For many working mothers, it can be a real struggle to return to work after maternity leave. Comfort Keepers in Fremont is allowing its employees to bring their newborns to work with them.
The owner is all about family first and called the new policy a “no-brainer.” The employee thought her boss was joking. It has fostered teamwork and boosted morale.
Like any mother, Jessica Robinson couldn't bear to be away from her baby. Joshua was born on December 19. Her career driven self was yearning to go back to work not to mention help pay the bills. Six weeks after Joshua was born, Robinson who is a human resources manager at Comfort Keepers wrestled with what to do.
“Nowadays it's so hard for mothers to work a full-time job and be a mom, they have to choose,” said Robinson. “Do I want a career or do I have to be a mother?”
Her boss made that decision really easy by offering Robinson to bring her newborn to work with her.
“I thought it was a joke at first,” said Robinson. “She said I’m serious about you bringing the baby.”
Comfort Keepers helps take care of seniors in their homes. The Fremont franchise has 45 employees. Brenda Wright is the owner.
“We are in the family business,” said Wright. “I think it's important we share that. I think it's important that they bond.”
Now eight weeks old, this is Joshua's first week in the office.
“The first day was a little distracting just because I came back and there was a baby in the office but it just kind of worked out well,” said Robinson.
Joshua often stays in his rocker near Jessica’s desk. She feeds and changes him as needed. He even gets his tummy time in.
Robinson said it's helped to prevent postpartum depression calling it the best of both worlds.
“I hope that companies do consider doing this for their employees, because as a mother it's not fair to have to choose a career or a family,” said Robinson. “You should be able to have a career and have your family as well.”
Robinson said if she didn't have this option, she would have likely taken a six-month leave. The plan is to have her baby in the office for a month and then re-evaluate if she needs more time.
Robinson has three other children. The company is now looking to partner with the daycare next door to get employee discounts.