Monday, February 28, 2011

MOMday: Returning to Work

I've been pretty open about my conundrum of whether to do a full marathon or not.   My other conundrum has been much more difficult.  It is whether or not to return to work.  And I think I've finally faced the reality and realized that I need to return if we hope to achieve our goals while living comfortably.   We have made it almost a year living off just Hubby's income.   Sure, there have been tight patches and some months where it's a scramble at months end to make the end of the money reach the end of the month but, for the most part, we've made it work.

I've been really fortunate that I work in public service and that my union had a program that allowed me to extend my leave for an extra year and a half.  Unpaid, of course, but my job has been there in case I need it.   When I finally got out for a rare weekday run a couple of weeks ago, I had a great deal on my mind.  Returning to work was one of the biggies.  After that run, I was finally seeing clearly enough to see it made sense.

I am really going to miss spending all day with my girlies.   Seeing everything they go through and watching them become little girls instead of babies is something I wouldn't have traded for the world.  They need more outside socialization, though.   Right now, especially over the winter, we have been pretty housebound and all they have had is each other and me.  We haven't been able to schedule playdates.  After seeing them not interact with other children at a birthday party a few weeks ago, I know they need to expand their circle.   Their language development seems to take two steps forward and then three steps back as they have their own little language and tend to use it more than they do the English one I am trying to teach them.  These two things alone are enough to tell me that daycare would be a smart idea.  To be around other kids all day who don't speak their language might encourage them to speak English a bit more.   It also might encourage them to develop their own interests.   At least I can hope.

I have worries too, I wonder if they will start to call their childcare provider "mommy" in the absence of their real mom.   I worry that my healthy little girlies will end up being sick all of the time when they are exposed to other kids who aren't as healthy as they are.   I worry that I will miss them too much and be miserable at work.

I also have work-related worries.  My department has all but fallen apart since I have been gone.   The management I knew is pretty much all gone.   My little section of our department has almost dissolved and the project that funded my position has been put on hold (last I heard - it could be completely canceled by now for all they keep me in the loop).   I can't seem to get answers from the managers that are still there.   I wonder if I am returning only to face a layoff at the end of the budget year.  I also wonder if my job has evolved in my absence to a point where I am not qualified to do it anymore.

It has been a really tough month as I try to work out what our life will be like when I am working again but, as I have come to accept it, I am finding that I am looking forward to being back in my professional world.   It's exciting to think that in a couple of months again, I will be back in the workforce and earning a real paycheque again.   That I will have a reason to get dressed up int he morning and reserve my hoodies and jeans for weekends.   That I will have adult conversations and that I will look forward to hearing all about the very exciting day that my daughters have had.   As hard as it's been - I think it'll be a really good thing for our family.  It wasn't how I expected life to turn out, but most of the worthwhile things we do in life end up being those we least expected.

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