Friday, May 9, 2008

Torn between two lovers...

I swear this is not going to turn into "the baby blog", just bear with me for a bit. It is a good excuse to post baby pics, though.

I'm actually not torn between two lovers (my husband will be relieved to know!), but I'm torn between two paths.

You see, my employer called this week, pretty much begging me to come back, at least part time. I really wanted to turn her down. Baby J isn't even a month old yet, and I worry about having to be away from her.

But we could really use the cash.

Aye, there's the rub.

I stayed home with TFYO for the most part. I didn't work a single shift until she was four months old, and even then I realized I wasn't really ready to go back. I didn't start working regularly until she was almost eight months old, and even then, Ray and I worked opposite shifts so that one of us would always be with her. But here I am now, looking at an ever diminishing bank balance, and the urge to "pull my weight" financially is tugging pretty hard.

I feel like I should be at home. Truth be told, if I was wealthy, I'd never go back to work. Ever. I'd stay home with my kids and make stupid crafts out of paper plates and macaroni, and take them to the playground, and help them plant a veggie garden.

But my checkbook is sitting on the desk as a glaring reminder that I don't have that luxury.

How do other women manage? The idea of putting my infant into care is abhorrent to me, yet millions of single mothers do it every day. I'm barely getting enough sleep to make it through a twenty-four hour period, how am I going to manage to stay awake at work? I can't even manage to get more than one load of laundry and dishes done right now.

And don't even get me started on pumping breast milk.

So, I'm going in to work for a few hours today, and Ray will have the baby, and a couple of bottles of expressed milk. I'm only hoping we don't both collapse under the weight of our own guilt.


Maureen said...

Oh, don't feel guilty. I knew from the get go I had to go back to work. Luckily though, I had the best daycare ever -- Grandma and Grandpa just a mile away. My daughter grew up considering their house (the one I grew up in) as her second home; she loved going there.

With economics the way they are nowadays, I too am surprised anyone can afford to stay home.

Remember, whatever decision you make is in her best interest too (and yes, I expressed milk - and even froze some - for a looooong time; you'll get used to it).

Good luck!

bellevelma said...

She's a cutie! I went back to work when my son was 4 mos old (or maybe he was 3 mos old? Memory is a strange thing... hey who sung that?) Anyway, I read this article at the pediatrician's office that says if you are going to stay home, the best time to do so is when the kids are in middle school/starting high school. That's when peer pressure gets to them and having a parent at home can help keep them out of trouble and prevent them from getting into drugs, alcohol, teen pregnancy, etc... When they are babies, well, they don't remember that time, they won't know you weren't there 24/7. Probably doesn't help how you are feeling, but it does (or did) get easier for me. The first day I left my son in daycare I was a wreck. But when I picked him up that night he was fine, he was happy, still breathing, etc... and I realized things would be okay. Oh, yeah, and my kid had a horrible latch. I pumped for 9 mos straight and fed him by bottle that whole time. I don't miss those days ;)

Anonymous said...

This isn't "Happy Days" and the car in the drive isn't a Hudson or a Packard. That world is a myth. This is reality. Do what you need to do.


Anonymous said...

First of all what does your doctor say about this? It's no wonder you are tired, you just had surgery and are caring for a newborn, your body needs time to heal.
I don't know how some women do it. I was lucky Jess was 10 months & Kari 4 yrs, but it was still hard. Wish I was closer to help. Love ya!

auntie barbie

Kaycie said...

I understand how you feel. Although I stayed home with my first two, I went back to work when my littlest was about twelve weeks old. My best friend kept him and I drove to her house at lunch to nurse him. It was far from perfect, but much better than so many other situations.

Is there any way that you could do some work from home? That's how I managed to stay at home for twelve weeks. At less than four weeks past surgery, you really shouldn't even be driving, should you?

She is beautiful!

Dumdad said...

It's a tough choice but perhaps a few hours work a day will be doable. If not, then stay home. And, you never know, you might win the lottery!

thegrandview said...

