a safe, secure, quality care, that’s close to my office, and we are really impressed with the JCC. The staff is kind and experienced, the security on site is reassuring in what can be a terrifying world, and the facility is amazing. The cost is basically the same as what we would pay at other local providers, but it comes with all of the amenities the J provides—I’m especially excited about the free babysitting while I work out (I still have a little baby weight to lose).

I recommend the J whenever I meet another young mother who is planning to return to work. It really is a great solution for families.

–Ruthie’s Mother