Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Thoughts on being back at work

This adorable, slightly concerned cat with eyebrows is here to indicate that this is a slightly concerned blog post.

It seems like just yesterday I was rushing to get to a good stopping point on all my projects at work before Scott was born.  It's hard to believe that now I have an almost-12-weeks-old and that I've been back at work (part time) for a whole month.  Awhile ago I wrote about my experience being a full time mom while I was on maternity leave, I thought I'd give an update on how it was going doing the whole working mom thing.

I should start by saying that I'm so so so so so greatful that I've been given the opportunity to continue working part-time while Scott is little.  I know many women have to go back to work (to jobs that are much more time consuming and stressful than mine) when their children are younger than Scott, and I give them a huge amount of credit for the amount of work I'm sure it takes to keep both of those balls in the air.

In a way, working part-time is the perfect situation.  I'm able to spend more time with Scott and not feel as rushed to take care of all the household responsibilities, but I still have a reason to put on pants with buttons and think and interact with adults in the "real world".  On the other hand, it's been harder than I expected to split my time in two different worlds.  On Monday, Wednesday and Friday I'm adult Chelsea and am trying to keep up with my responsibilities at work.  On Tuesday and Thursday I'm mom Chelsea and am singing the ABC song during diaper changes and doing finger plays at the library.  Often at the end of a work day, it's frustrating because I simultaneously feel like I just don't have enough time to get everything done but I also miss my little guy.  I want to be able to focus my attention on what I'm doing that day at that moment and let the responsibilities of my other life wait for when I'm involved in that life, but it rarely works that way.  At work, my thoughts drift to Scott or what's for dinner, or what we need to get from Target and at home my thoughts drift to what I'd be doing if I were at work then.  It's not a 100% bad thing... last weekend while I was in mom mode, I had some ideas for the discussion section of the paper I was writing, but it's definitely more difficult than I though it would be.

Even though it's not as perfect as I'd originally thought it would be, I do think that continuing to work part-time is the best decision for us right now.  Plus, after this week I'll be doing some work on the days I'm not actually at work so hopefully I'll feel less disconnected on my off days than I do now.  I'm not sure how long I'll keep up this schedule before I return to work full-time, but I really do want to enjoy my extra time with Scott and not let vague notions about not doing everything well enough to allow some idea of perfect to be the enemy of the already very very good.

Thoughts?  Words of wisdom?  Cat pictures you'd like to share?

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