My wee man is almost four months old. In 4 days I go back to work, and I’m dreading it. It’s only one 10-hour shift a week, but I’m dreading it.
I’m going back to a job that I don’t love, because I worked too bloody hard and spent too many years at university to give it away now. If I keep my foot in the door going back to full-time work in 2012 will be so much easier. Perhaps not a good reason, but somehow I feel it’s what I should do.
I worry that I’m not going to be terribly committed to my work (hell, I wasn’t that committed even before wee man came along) and the control freak part of me is anxious about someone else looking after my guy for 10 hours straight. I felt more comfortable with the idea when H was going to be looking after Will, but a recent change in job situation means he will only be able to do that for the first two weeks or so. Finding a place in a child care centre on this short notice is impossible (Will is on a waiting list that is about a year long). Finding a private nanny who was happy with only one day of work seemed daunting – and while I’m comfortable having Will cared for by friends or family I don’t like the idea of stranger looking after my guy. We have no family here, so unfortunately there isn’t a grandmother available to care for him while I’m at work. We’re lucky that a family friend with three teenage children was considering returning to work one day a week. She loves Will and was thrilled when I asked if she would like to care for him. But to be totally honest I still don’t love the idea.
I don’t NEED to go back. My pay will only cover child care and some pocket-money (now that we will be paying for childcare the financial benefit of returning to work is almost nil). For some reason though, I feel like people will be disappointed in me if I choose to be 100% a SAHM. And part of me wonders if I might not enjoy that day of adulthood… but I get teary just thinking about it.
I have to admit, I’m a little stressed about this transition – there just seem to be so many unknowns. I’m comfortable in my current situation; Will and I have our routine and we cope really well and have a great time (mostly!). Ten hours is a long time to be away from my precious fellow – how will I cope? I’m worried that there might be an impact on my breast milk supply. I’m not sure how I am going to fit three pumping session into my work day – and I have no idea where I’m going to do it. I’m worried that my performance at work will be sub-par, and the effect this would have on my career aspirations. I worry that the change in routine might adversely effect Will’s behaviour. How will he cope with someone else putting him down for naps, for example?
I know that the likelihood is that in a few weeks we will have settled into a new routine and going to work will not seem such a big deal. But until then I reserve the right to be anxious!