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What's It Like Balancing A New Baby And Being Back To Work In A Pandemic?

(courtesy of Genessee Semler)

Going back to work after having a baby is tough at any time, and doing so during a pandemic has even bigger challenges.

We’ve been following Ventura County new mom Genessee Semler, whose daughter Fin arrived hours after the Presidential Inauguration – and she is now back to work after having her baby.

Baby Fin is as old as Joe Biden’s Presidency – 7 weeks, and her mom - Genessee Semler - is feeling run down.

"I'm sleep deprived and it's been difficult with her. Which is why I think I'm starting to get a cold," she told KCLU. 

"I think that's common with new motherhood." 

Genessee had sixweeks maternity leave and is now – like so many families – up all night with a nursing baby, and then back to work in the daytime.

"You have all your ideas of should be and it's different. I've been humbled a bit," the Thousand Oaks resident said. 

"Now that I see how much time it takes, how much energy it takes." 

Genessee says she feels less efficient that she used to be, and struggles with a "bit of a brain fog," as she juggles new motherhood with the responsibilities of her job. 

"From a productivity stand-point, if you're just being very cut-throat, I can see how that is 'different'. But, in fairness, when you have a child, two people did make her. 

"Women shouldn't be penalised for that," says Semler. She suggests that male salaries could be lowered to bring an equality in pay. 

"Having children is something which is a responsibility of both men and women." 

While having a baby during a pandemic and the restrictions on movement and visitors is tough – for new mom Genessee, the new normal of being able to work from home gives her some added flexibility.

Genessee says that the hardest thing is that everything takes "about twice as long," since having to account for Fin too. 

"You think you love your partner, but it's nothing compared to how protective you feel towards this person...that's making your life so difficult," she laughs. 

And we will continue to follow Genessee and Fin’s journey here on KCLU. 

Caroline joined KCLU in October 2020. She won LA Press Club's Audio Journalist of the Year Award in 2022 and 2023.

Since joining the station she's won 7 Golden Mike Awards, 4 Los Angeles Press Club Awards and 2 National Arts & Entertainment Awards.

She started her broadcasting career in the UK, in both radio and television for BBC News, 95.8 Capital FM and Sky News and was awarded the Prince Philip Medal for her services to radio and journalism in 2007.

She has lived in California for ten years and is both an American and British citizen - and a very proud mom to her daughter, Elsie.
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