Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Still here and an unexpected shift at work

It's amazing how quickly large chunks of time pass without me realizing it. It must be due to the confusion my body suffers due to my wacky sleep "schedule" (which is no schedule at all). I could swear I just posted about cats and permethrins - but it has been over a week!

At any rate, guess what I did this weekend? I worked a short shift. My colleague qualified for a large regional dressage competition. She couldn't find any relief vets to work her 8am-1pm Saturday shift, despite trying for several weeks. She asked me to do it. Once I got over my initial irritation at being bothered while I am enjoying my maternity leave, I realized that I kinda wanted to do it.

Motherhood is wonderful, and I love, love, love spending time with my daughter. On the other hand, my husband is frantically working on his thesis (his defense is looming in the next few weeks), leaving me to try and manage the baby by myself. He is wonderful and steps in to help any time he thinks I need it, but I'm trying desperately not to bother him. Also, since I am exclusively breastfeeding, I am with the baby most of the day. She also sleeps with me, so I have very little time away for myself. This is the plight of all new mothers, and it's a big adjustment. My husband and I have been married for 12 years, always able to do as we please, when we please. It's been a pretty fancy free lifestyle, honestly. Having a little person to care for 24/7 is a huge change. It's like this for everybody, I realize - so nothing new there. You just don't realize HOW MUCH your life revolves around a baby until you have one. No matter what people tell you - there is no way to prepare.

At any rate, the thought of being with other adults and back at work for a few hours was really enticing, so I accepted her request. I also want to build good will at work. It was a Saturday morning, so it was slow. I saw a dog with a badly broken leg and a cat with a terribly degloved tail, and otherwise, I sat around and caught up with my technicians. Still, it was refreshing to be back at work, even for a short, boring shift.

I wonder if I could be a stay at home mom. Just a few short weeks ago, that thought was enormously appealing. Now that I've been away from work since the end of September, I realize that I really do love what I do and want to continue doing it. I also want to be an involved parent. Life to me seems to short to waste on working, no matter how much I love what I do. It's a conundrum.

Is it possible to be a great mom and still work a demanding job? I guess we'll find out. On the bright side, my job allows me large blocks of time off, which I can spend with my family.

1 comment:

foffmom said...

There are always conflicts between working and home. ALWAYS. But most of them are totally between our ears, self-inflicted guilt trips. I am a midfifties semi-retired physician who raised two kids, now adults. I also tortured myself. I loved my job, I loved my kids. I can now see, working (part-time, 40 hours a week for the last ten years) was a way of loving my kids. Yes, it was not as much FUN as being home making cupcakes, but they have sure enjoyed having a decent college fund! And I am enjoying early retirement,something I couldn't have done if I did not work. Work is so much easier-you know when you have made a good decision. Parenting is not so objective.
And when really on the hook with your internal dialogues, ask yourself this: What would you like for your lovely daughter to do, if she were in your situation?
Amazing picture, and if that is your husband, nice choice!