Baby Hendrix Graduates From Jeanne D’Arc Credit Union’s Infant At Work Program
It’s been four months since Jeanne D’Arc Credit Union welcomed baby Hendrix to their team after his mom, Caitlyn Aguiar, Assistant Member Service Center Manager, became the first parent to participate in the Credit Union’s Infant at Work program. Now that Hendrix is six-months-old, his time at the Credit Union has come to an end.
Jeanne D’Arc’s Infant at Work program allows moms and dads to bring their babies to work with them, up until the baby turns six-months-old or begins to crawl, whichever comes first. Hendrix turned six-months on March 19, 2018, and he enjoyed his last day at work with mom on Friday, March 16th. Caitlyn’s co-workers even threw him a “going away party”.
Caitlyn says the program was successful, and has been an amazing benefit to her and her family. It’s helped them save on childcare costs, and has allowed her to spend valuable time with her baby while earning a living.
“I feel so blessed to have done it,” says Caitlyn. “To be able to watch him through some of his most important times developing has been incredible. I know that they go to daycare and they’re safe there, but to be able to have him with me 24/7 is just so special.”
“We understand that for both babies and parents, having ample time to bond is so important. Our Infant at Work program gives them this chance,” says Mark S. Cochran, President and Chief Executive Officer of Jeanne D’Arc. “We are thrilled with how successful the program was for Caitlyn and Hendrix, and we are very much looking forward to providing more parents in our organization with this opportunity.”
One would imagine taking care of a baby while tending to work responsibilities simultaneously comes with challenges. Caitlyn, who has two other sons in addition to Hendrix, says the challenges were different than she anticipated, and were relatively easy to adjust to.
“You have to multitask no matter what you’re doing when you have kids, it’s a requirement, so it’s just a matter of figuring it out as you go,” says Caitlyn. “I understood the challenges, but we’re adaptable so we made it work and figured it out. I’ve been able to fulfill my duties and stay on track, and it hasn’t prevented me from doing anything.”
Caitlyn’s supervisor, Anexis Sanchez, Member Service Center Manager, saw first-hand the challenge of Caitlyn’s attention being split between the baby and her work, but praises Caitlyn for doing a wonderful job taking care of Hendrix while fulfilling her work tasks at the same time.
“There was nothing that fell to the wayside within her job duties or functions,” says Sanchez. I commend Caitlyn for doing this while maintaining her work ethic.”
As a mom herself, Sanchez feels the Infant at Work program is a great opportunity for parents, and like so many Jeanne D’Arc staff members, she has enjoyed having Hendrix in the office each day.
When Caitlyn first came back to work with Hendrix, who was two-months-old at the time, she was anxious because she didn’t know how her co-workers would feel about having a baby on board, but she was pleasantly surprised at just how well the staff at Jeanne D’Arc adapted to Hendrix being their new office mate.
“Initially, I was terrified. I was nervous for the people around me,” she said. “But, luckily he was great, and they were so understanding, and from day one accepting of him. He definitely lightened the mood. People would come down from the other end of the floor and say ‘Oh, I’m having a bad day, I just need to see him smile.'”
Caitlyn’s job requires talking to Credit Union members on the phone in the call center. She says she never got a complaint from a member about being able to hear a baby in the background. While she recognizes that having a baby in one of the Credit Union’s branches may come with a different set of challenges, she believes it is doable, and it’s all about figuring it out day-by-day. She says the support she received from the Credit Union was so helpful in making it work.
Now that Hendrix’s tenure at the Credit Union has come to an end, he will be joining other babies at daycare, a transition Caitlyn is sad about, but feels it will be a good change for both she and Hendrix. She says his time at Jeanne D’Arc has prepared him for his next steps.
“I think another perk of having him here is the fact that he is so cool with everybody,” Caitlyn said. “He had the two people that watched him if I was busy or needed to go to the bathroom, so he has no problem going to other people and interacting, which is great. He’s a very social baby. I think bringing him here had a huge part to do with that.”
Photo cutline: Caitlyn Aguiar, Jeanne D’Arc Credit Union’s Assistant Member Service Center Manager, is the Credit Union’s first employee to participate in and complete the Infant at Work program. The program allows parents to bring their infants to work with them, up until the baby turns six-months-old or begins to crawl, whichever comes first. Her son, Hendrix, has spent the last four months by his Mom’s side at her desk each day.