I am a photographer. www.aliceproujansky.com

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Picking the kids up from daycare, training for a run in honor of a friend lost to leukemia, bathing a child – small actions that add up to a life.

(More photographs of Jen as a working mother here.)

And then working mother Jen was back at work, running a press conference about discriminatory policing, speaking to members of the media, and pumping (and washing breast pump parts in the sink). Jen pushes herself hard at work and in her personal life. 

She was glad to be back working on a cause she cares deeply about. But she felt the pressure to get a long list of tasks done in the two days her baby is at daycare each week, and wondered if she would ever feel she was doing enough for her children and her career. 

Here are photos of working mother Jen, on her first day back at work since she had her son. The morning was hectic and rushed, but everyone made it out of the house (and Jen remembered all of her breast pump supplies). She was excited about being around other people and using her intellect more, but she felt a strong pull toward her kids as she left them at a local daycare. Jen’s working two days a week now, but her days in the office are intense and the work tends to leak into her days at home with baby Wiley.

Working mother Jen got three months of maternity leave from her job as the communications director at a non-profit that advocates for civil rights. She spent her time nursing and changing her son, and going for walks while listening to podcasts.

Her three year old daughter Olive attends a local daycare, and Jen and her husband Dan would meet up to walk home at the end of the day.

I’m editing a few shoots from my All of It: Working Mothers project, and here’s a quiet picture of Jen’s daughter Olive being bathed by her dad, Dan.

I’m editing a few shoots from my All of It: Working Mothers project, and here’s a quiet picture of Jen’s daughter Olive being bathed by her dad, Dan.

I photographed Talia Braude, a 39-year-old self-employed architect and single mom by choice, for the Daily Beast. Paula Szuchman wrote about women who aren’t waiting for a partner to come along before they start a family.

Talia’s matter of fact competence and sweetness with her baby Rian are inspiring (and so is his fat little face!).

I photographed anthropology professor Carla Bellamy and her daughters Dessa and Margo for the New York Times Sunday Review last week. Alissa Quart wrote about the high cost of child care and the middle class moms who are struggling to afford it. Says Bellamy:

“It’s not a tragic story, but is tiring and tiresome. I have a career, I work really hard, and yet I get no break.”

Center-based daycares are the second-most common childcare arrangement for young children of working moms in the U.S. My son William attends one (and when he’s home sick, I rush to get computer work done before he stops napping).

Weekend summary.

Tomara works in administration at a university and takes classes so she can become an academic advisor. Her work is slow while classes aren’t in session during the summer, and sometimes the afternoons drag as she waits to go pick up her son Spencer at a home daycare in her neighborhood.

In 2011, 13% of young children with working mothers in the U.S. attended home daycares like Spencer’s.

(More photos of Tomara and her wife Kamdyn here.)