At Stratis Financial in Huntington Beach, California, Haley Martinez handles potential compliance issues for residential mortgage seekers. Haley’s current responsibilities, along with her prior professional endeavors, add up to more than a 15-year career history. Now in her mid-30s, she is about to begin a new calling as a mother. Oübly.com spoke with Haley about awaiting her daughter’s birth in September and how being a mom will impact her professional life.
You began your career while still a teenager. What does it mean to you to become a mom at this stage in your life?
My job has always been my identity. When someone would ask about my life, I would immediately think of work and where I am professionally. Now I’m not sure how I will feel about my career after having the baby. Will I take it as personally as I did before becoming a mother? I don’t know.
Are you planning on taking time off from work either before or after having your daughter?
Yes. I’m taking off a few weeks prior to my due date, and then I’ll be home until the beginning of 2014. My workplace has been incredibly accommodating during my pregnancy.
We’re a smaller company, so the people I work with are truly like a family to me. They have always treated me like a person, not just an employee, which has been great. I do plan to help out on a limited basis from home in the weeks leading up to my return to work, though.
Did your company request that you work remotely toward the end of your maternity leave, or did you suggest it?
To be honest, I wanted to do it. If it works out, we might be able to create an arrangement where I could work from home some of the time. Having that kind of flexibility would be fantastic after the baby comes.
Also, it gives me the opportunity to feel out how our business is doing at that time. The nature of the mortgage industry is so unpredictable. Even though I plan to be away for just a few months, who knows how busy or slow we’ll be when I return. If it is slow, I’ll have to figure out my work options.
Would you consider staying at home as a fulltime mom?
My husband and I both agree that we need to be a dual income household, so that’s the primary reason why I’m going back to work after my maternity leave.
My husband is totally supportive of my needs, though, so if for some reason I decide that I should be at home with our daughter, he told me that we would find a way to make it work. At this point, I honestly don’t know how I’ll feel if or when that day comes.
Some women feel compelled to be at home with their babies. Others must have an outlet outside of motherhood. I’m not sure into which of those two categories I’ll fall. I know some couples really like to plan these things out, but we’re playing it more by ear.
Are you already planning to have more than one child?
If we can, that would be great. I know we would be very happy with one child, but sure, we’ve talked about having two kids. That would definitely change things, though. Right now, we plan to have our friend’s mother help us with our daycare needs for probably a much more affordable cost than some parents have to pay.
My husband might be able to change his work schedule from eight to ten hours a day so that he could stay home with the baby at least once a week as well. If we had two kids, though, I would stay home until they were school age because it would just be more economical that way.
Having kids is so different from what it was just a few generations ago. More women might be delaying pregnancy because of their careers, but I believe that it’s more out of necessity than anything else. I want to be able to provide for my children, but I think it’s harder to prepare for a family nowadays. That’s why more women are having kids in their 30s than 20s.
What’s it been like over the last several months as you’ve been preparing for your new baby?
It hasn’t been as big of a change as I imagined. For one, I don’t miss any of the things that I could do when I wasn’t pregnant. I thought for sure I would want to go out and eat and drink the foods and beverages that are off limits during pregnancy.
None of that has mattered to me, and I definitely enjoyed getting the baby’s room ready. Once you become an adult, there are only so many times you can redecorate your living room or kitchen! Designing the nursery was really fun.
Your daughter’s due date is only a month away. What are you most excited for?
I can’t wait to see her. It’s been really cool to feel her moving inside me for the last several months, but I’m so ready to see what she looks like. I’m also ready for some of my pregnancy symptoms to come to an end.
Just a few weeks ago, I realized that none of my shoes fit anymore. I can only wear my gym shoes or sandals because my feet are so swollen. That’s gotta go.