When I first went on ‘maternity leave’, I didn’t really have a definite date in mind for when I would start working again. Most women get what? 6 weeks, maybe 8 weeks? Some lucky ones get 10 or 12 that I’ve heard. Because I have the luxury of making that decision for myself rather than have it dictated by some bald-headed man known as ‘boss’, I thought I’d allow myself and my daughter to be together uninterrupted until sometime in June. Why not, right? Our finances can handle it. And I’ve only just started feeling physically better, and emotionally I’m mostly back to normal too… but of course I’m tired and busy and still adjusting daily to the new things our little girl throws at us.
Just the other day, I started freaking out in my head about HOW I was going to EVER start working again. Some days I can hardly shower or eat lunch or brush my teeth without Maggie screaming her head off. Of course, other days she’s a perfect angel and I think ‘Hey no problem!’ Granted, she’s only 6 weeks old and the next few weeks could change things (we can only hope!) but the unpredictability of it all does not make a very good work environment. It seems like as soon as I sit down to do anything once she’s asleep (writing a blog post, for example!) she has a sixth sense about it and wakes up screaming and hungry. So getting a chunk of time to do anything just doesn’t happen- not that I’m surprised at all, I totally expected this. Add to that the fact that Dan has been away several evenings last week and this week, helping to get the office set up and help to interview people at his new company, thus leaving me ALL ALONE after an entire day of being ALL ALONE with the baby… wrapping my head around sitting down and doing something constructive, let alone adding the pressure that someone is paying me for it and relying on me for it is pretty much impossible.
It must be cosmic timing or something. Suddenly, I’m getting some pressure from a long-time client (who uses me as a sub-contractor) to come back early. Like, TODAY-early. I explained that being able to bathe regularly is a huge feat lately, and I’m just not ready. But I will let you know! Now he has resorted to begging.
Part of me can understand. If I’m not doing work for him, his cash flow is affected. So the sooner I come back, the better for him. But for me, as anxious as I am to get back to work from a mental standpoint (intellectual stimulation, anyone?) I know that it would be a huge mistake to start back already. I would end up stressed and more exhausted and that would just be no good for anyone. I haven’t responded to his latest email (the one with the begging) because I’m just not sure how much clearer I can be than saying ‘I’m not ready yet, I’ll let you know when I am’. And I’m also afraid that I’ll wimp out and cave and say sure I’ll do it, just this ONE job (even though I have 2 customers I left hanging when Maggie came early, and those need to be my priority when I come back anyway!)
I guess I just don’t appreciate the pressure. I have enough pressure right now, in the form of a 7 and a half pound human that poops everywhere and likes boobs. One of the reasons I worked so hard to get to a point where I can work for myself is to avoid this kind of pressure and have the freedom to make my own decisions about when and how much I work.
Which brings me to another whole topic, something I’m going to have to figure out before I come back, regardless of when that is. Part time childcare. I’m almost positive I’m going to need it in some form, especially if Dan’s crazy work schedule keeps up. If I don’t have him around to take over evenings here and there, then there is NO WAY I’ll be able to do both the mothering and the working (and stay sane!) I’ve done some research for a few places around here, and for just 2 or 3 days each week and not even all day, let’s just say that we could buy 2 new really nice cars for that amount of money each month. Forget it! My next idea is to try to find someone independent, either in their home, or even in mine to just come over for a few hours as needed to watch Maggie while I hide in the office and work. (So if anyone in my area knows anyone who might be able to do something like that- let me know!)
Anyway, I’m not sure what the point of this ramble was. Just venting, I guess!