Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Rolling with it.

I have been thinking about work, and work-life balance. I think it is something that most of us struggle with at some point.

The problem I have is that I am a rather driven person. When I was younger, I wanted to have a “cool” job. That job tended to be in the sciences. Doctor, research scientist, or something along those lines. Teaching did not interest me, and the only reason I got my graduate degree in education is because I was bored and cound not find anything else to do. Teaching was not “cool” enough for me. Turned out I am not too bad at it, but it is not really what excites me. Teaching is not a love for me.

Nursing interested me because it is in the sciences and is part of the medical field. I have been dancing around medicine. When I got my degree and started working in the operating room, I found what I wanted to do. My favorite clinical in nursing school was observing the open heart surgery procedure.

I really enjoyed most of the work I did at the level 1 trauma center, but it was stressful. You never knew what your day would turn out to be. Anything could come through the door, and we had to fit it in the OR somewhere. I loved the people I worked with, too. They are a great group of nurses.

After I had the Little Guy, I really needed less stress. That is how I ended up in my current job at the ambulatory surgery center. It is definitely less stress. And it is another great group of nurses and doctors there. I have opportunities to expand my skills into PACU and outpatient areas. And I only work twice a week. I have plenty of time to spend with my little guy, especially as I am not teaching now. I have more opportunity to get out with the Little Guy and meet other mothers. That is really where I need to be right now.

But... (You knew that was coming, didn't you?)

I feel like something is missing. Maybe it is because I feel like the work I do at the ambulatory surgery center is not as exciting to me. The work consists of a lot of “little” cases and does not feel as challenging to me as the work work at my old job.

The nice thing about my current job is that I have energy to give to raising my son. That is pretty special, and I am lucky to have the opportunity to do that. I do not have to work full time. I have a job I leave at work, and does have any “homework.” I have time to enjoy the child for whom we waited so long.

The current job is also better for me if I decide to go back to number 2. As mentioned above, it is a lower stress job, and they are likely to be more flexible if I need to come in late after monitoring appointments. Hubby is more comfortable with me in the job while I am pregnant with child number 2.

Another reason to stay in this job is that only one person in a couple should have the high stress job. Hubby is the one with the higher stress job, and he has less flexibility about what he can do. He is also the main breadwinner in the family. With me working part time, I have some time to care for him and the house, both of which are important to me.

So, for the time being I need to let go of my inner drive and enjoy what I have. I can go back to a more challenging job later. I have a good job, a lovely supportive Hubby, and a beautiful and happy toddler. Life is good right now. I need to enjoy it.


Searching for Serenity said...

There will always be time to pursue professional opportunities that drive in the future. Once your kid(s) are in school.

I wish were in a position where I could work part time or SAH full time. After waiting for so long to have our son, my career became more established and the salary is hard to let go. One of the things I resent most about it taking us so long. If we'd gotten pregnant right away, my salary may not have been a determining factor.

I'm grateful that my position has remained the same and that I've had the support of my manager while we've attempted to build our family. If my situation were any different I would hold a lot of resentment towards my job.

If you can't tell, I'm totally envious that you get to stay home with you little one. They grow up too fast.

~Jess said...

I agree with Serenity....there will always be time later to pursue are only little for so long :-)

Andrea said...

I SOOOO know what you mean.
I am in a very similar mental position and I can't seem to figure out what the best balance for Me/US is - it's sometimes hard to enjoy things when you don't feel satisfied in every area. I get it :)