I have the "perfect" job for a working mom. I am a teacher. I have weekends, holidays, and summers off. I get to stay home on snow days. I am "off" by 2pm. Well I am currently feeling like that is all a bunch of bull and I am in a total panic about going back to work in September. Right off the bat, I feel guilty to complain about working. I understand that I am lucky to have a job that offers a salary and benefits with the economy the way it is today.... but that does not make me feel any better.
First of all, even before the birth of Ryan, I don't really like my job. I teach high school English and Business (I know its a very strange combination). The high school kids are getting worse by the year, the expectations on teachers is becoming much more unrealistic, and the work load it out of control! I love the people I work with, but I really am starting to hate my job. I left in January for my maternity leave with a very bitter taste in my mouth. I had hoped it would fade away during my 6 months off, but instead it has gotten even worse. I DREAD SEPTEMBER.
Before Ryan, a normal work day was like this: Get up at 4:45am to get ready for work. Leave the house by 6am and the very latest. Work my ass off at school from 6:30 am - 2 pm. But just because its 2pm and the students have left, does not mean my work day is over. Normally there is a meeting, after school help, or conference til around 4. Then I need to find the time to do all of my prep work, photo copies, grading, lesson plans, parent contacts, etc. See what people don't realize is that there is absolutely NO time in a school day to complete any of those tasks. I actually TEACH STUDENTS all day long. So there are many nights that I don't stop working til 5, or 6, or even 10pm and I spend several hours on Saturday or Sunday doing my personal homework. I know part of the problem is that I am an English teacher which means I have a hell of a lot more reading and grading to do than other subject teachers, but there is nothing I can do to change that now. I have no idea how I am going to handle that work load along with all of the responsibilities of being a mother!
Another issue that has me an emotional wreck these days is that I don't want to spend all of that time away from my baby boy! As you know, these first couple of months have been very challenging (Ryan is a challenging baby for sure) but things are very slowly getting better. I feel like by time he is happy and enjoyable to be around is going to be the same time that I have to leave him. It breaks my heart that other people are going to spend all of that time with him. I want to be the one that gives him his solid foods and figures out what he likes and doesn't like, I want to be the one that takes him on walks and introduces new things, I want to be the one that witnesses all of the amazing changes that are going to take place over the next several months. I am his mother!! I HATE the idea that I will leave for work in the morning before he even wakes up and I will only be home to spend a couple of hours with him at night before bedtime. Someone tell me...how the hell am I going to do that?!
Even if I loved my job and was okay with being a working mom... there is still another issue that has me stressed. Childcare arrangements. We are lucky to have several family members who are willing and able to help so that Ryan does not have to go to day care. As of right now he will be spending 2 days with my mom, 2 days with my aunt, and 1 day with Mike's mom. I personally think that schedule is the problem. Everything I have read about childcare, getting babies to nap, helping them thrive, etc. states that babies need consistency. Well Ryan is going to have no consistency at all with this current plan. He will be spending his days with 3 different people, with 3 different schedules, and 3 different "parenting" styles. This really makes me nervous. And on top of all of this, Ryan is a fussy, cranky, needy, high maintenance baby...he needs a routine! If he continues to be the way he is now, I have no idea how my aunt is going to be able to take care of her 9 month old granddaughter and Ryan at the same time. Or how he is going to be able to take the 1 hour drive up to my mother in-laws house on her days. I just feel like this is going to be a disaster.
Bottom line is that I am scared, upset, nervous, and just an emotional basket case about returning to work. By time we reach September, I will probably need to be put in an institution! I am open to any suggestions that will help me get through this and I pray every night that something magical happens that allows me to stay home with my boy!