too much pressure

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!


  1. Daia

    May 10, 2007 6:14 pm

    oh, how i understand your worries.. i was in the same dilemma when my son was born. I actually had 6 months of maternity leave and my bf had 3 months, but I ended up being at home for 16 months because I didn’t want anyone else taking care of my son (..selfish mums!) and I didn’t want to miss out on anything that happened in his development.
    Even when we did the math, the effort of going out to provide wasn’t paying off that much, so because we could survive with one income we did it this way.

    Time flies by so fast, she will be so big, so soon and this time with her will never come back :/
    But if you can get a part time nanny that can come home to you (and even do some dishes.. how about that!) ;) that sounds really sweet!

    best of luck :)

  2. Corrie

    May 10, 2007 7:30 pm

    Snaps! If I wouldn’t of moved, I would have totally done it! Let me think…okay I think I know of some places, I worked when Jaden was a baby, so e-mail me if you want!

  3. janet

    May 10, 2007 8:17 pm

    you might try to get a local college student to be a part time in home nanny. it’s a job I would have killed for in college! I did a similar thing actually, but for a family with 3 teens.

  4. Mel

    May 10, 2007 9:30 pm

    Oh, yeah, I agree with Janet. I think this is a great idea. I did this the summer after my freshman year. The mom or dad owned their own business, were around sometimes, but I was around to help them entertain and take care of their kids . It was an awesome experience. Of course, you’ll have to do a super duper reference check, like they did on me, but at least if you’ll be home at the time they’re around. :)

  5. Joan

    May 11, 2007 3:32 am

    I understand how you feel – trying to juggle baby and work. I considered for a long time being a SAHM and trying to start some internet business which I could run from home.

    But I’m back at work, things are more sane, and my boss allows me to work from home about twice a week. Although I haven’t been doing so lately. I did find though, that I don’t get as much accomplished work-wise when I am at home because the baby really needs a lot of attention.

    Good luck with finding good childcare! And as I’ve mentioned before, things will really get eaiser when the child gets older. :)

  6. Jane

    May 11, 2007 8:19 am

    Oh. Good Luck! And hold strong with your client. I know too many women who have gone back earlier than planned (because work “asked” them to) and regretted it.

    Right now I am planning 12 weeks off. Part of me hopes that I’m really ready after that, and another part hopes that my husband loves having me be home.

  7. Sunshine

    May 11, 2007 8:42 am

    Vent all you need! I’m certainly taking every last one of my 12 weeks…though I am blessed to currently have a stay-at-home husband (he’s currently going back to school). I hope you are able to find someone to come & help you out in your home – that would be IDEAL. (a college student w/ their summer off, perhaps?)

  8. Julie

    May 11, 2007 12:42 pm

    I agree with everyone that said a college student on summer break..they would be cheaper than a day care…

  9. Melissa

    May 11, 2007 3:32 pm

    Oh, it’s such a hard thing to balance. And the thing is, the older the baby gets, the LESS time they spend sleeping, and the more MOBILE they are, so you can’t get much done during the daytime because you’re chasing the baby around! Hopefully you can make it work though once things settle down a bit. You’re lucky you have the option of working from home… I wish I did.

    There are lots of college students who babysit for cheap. I used to do it on Saturdays for a while in college–the baby was only 3 months old when I started, but the family felt very secure because I was a nursing student and certified in infant CPR. This was about 7 or 8 years ago and I only asked $5.50/hr. Of course if you hire a student, you might need to find someone else once the summer is over, if you still need help after that.

    P.S. I can’t believe people don’t give a new mom time to breathe! June is only a couple weeks away… they’ll live. ;)

  10. bbmom

    May 12, 2007 11:45 pm

    Well i feel your pain with the whole work deal. i’m only going back 2 days a week and i’m sooo not ready. but i am lucky to have my mil keep her while i work. o btw. this is to wierd; my baby girls name is maggie alise, she was born april 10.

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