Sunday, June 7, 2009

Between a rock and a hard place

That's sort of how I feel. It's not the most apt description as it connotes all bad choices, but I'm facing the prospect of going back to work in a part-time capacity and I definitely have mixed emotions about the whole thing.

On the one hand, I'm super excited about the possibility of working again for a library system I really enjoyed working for just prior to my daughter's birth. Between 2005 and 2007 I worked on obtaining my master's of library and information science. I loved the program. I loved the material we studied, the people I met in my program, the fact that I could do something I loved and get paid for it. And after I graduated from my full-time master's program I found a part-time, temporary work situation that I stayed at until just prior to Peanut's birth. Shortly after she was born, we started mentally preparing to come to Japan and it didn't make much sense at the time for me to go back to work, try to put her in daycare while my husband and I were working, only to take her right back out of daycare when we moved to Japan. Perhaps understandably then, there have been many days since Peanut's birth that I have missed working in this profession I love.

On the other hand, however, I dread the idea of leaving her behind while I go to work. We've been together for so much of the last 16 months that I can't quite envision *not* being with her all the time. And while I love my profession, I'm considering a return to a temporary work situation in the event that we do in fact return to Japan in the near future and I'm unable to commit myself to something more permanent. But, frankly the temporary work isn't quite as interesting or fulfilling as the full-time work would be.

On the one hand, we could really, really use the money while Gboy is working from home on his own business idea which hasn't taken off yet. On the other hand, it may be hard because he'll be the care provider when I'm at work and we'll have to swap when he needs to work from home. Our schedules will need some tweaking and it sounds a bit daunting.

And if I'm honest, I had started to dream of our return to the U.S. as a time of all fun and summer games/activities, catching up with old friends, and basically a return to "life as normal." But if I get real with myself, which I probably should, having a child means your life is never "all fun and games" or "normal". Everything is different. The differences may be huge or they may be subtle, but there will be differences since a little person is depending on us to care for her on a day-to-day basis and to provide an income for our family in order to support her.

All of this means that I'm excited to be thinking about going back to apply for a job with my previous employer (and of course there's no guarantee they'll hire me back), but I'm incredibly nervous too. I've always suspected that I'd want to be a mom who works away from home, just because I think that the energy I'd get from doing a job I love and feels rewarding to me would invigorate me and make me a happier person and thereby a better mom. But now that the moment is upon me, (or it will be in two weeks when we're back in the U.S.) I'm experiencing a lot of anxiety about the whole thing.


  1. Coffeegrl, hi! I can imagine that not being with the Peanut would be hard everyday, but think about the benefits it will mean for her going to day care. Being around all those other kids/people will be great for her socialising and development skills too! And if her mummy is happy working and her parents arent stressed with finances, that can only mean an even happier home, no? Tough to adjust I am sure, but not all bad!

  2. I've been working very very part time since Jun was born, and have enjoyed it. However, I personally know and love and trust those who care for her while I am working. My family away from home people. I have thought about working more in the future. I don't think I could put her in daycare, but if it was her Daddy watching her, would be able to get used to the idea. Especially if I needed to win a bit of bread for the family for a period of time. Hard call, huh!?!

  3. It's always tough going back to work no matter what age your kids are. I took my girls to work with me until they started kinder and it was STILL hard being away from them for the hour I was teaching. :(

    That said you know 'absence makes the heart goes stronger' and all that, well even being apart a couple of hours makes them seem cuter!

  4. I can see where you would be coming from!! After being with Peanut since her birth - going back to work no matter how fun it is will be hard! Glad to hear that you love your job so much though, esp. since it is the same field I am looking into as well when we eventually make our way back to the states!!

    I hope that you can find a good situation that will work for spending time with Peanut and keeping you guys supported while GBoy settles in as well!!

    got my fingers crossed it will all work out!

  5. I've done both, not when my kids were as young as Peanut, but it was nice. Once we got over the stressfulness of the new routine, it worked out really well. Both my children have been in daycare, when I was working there and really enjoyed it. Nae really benefited from being in a more structured setting. Zilla didn't benefit as much, since he was only there for a few months in his first year.
    It takes an adjustment, but I think it'll be beneficial for you and your family. Especially since you love what you do so much.
    It is something to think about, since you'll be home soon. Keep us updated!
    P.S. That picture and video of Peanut are TOO cute! Love that she was SO excited over the ducks. She even tried to climb the fence! ADORABLE!

  6. I think the title says it perfectly--there is no single ideal space, just all the realities competing against one another and finding the happiest ground between them. I both love and hate working part time.

  7. Oh Right On Nooh, I think so to, a happier mum, happier home life too, it might be difficult at first but before you know it she'll have this mas amount of vocab from socializing with other tots.