Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Oh, if I only had more time.

I really should not complain. I think I am going to end up with more than eight weeks of leave. I still do not have a start date at work, but I have made moves to go back. I contacted my supervisor and told her that I was medically clear to return to work, and that I wanted to return part time. I had to re-apply for my position, but that is all right. It is part time, so I will not have as many hours. I still have to work 24 hours a week in order to keep my benefits, but that is not terrible. Three 8 hour days seems not too bad right now. A lot less daunting than a full time position. Especially if I can keep a regular schedule. Unfortunately, I think we are without insurance this month. We will see when we go back to our ped's office. I never received COBRA info, and I thought that they had to do that before stopping your insurance. (I think I need to make a call to HR....)

I should not start getting upset yet, as I still have time, and I still not not have a start date. I still have time to spend with my baby! Trying to remember to breathe, and take the time to enjoy these days with my little dude. Honestly, I will not be upset if it takes me until April to start back. I think it will be fine.

I know that these feelings of guilt and ambivilence are normal for mothers returning to work. It is difficult to go back. It is also difficult to stay home. (At least from my perspective.) You sacrifice something no matter what you do. Blogher had an interesting post on this subject. If I stayed home, I would sacrifice a fulfilling career. Going back to work, I sacrifice time with my little one in order to feel fulfilled. It is not an easy decision to make, whatever you choose. I am choosing back back to work with a reduced schedule. I hope that this works for me. I hope I do not resent the choice I made. A lot of women work outside the home, and many go back while their baby is still an infant. Also, we need health insurance for our little one (and ourselves!)

It does not help matters that my mother does not appear to be supportive of my choice to go back to work. Hubby says that it may be that she does not have any experience with this, as she was a stay at home mom. I think that is true, to a certain extent. We also think very differently and live our lives very differently. My mother is an artist, and she does not work outside the home. She is very, very right brained. I have worked or gone to school ever since college. I am relatively analytical and I tend toward type A behavior. I am more left brained. We are so different, it is often difficult for us to see the other's point of view.

My mother moved down here to help us with childcare. She really wanted to be the childcare provider for the first year. I would have loved to have her as a childcare provider for the little dude's first year. Unfortunately, she is unable to do this, because of her retina surgery. I think it was a hard thing for her to admit. She was unable to tell me straight that she could not do it, and I am beginning to learn that subtle does not work in our relationship. We think so differently that we have to be clear about what we want and need. And even then, we often hear things wrong. It is really frustrating. All we can do is keep trying.

My work is important to me. Not to mention, I love having the income. I am fortunate in the fact that I am not dependent on my income, so I can work part time. I know that there are others who are not so fortunate.

Somewhere along the line, I decided that I wanted to have a job and have a family. I wanted both, knowing that it is not easy. Growing up I had two role models. My mother, who stayed at home with my sister and I, and my aunt who works and never had children. Looking at both of them, I realized that I wanted the best of both worlds. I wanted a fulfilling career, and I wanted a husband and "2.5" children. I know that it is not easy, but I married a man who will support me as I pursue this. I chose a career that has a lot of mothers already in it, and is very rewarding to me. I honestly do not think I ever considered not working. Now I have to work through the guilt and fear that comes with this decision.


Hope in Virginia said...

You have to do what is best for you...not your mom. Sounds like you'll end up with a great situation where you can have a robust professional life and still have lots of time with your little angel. I really hope it works out for you and that you are at peace with your decision. And btw, probably about time to post more pictures!

Jamie said...

This is so interesting to read - my mother was the EXACT same way. "Just don't go back" is what she said to me. Like it was THAT easy. Besides not being able to live without my income, it is a part of my identity. As much as I wanted to stay home with my little guy, I knew in my heart I couldn't do it forever. I spent my maternity leave like a mini-vacation from life and not necessarily like being a SAHM. Being a SAHM has more than its share of responsibilities so for me, the end of my maternity leave was like the end of my 'only me and the baby and not worry about anything else' time.

It is hard. It is still hard, but you will find a place where it works out and it feels good. Hang in there!