By Robbie Owens

Follow CBSDFW.COM: Facebook | Twitter DALLAS (CBS11) – Ask a working parent about ‘work life balance’ and prepare yourself for a belly laugh. The idea seems, as times, as elusive as the unicorn: shows up a lot in fairy tales—not so much in real life. “I was much more torn that I expected,” says career woman turned mom Kate Knight. She says the birth of 5-month-old Annabel changed everything—and returning to work at the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas following her maternity leave as tough. “People want to work hard and want to do a good job,” says Knight, “but, the reality is we all have a life outside of our jobs.” Fortunately, an innovative program at the United Way allows new moms and dads to bring those new little lives to work with them until they’re six months old. “We absolutely have seen it work out,” insists Susan Hoff, United Way’s Chief Strategy, Impact and Operations Officer. “Compared to when we did not have this practice and Moms were trying to rush around to get their baby to child care, and often rush around to get them picked up, they were so scattered and less focused. Now, they can pay attention to their work, [because] they don’t feel concerned about the baby. The baby’s right there beside them.” Hoff says she pushed for the program because she remembers the stress and difficulty of those first months post maternity leave. And she also believes that flexibility helps build a more loyal workforce. Plus, millennials are forcing employers to make changes that meet the needs of their generation. “I am able to focus more at work—as crazy as it sounds,” insists multi-taking mother of three, Kimberlee Norton. Norton says having 3-month old AnnaKate nearby makes her both a better worker and better Mom, because she’s not as stressed. “I’m able to focus more because my mind is not wondering about what she’s doing—is she having her bottle on time, is someone giving her just the right amount of attention that she wants and needs at this crucial time in her life.” Right now, about a half dozen employees are taking advantage of the program. They insist that even childless colleagues are supportive—without a trace of resentment—seeing that these cooing, cuddly co-workers actually improve morale. “People act differently around babies,” insists Hoff, “it’s very humanizing to have babies in our midst.” “I think that’s how you define a good workplace,” says Knight, “having the ability to balance your life at home and your job.” (©2015 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)