In the Spirit of Thanksgiving

November 17, 2020 Lauren Van Duyn

In the spirit of the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday and a month during which we all are more likely to take a step back and think about what we are grateful for, it felt like a natural time to follow up on my last blog post. Last you heard from me, I was expecting my first child and reflecting on how lucky I was to be heading into motherhood with the support of Workhuman®. One perfect child (OK, I’m biased) and a crazy pandemic later, the word GRATEFUL does not even begin to cover how I feel about Workhuman.    

Rewinding back to the first weeks of working remotely, and my final weeks of pregnancy, it would have been too easy to fall into a sinkhole of anxiety. Workhuman did a LOT to help me combat this. The fun and informational weekly updates we were getting from our CEO lifted a huge weight off my shoulders. I was able to breathe and focus on the health of myself and my family without the added stress of wondering if I would have a job to come back to. Talking with friends and family, I’m very aware of how rare this type of leadership truly is.  

I also got to enjoy a virtual baby shower with my HR team. When my dog started barking that day, I assumed we had just another Amazon delivery. But when I checked out the front window, I saw two of my colleagues on my lawn standing next to a mountain of diapers and other goodies. Our HR team meeting later was a celebration on Zoom, to which they also invited my mom and sisters. This was such a personal touch that really meant a lot (especially to my mom and sisters, who never got to throw me the baby shower they so carefully and lovingly planned).  

 

 

Jumping ahead to my time on maternity leave, I got to experience our own Workhuman products in a whole new way. First – with an award from Life Events® to celebrate my baby girl, Nora. Seeing the 100+ comments from my colleagues wishing me congratulations and sending words of encouragement and advice was so heartwarming. It definitely reminded me how lucky I was to work with such amazing people who had become friends.  

Second, and even more meaningful to me personally, was the Service Milestones® award I received in July for my two-year anniversary at Workhuman. Being at home with my daughter for four months was amazing and a time I will always cherish. But quite honestly, it was a bit of an identity crisis for me as well. I’ve been working since I was 16 years old. Fifteen years later, having four whole months off and focusing 100% on another human being (and without much social interaction – thanks COVID…) was difficult. I didn’t feel quite like myself (as I’m sure most new moms don’t)! When I received my anniversary award, with so many memories and stories about my last two years here – it was a wonderful reminder of who I am outside of my house and my duties as a mom. I sat there in the dark at 4:30 a.m. reading these messages on my Workhuman app while I fed my daughter, while most of my colleagues were still sleeping. It made me laugh, it made me cry, and it made me SO excited to get back to work in just a few short weeks.  

 

 

 

And now here we are. I’ve been back at it for three months. The support I have had in returning to work is even more than I could have imagined, pre-pandemic. I am lucky enough to still have childcare four days a week, and on Fridays, Nora and I are winging it. She has joined a couple of my meetings and is always greeted with a smile and a wave. Multiple people on my team, and the greater HR team, have continuously checked in on me to ask how we are doing with the transition. When I have to take Nora to an appointment, or she needs extra snuggles (teething is FUN!) – I know I can step away from work to care for her. I stand by my previous statement in my last blog – I can’t imagine doing this working mom thing anywhere else. 

I don’t know when we will be back in the office – but I do know that I will have all the support I need for that transition, just like I had with this one. 

I am one truly grateful mom, employee, and human.  

About the Author

Lauren Van Duyn

Lauren Van Duyn is a recruiter at Workhuman.

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