I have worked since I was 16. I was unfamiliar with life without a job. Sometimes when I review my employment history I feel like I'm a little Kirk from Gilmore Girls. I have worn many hats. However, I hit the jackpot in June 2009. I finally found a job where I felt interested, challenged, and I got to use some of my talents. I moved up. I got to go to trial, I had a lot of responsibility, I even got an assistant! I worked with people I respect. I had the best friends there; I miss seeing their lovely faces every day. I got office gossip by the gallon. I got free diet coke. I was close to the mall. I was up to my eyeballs in work. No, top of my scalp.
I really thought I would go back. People told me I wouldn't want to work, even part time, and it ruffled my feathers. Nobody likes other people telling them how they do or will feel. Beyond that, the people telling me this stuff had never had jobs they'd been very invested in. I felt compelled to keep a leg in that world, and if they didn't understand that, then that was OK.
Then came this little raspberry.
(Looking at this I can't believe how small he was, and his face looks NOTHING like that now!)
At one month I didn't feel ready to return to work but thought maybe by 3 months I would.
Two months was the same,
Three months...well...you guessed it. And here I am on a Wednesday afternoon at home in grubby paint clothes taking a break from working on the Master Bathroom, and waiting for Jude to wake up from his nap.
There has never been anything I've felt more drawn to than my child. I don't have an obvious resource for childcare that would be worth it financially. We are so blessed that I don't have to work. And if it wasn't imperative, I couldn't bring myself to leave Jude with someone who doesn't have such an invested interest. Also, I had to admit to myself that my job was more of an "all in or all out" thing, and working "part time" really wouldn't have been part time in the end.
So I resigned.
Here's the only visual I have of myself on the job (I was at an inspection):
2 months later I am still getting used to this. I've talked to some other moms about this and it's nice to know I'm not the only one who feels a potpourri of
- self-spun guilt for the husband having all financial responsibility on his muscly shoulders,
- laziness -- and a strange lack of motivation since besides changing and feeding J, house projects and other things are not time sensitive. I work well on deadlines, routine, and pressure.
- missing the paycheck and seeing the finished work product,
- missing my own desk with a nice view of the 405, where everything was set up just like I like it,
- missing driving to work with Jeff and those days of being in the same field,
- guilt for missing these things in the first place,
conflicted by the impossible deliciousness of your baby and getting to soak up every little gurgle and squeal.
No matter how long I've dreamed of being a mother, saying goodbye to what my job gave me hasn't been as easy as I'd imagined. I guess cake is not always for having AND eating. In choosing between a job and my child, my child is the easy winner, I just am in search of something I can do while I have Jude right next to me. Of course I kick myself for not becoming better at piano -- Elizabeth has taught lessons for years! Some days the search is very important to me and I'm very antsy. Some days that's not the way I feel. Jeff has been sweet, supportive, and encouraging. I am trying to teach myself to not be so dependent on routine and deadlines. I remind myself there will be time later for the things I miss now. I read up on what religious leaders have taught about parenthood. I hug my baby and rub my cheek against his cheek while he sleeps. And my heart is full.