I took the slow and gradual route toward working momhood. First I was an exclusive stay-at-home mom. Then, I did online schoolwork in my “spare” time. When Dot was a year I took one on-campus class–one night per week. Then, class two nights per week. I began volunteering an evening or two as well.
When I begin attending “university” in fall of 2009, Dotter was just over two. We had a fair split of daycare and stay-at-home mom time. Later that year I got pregnant with Miss M. For the most part I re-set the SAHM switch…briefly. I attended school part-time, one afternoon per week with an online course or two. Manageable.
In the summer of 2011 I had my first break from school in three years. It flew past.
Last fall I began an internship (and classes again). We hodgepodged childcare among family for nine-month-old M. It sucked, but it worked and we made it. And, of course, if you’re a regular reader, you know this story.
In March I was hired as an employee and M began part-time daycare at a temporary facility. In June I graduated college. In July I started a second job. In September Dot begin kindergarten and M moved into a (coveted!) spot at Dot’s in-home daycare with a much more forgiving schedule.
In October I completed a traditional hiring process to become a regular (albeit part-time–YAY!) employee. I also took on the duties of my full-time co-worker. Four months later I am still carrying those responsibilities on top of my own. With extra hours to show for it, so not to worry.
So many transitions, and through it all there’s been this process of growing familiarity with the working mom gig. Being away is one step. Entrusting care is another. Obligations add an additional layer. But I’ve found that those vary widely with expectations and responsibilities.
Every day is a juggling match just as it always was. It just seems the boundaries are more defined now. And, at last, the tangible benefits are coming in. Like paychecks, health care, and retirement funds. Esteem and opportunity don’t motivate everyone but I strove (strived?) for a long time on visions and feeling alone. It finally feels legitimate.
And we’ve quickly fallen into the ebb and flow of workweek to weekend. It’s oddly comforting to be somewhat on-par with the rest of the world. Though I do love my free Fridays at home with the girls. If only kindergarten didn’t interfere! And I recently began staying home with M on Monday mornings as well. So there’s a nice balance to things (so, you know, knock on wood, because it’s probably all about to change). Though bittersweet, as experienced when I worked through the summer and sent Dot to daycare through her winter break.
Next year, I’ll have time (paid! time!) to take off. Then again, who knows what next year will hold? Says the girl (lady?) who submitted a grad school application last week like the crazy person she’s always been.
I’m blessed to be where I am and grateful to have a job (shocked, still, to have such a fabulous one). It’s been a long time coming and there’s a strange peace like we may have finally arrived.
So it makes total sense we’re in a market for a puppy, am I right? 😉