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To work or not to work?

That is the question.

My first day back should be July 4th….American Independence Day. Not sure if that’s a sign I should actually break free from the yoke of employment (and daycare drop off/pick up schedules) to be the primary influencer and educator to my young children in these highly formative years.

Why do I want to go back?

For the pay…to maintain our comfort. Except after paying for childcare, I’d be netting what we spend on food each month. And we’d likely have to find two day cares since the only one near us that takes both Nessness and Obiwan’s age groups already told me before Obiwan was born that there’s no chance he’d get a spot. That’s TWO drop offs and pick ups to coordinate. So I’d be paying a lot of late fees. I bet someone will always be sick as well. I guess there isn’t a lot of comfort in that sense. Plus in the 12 hours that the children will be awake, I’d only see them for three of them. An hour and a half would be used in meals. Thirty minutes in driving. Leaving one hour of real “together time”. The thought makes me sad.

And also for the “work from home” job. It’s been a god-send and a very enviable position to have. Short of having a home business, it’s not likely I’ll find something like this again. But going back to work so I can say I work from home isn’t exactly logical either.

Then Ms PR sent me this article on “Ten bad reasons to get a job” and well, I don’t really have a reason to go back to work. If I found my job thoroughly fulfilling and enjoyable then I can justify returning…but that’s not my case…so why is it so hard to decide? Even though the author gives me permission not to work, there remains a nagging voice that a modern, university-educated woman like myself should continue to work. Am I just waiting for my husband to affirm my inclination to dedicate this time to raising our kids?

Meanwhile, I talked to my manager and requested returning on a part time basis. Historically no one’s gotten this before. He said he’ll take it to the Director and HR. Will see what happens. And I will cross that final work/no work bridge when I get there.

Did you go back to work? Why/why not?

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So that’s what it feels like

13 months old

That working mom guilt feeling.

Now that we have a nanny, I can concentrate on working up in my home office and not be “disturbed” two hours at a time throughout the day. But those times where she’d cruise up to me and snuggle her face into my thigh, leaving a big wet kiss mark on my pants as I worked in the kitchen, or come up to me, call out and sign “all done” to say she’s had enough walking by herself and wants mommy-time, or where she plays peek-a-boo with me between the kitchen chairs….those were not disturbances. Those were heart-melting, precious moments. (Okay I’m not exactly sure what that feels like…because I mostly feel just a warm fuzzy…but I imagine people would generally call those heart melting moments. They’re certainly precious.)

Now I emerge from my work day and feel torn at having to make dinner when she wants so much to play with me…and I her….but the practicality of it is that dinner must be made. She hangs onto my pants and cries as I chop veggies. She follows me back and forth from counter to stove to sink to counter and back to stove. Whining. Crying. She looks up at me with wet eyes, downturned lips, signing “all done” and “please” while reaching up her arms. GAH. I missed you all day too! But we need dinner! Even if we don’t eat, you still need dinner Baby Girl. And I haven’t gotten a slow-cooker meal planning system down so that dinner will be done by dinner time with minimal effort from me. And Daddy has a later shift today so he doesn’t have time to pick something up. And we’re trying to minimize your exposure to processed foods so there no frozen dinner to reheat. I know my stoic face doesn’t show it…but I’m teary-eyed and calling out to get snuggle time with you too. Except I know you’re actually not a very snuggly baby. So please hang tight. Oh wait…hang…you can hang off my back as I wear you in the Ergo carrier! Ok crisis averted. Dinner will be made. We will be together. It’s not exactly quality…but making do here.