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Diapers, Details and Dedication - Darla is Getting it Right

Published:Wednesday | August 19, 2015 | 12:00 AM
The Thompson Family (from left) André, Mickel, and Darla.
Darla-Jay O'Connor-Thompson at work.

Mandeville, Manchester

From crying weeks on end because she had to leave her baby, to bringing his pacifier and a pair of socks in her bag to work, Darla-Jay O'Connor-Thompson had serious withdrawal issues. But she has now settled in her routine of being a new mom and a young professional.

"It was heartbreaking to leave him, but a mama has to do what she has to do for her children. So I also had to remind myself that this was for his foundation and we plan on building a solid one for all our kids."

She added, "I wake at 4 a.m., make breakfast (when time permits me). I wake AndrÈ, my husband, and the baby, get them ready for work and the day care, catch the bus to work by 5:40 a.m. Work starts at 8:30a.m. and ends at 5 p.m. ... well really 5:30 for me because I stay back to complete any unfinished work. I catch the bus home at 5:45 p.m., get home at 7 p.m. where we pick up the baby from the day care or have our driver take him home."

"When I get home I cook - if I hadn't done so before - and play with baby as much as I can, even if it means waking him up as I miss him in the days. By 9:30 p.m. he is fed and we try to put him to bed together. Then its AndrÈ and Darla time (smile). He wakes again at 1 a.m., where he is fed and put back to bed by both of us and then the cycle begins again."


adding to the challenges


Working as a group secretary for a large corporation, the distance from home to work adds to the challenges O'Connor-Thompson faces, but she is hoping to change that soon.

"The distance is very hectic, but it has to work. Until we start our own business, we have to make some sacrifices. Sleeping on the way in and on the way out from work, falling asleep during family time - isn't the most ideal thing for us but we have to do what is needed to provide for each other until a more settled solution surfaces."

Even though her 'Me Time' has now really become 'sleep time' the mother of a one-year-old would not change a thing about her life.

"The hassle has made me more appreciative of a lot of things and, as such, each milestone that we pass and each goal we achieve is so much more jubilant. My partner is the best husband and father any woman could have. I'm just blessed he's mine," she beamed.

She further mentioned laughingly, "One thing my mother always told me 'never bring home your work. Work is work and family is family'. Whenever I am not at work, those times are dedicated to family. We do everything together, even if it's going to the supermarket, you rarely see one without the others."

Learning something new about her status each day, O'Connor-Thompson believes in order to get this right one must "remain focused on a plan, get organised, and find the right balance between profession and parenthood. It can be done."

- T.B.