Good luck with your decision. No matter what you decide, it will be right. I couldn't agree more with Maureen.

Jo Beaufoix said...

Oh Jen, you have to do what's right for you.

If you need to go back J will be fine, but if you don't want to, or you try it and miss her too much I'm sure you'll find a way to cope at home a little longer.

I hate that we have to make these decisions though. Why can't we all have enough money to do what we need Sighhhh.

Thinking of you. And she is so gorgeous. Hope you're all ok. x

laurie said...

oh my, jan.

i remember when my sister faced this dilemma. she went back to work after six weeks. every day she dropped Mikey off at daycare, and then started to drive to work. and every day she had to pull over to the side of the road and sob and sob.

i agree with dumdad; if it's just a couple hours, you can probably do it. but not full-time. not yet.

that's a beautiful, beautiful baby.

post as many pictures as you like.

my two cents said...

She is beautiful!!

Don't you get disability from the state for six weeks post-partum?

I don't think you should go back before your doctor clears you - a c-section is major surgery. After you are cleared, it will still be a hard decision. I hope you can work part-time and find a good balance between being home and being at work. She is one more tax-deduction!


Sam said...

Well, now that all of you have had your say on this, let me give you "the Skinny" about the job from one who knows. 'Cause like, I work with Jen and stuff.

Truthfully, the place is in a bit of a mess. The guys who were Jen's replacement don't quite get the grasp of it and things are flying in over their heads like a like a Maverick buzz over the air tower. I saw Jen that Friday and it was really great to see her, but she was there to help out for a few hours. She looked tired and not from being a mommy, but getting the work caught but that the others guys couldn't do.

Here's my thing on all of this: I'm glad that Jen is there and trust me, I know what it's like to be broke working in radio. However, Jen's a mom with two kids who are both wonderful (I really can't wait to meet J!). You gotta put food on the plates (and in bottles) for 'em. I hope that if she does have to come in, she will only be there for two, three hours tops then go home to take care of the kids until J gets a few months under her bib, then come back to work on a regular basis, when she is ready.

Jen, I think you and Ray are wonderful people and I can see that the kids have great parents. I hope that everything works out for you two in the end. Bless you both and Happy Mother's Day.

The Rotten Correspondent said...

Seems to me the name of the game in motherhood is guilt - no matter what you do you feel bad about it in some way. I don't know why it's this way, but it is.

And no matter what we do or how we go about it, it all seems to work out somehow. It just stresses the bejeezus out of us in the process.

I for one vote for a change in the rules, because these aren't fair.

Mya said...

What a beautiful little girl. I can understand you not wanting to leave her, but don't feel guilty. Needs must. She won't mind for a few hours.

Mya x

jill said...

Jen, whatever decision you and Ray come up with for TFYO and J will be the right one. I know we yaked a few days ago, and I could hear the fatigue (and guilt about it) in your voice. Whatever decision you make will be the one that is the best for you and your family. Just make sure that if you DO go back for longer hours, that you DON'T over exert yourself, as I KNOW you are prone to do. And I was thinking about you tonight with the lottery and all... any news about that?

Love ya!

Gurnal said...

I can only say that whatever you decide to do...will be for the best. Remember, you guys have a track record. Just look at how TFYO is turning out. Baby J will be the same. You guys are great parents.

DO NOT push yourself too hard. Remember what is most important. I know how dedicated you are...but the little ones need you.

Take care of yourself...please.

PixelPi said...

What a darlin' baby!

I think the worst fallout of the women's liberation stuff from the 70s was to create the concept of the superwoman, who could juggle a career, kids, housework, etc. And with the current economy, it's almost impossible for a family with kids and a mortgage not to have both parents working.

Whatever you choose will work out. I am, though, shocked that you were asked to come in to work before 6 to 8 weeks, but if you must work I'm with everybody else who said part-time and not full-time. Take care of yourself and let us know how it's going.