Agency Life: Maternity Leave and Navigating the New World of Parenting

By: Andrea Conrad

In 2018, we accomplished tons of great work at Identity. While many of our successes showcased our clients, for four of our team members, the true highlight of the year was welcoming healthy babies into the world, including my first.

After our managing partner had two babies in the past five years, it was a passion of hers to provide a maternity leave that supports team members through this important time in life.

Translated into something more measurable, Identity’s maternity leave includes 12 fully paid weeks, including two weeks working from home to get acclimated with client work, while caring for the baby at home.

For me, it wasn’t all about the money; however, it was so wonderful not to have to worry about another thing as we were navigating the new world of parenting. The benefit was the precious time I was able to spend with my daughter in the first months of her life.

In my opinion, and I know in the opinion of many others, 6-8 weeks is simply not enough time while trying to adjust mentally, heal physically, and get to know and care for a baby after birth.

I wasn’t the only one who was thankful. Here’s what my daughter, my husband and our managing partner had to say:

From my daughter, Joie: Having my mommy with me for the first three months was great! It was so special to spend time with her and bond with her. I didn’t let her sleep very much during the night and I had some reflux issues so I needed all the attention I could get. Luckily, we did take a ton of daytime naps together.

From my husband, Joe: It was hard enough for me to go back to work after my paternity leave so I can’t imagine what it would have been like if we both had to go back to work at the same time. I’m thankful that my wife was able stay at home for three months and bond with our daughter, and it brought me comfort and peace of mind knowing they were able to spend so much extra time together. It allowed us to adjust and set a routine at our own pace. And, the two weeks at the end were especially helpful to establish our combined back-to-work schedule.   

From Identity’s Managing Partner, Andrea Trapani: Having a baby is an incredible life event like none other. As a leader and a mother myself, I have experienced the physical, mental and emotional impact of having a child. Even without my first-hand experiences, truly supporting our employees through every phase of life is something I am passionate about and something that has been in the DNA of Identity and our leadership team since day one. It isn’t just lip service; whether it is having a baby, or navigating anything life can throw at us, we believe in supporting our team through the stages of their personal and professional lives.

Today, my daughter is almost 10 months old, so it’s been about seven months since I returned to the office. Although hectic some days, I am so glad I came back to work. I’m thankful for the trust and flexibility Identity has to offer, as there’s so much to figure out at every stage of the parenting game.

When I’m not at work, I spend my time with my daughter and my husband. Although dropping her off at daycare was scary at first, it’s rewarding to see her get the benefits of daycare like socialization, fun, motor skills and development, and soon the start of a daytime schedule. I don’t love the constant cough and runny nose, but I hear it’s the start of a stronger immune system!

I’m still figuring out my normal, but I do want to say kudos to all parents trying to figure it out! I don’t know what is best for you and your family. It might make sense to be a stay-at-home mom or find a job that allows you to work from home 24/7, but being a career mom works for me and my husband.

As my daughter grows up, I want her to know women can be successful—that’s why I’m going to continue to work hard and be the best example of a mother, wife and team member I can be.