Part I: The Ultimate Juggling Act – Little Ones and Work – A Delicate Balance

March 22, 2023

Trying to find that oh-so-delicate and important balance between your little ones and work can be exasperating. Like many working moms, you may also be experiencing a flood of emotions as the end of your maternity leave approaches. But there are ways to successfully navigate this special time. Here’s the first in a series of articles on how to make it a more joyful and manageable time for you and your family.

Find good child care where teachers have great communication skills.

Finding a good fit for child care goes a long way to alleviate the uneasiness of going back to work.  Make time to interview learning centers for young children and get recommendations from friends or family. At Luminous Early Childhood Learning Center in the Bronx and Brooklyn, NY, we welcome unannounced visits and walk-throughs so you can see what our normal routine is truly like. ‘Have questions about your little one’s care and well-being, especially on his or her first day? Next to your child’s care and development, keeping communications active and open with our parents is our most important goal. We want to make it easy for you to stay involved with your child’s life and know everything that’s happening with her or him so you don’t feel like you’re missing anything!

Make a plan B for back-up day care – avoid a crisis.

Daily routines can change in a minute so it’s best to have a plan B. What will you do if our child care center is closed,  you have a work deadline to meet, or you get sick?  Once you’ve registered your child, it’s easy to get distracted from the importance of an emergency plan after your new schedule is in full swing. So before your child’s first day at our early childhood learning center,  line up a backup sitter, family members, or close friend who you can call upon in a pinch. Getting to know a fellow mom in your neighborhood or church who is willing to help might also be a good idea.  Having several back-up caregivers will ensure that you have coverage in case your go-to is unavailable.

Your sweet (but unpredictable!) baby.

Just as you’re about to leave home with baby in tow, you see your smiling baby with a diaper leak! Every parent who’s had this experience can relate to that surge of adrenaline when you realize you’re going to be late – very late.  To keep stress to a minimum, prep for the morning as much as you can before you turn in.  In plain sight, post a list of the tasks needed such as shower, pack lunches and snacks, prepare bottles/breast milk, lay out everyone’s clothes (including yours!), re-stock the diaper bag with a spare set of baby clothes, etc. Know how long it takes to drop off baby at your Luminous Early Childhood Learning Center and get to work. When life throws you a curve, you’ll be amazed at how much more relaxed you’ll feel if you follow these simple suggestions.

   Ask for support in the workplace.

If you’re a mother of young baby, there are new topics to discuss and clarify with your employer. It’s perfectly reasonable for you to initiate this conversation before you give birth as it will help you and your employer understand what to expect when you return to work. Ask about:


  • Leave available for caring for sick children and well-baby visits. Ask your employer or manager about their policies. Can you work from home (if you’re not already) or on a flexible schedule? If you need two hours for a standard appointment, can you make up the time in the future?
  • Leave for yourself. Leave policies are not standardized, so ask about your employer’s baby bonding policy, paternity leave policy, personal leave, sick leave, and unpaid leave.
  • Designated breastfeeding area. Ask your employer about places that you can comfortably and privately pump.  Federal law requires that any company of 50 employees or more provide breastfeeding moms with sufficient break time during the day to pump milk for their babies until age 1.  The employer must also provide a private space other than a bathroom to pump. Check that there’s a refrigerator you can use to store your milk. If you’re going to be pumping at the office, dress accordingly so you can easily breastfeed without too much trouble. Also, try getting on a schedule so your coworkers understand when you will be away from your desk.

Luminous removes the hassle of arranging for tuition vouchers and helps make childcare affordable. Vouchers can help ease your financial stress – reducing the cost to as little as $1 to $50 dollars per week per child depending on eligibility. Learn more about qualifying for HRA and ACS vouchers at our seven Bronx and Brooklyn centers. Payment can also be made by SEIU/1199 Child Care, check, credit card, and through the Luminous reimbursement program. Contact Luminous Early Childhood Learning Center at or call us at 929.228.1180.


Thanks for contributing writer Sara Novack and Freepik for assisting with this series.