Friday, May 27, 2005

More Work Panic

I've been trying to avoid a panic lately. I'm supposed to resume working on June 13th.

I've worked full time from home as an analyst since I had my daughter. It wasn't planned, but just worked out that way. Matt had gotten this job here in the bay area, and when I gave my boss my notice she offerred me the opportunity to telecommute. Perfect. Working full time at my job while also taking care of my daughter full time was killer. I didn't sleep much because when my daughter would sleep I would work. There were many late night analyses so that I could spend more time with her during the day. This job is very intensive, needing more time than I could ever give it and all my brain power.

After she turned two she started at preschool. (Okay, at that age it was day care but at a Montessori school. I call it preschool because day care has bad connotations and makes me feel incredibly guilty for being home but not having her with me all the time.) She started part time then we slowly increased it over time. Eventually I went back to grad school part time while still working from home full time. I want my MBA to take on a management level position after I graduate. The plan was to get my child to at least 2 before I graduated and returned to working outside the home, but infertility has a way of ruining the best of plans. Now I will graduate next May when Jack is 1.

Because I knew I couldn't handle full time work, part time grad school, a new baby and a 4 year old, I arranged with my boss that I would go to part time in late August until I graduate. She said that she would rather I not drag school on longer than necessary so I could graduate on time and get back into the office as soon as possible. It all sounded great. As for working full time this summer, it didn't sound like a problem because I had done it before with Janie.

So here I am now with Jack. He is not the same as Janie. Where she was quiet and easy and healthy, he is colicky and difficult and has health issues. My boss tried to call me the other day, but couldn't get a word in through Jack's screaming. I think she was calling to check that I'm still coming back, and the call probably didn't reassure her.

I'm panicking. How in the hell am I going to do this? I've already got a trip in June to plan, and one in July. Uhhhhh. I don't know. When I had Janie, I would bring her with me and my best friend would watch her. At that time my best friend had no kids, but now she's got a 2 year old and a 1 year old, and her one year old has Down's and a heart problem. In other words, she's a bit busy so I'm not even going to ask her.

And I don't know how to leave Jack not only because he's a fussy newborn, although that is reason enough, but because of his colostomy bag and heart issues. What if he has a leak? What if he has SVT's?

Right now, I can barely get myself dressed or showered, much less have time to do work. Getting an entry into this blog has been more difficult to time than I can describe.

So maybe I need to go back part time instead of full time. Or maybe not at all, but that would be very hard in many ways. I define myself through not just parenthood but my work. And I've held a job continuously since I was 13. It's my security and my chance to shine, so much so that I don't want to do it wrong either.

I can't put mothering Jack against work because we all know that's not a fair comparison. I guess I'm venting. I don't want to be a SAHM but I don't want to be a WOHM either, I want to still be both but am catching on to reality.

Do men ever have these worries?

48 Comments:

Blogger Ninotchka said...

Fuck no, they don't. The bastards. Balancing work and motherhood (heck, motherhood alone) is HARD under the best of circumstances. I have to say I admire your resolve and commitment to make it all work. I've buckled under much less pressure, wimp that I am. So you should at least feel good about that.

I hope you can find the best solution for you and your family.

12:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Everyone has to do what is best for their family, and sometimes it is hard to figure out exactly what that is. As someone who used to define a big part of who I was from my work, though, I can tell you that staying home full time takes some getting used to. The adjustment was very tough for me. The way I look at it though, is that while this is what I am doing right now, it is not what I'll be doing forever. Life has stages. I had the going-to-school-stage, the married-no-kids-stage and now the stay-home-with-kids-stage. Eventually, when they are older, maybe I will hit the working-with-kids-stage. We'll see. Fifteen years ago I never could have predicted where I would be now, (I never planned on quitting my job to stay home with kids! Insanity! My teenage self would be shocked!) so who knows where I'll be in fifteen years? Anyway, my point is that over time I found the whole "identity" issue not to be such a big deal after all, although it did take me awhile to get there.

By the way, it sounded like you did great during your day out with Jack. You kept it together quite well.

-Meg

1:29 PM  
Anonymous Andrea said...

You are a brave and hardy soul! It sounds pretty draining and well neigh impossible to me, frankly, and I'm no wimp, either. I can definitely relate to being torn on this issue; I finished law school and took the bar exam while pregnant with #2 and am now working part time from home.
I've come to the conclusion that I'm not happy without a paying job. It's embarassing to admit, but I find being a full time SAHM to be way too hard; right now I'm working for mental stimulation, a foot in the door for later, and to cover the cost of our ridiculously expensive daycare/preschool which allows me a break from the precious children so I can enjoy them when they're home. But then working full time is the path to insanity also-- the minute someone gets sick or husband has a business trip, the whole system is shot to Hell. I worked at home with children in the house for a while, and it was extremely tough to get anything done at all, unless you have one of those sleep all the time babies, and we all know that doesn't last long anyway. If I were you, I'd be looking for a way to lighten the load, too. I hope inspiration hits and you find a good solution. You're my hero of the week.

1:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it's very important to realize that there is no shame in asking them to put you part time when you go back if that's what you want. Go after what ever it is that will be best for you!

Amanda

2:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

no on the men front. maybe consider some help with Jack in your home -- maybe x hours a week and then you can still get your mommy time & your work time. don't know if thats an option but you are in a tough spot -- and I bet Jack will be doing better when he hits 3 or 4 months...good luck.

7:58 PM  
Anonymous Menita said...

on men: Heck, no!!!
I'm with Amanda - any way you can stretch the part time bit? Especially because of the foot in the door thing, if nothing else. With everything you have on your plate, travel alone in the summer sounds brutal.

12:50 AM  
Blogger TexasMama said...

Oh gosh that's a tough situation. I honestly can't immagine successfully working from home with my sone. I tried it for a few weeks and he did not take well too it. I agree with the others that maybe part-time for longer would be good. Mostly though, I'm sorry you have to deal with all this. You are absolutely right, men never do.

Good Luck! I hope you find a comprimise that works for you and your family.

7:44 AM  
Anonymous Anna V said...

I can't imagine it. I just gave up on WOH when it became abundantly obvious that it was just all too hard and that it wasn't getting any easier any time soon.

OTOH this is literally the first week in months that I do not have one single doctor's appointment for either kid. next week makes up for it with 3 on separate days.

I hope you can negotiate to part time or whatever will work for your sanity.

I just read your previous entry and, ummm, you're far from the first person who went out in public without the necessaries ;). it all gets so complicated.

1:58 AM  
Blogger Galloping Cats said...

De-lurking... Frankly any combination of two of those things (working full-time, school part-time, infertility treatments, caring for one child, caring for the other child)would be enough to get me very near the edge and I can't even begin to understand how you managed to care for Janie, work full-time, go to school part-time, and go through IVF and pregnancy all at once, much less adding in a new baby with health problems. (BTW, so glad he's home and sounds like doing much better!)

Apologies for stating the obvious, but you really need some help! You don't mention your husband's role in all this-- can he deal while you're on your trips? Can you afford paid help? There are people with experience in dealing with special needs. Maybe some combo of a regular babysitter with visits from a home health worker of some kind?

Sorry for just dumping stuff out there, especially if this is a "vent" not a "solve", but I was overwhelmed just reading this!

8:33 AM  
Blogger Indigo said...

I can totally relate. We went through infertily for 2-1/2 years before becoming pg FINALLY, and then it hit me, I've got all these IF bills to pay, how in world will I ever be a SAHM? And then Kid was born, and I didn't want to leave her, and I didn't want to leave my job either. It was so tough, but thankfully I work for with my family (parents & brother), and was able to bring her to work with me for the first two years.

It was almost like a Sophie's Choice for me .... my family, or my family. In the end I was able to get both, but not everyone has that opportunity.

I like your blog, and I'll be bookmarking it.

8:36 AM  
Anonymous Hadassa said...

ACtually this is a question for you Pazel, I found your blog when it was linked on chez miscarriage, and have been reading since the birth of your son. You have amazing strength!
In one of those strange coincidences, a close freind had an emergency c-section a week ago (b/c they detected the baby's heartbeat was way high) and now a few more episodes of unexplained irregular fast heartbeat has the newborn rushed to a specialist hospital for tests. It sounds so similar to your situation. Does it have a name? Is there anything that with your experience you can tell me that i can do to help my friend? ANy advice?

9:31 PM  
Blogger Mony said...

I hope everyone involved offers a great deal of understanding with your decision, considering your situation.
I am tired just thinking about your impending dilema, Pazel. I hope you get the easiset path & the best outcome for you & Jack..and Janie.
Men...Men... I wonder how they'd deal with an ounce of our troubles!

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