Having It All… And Sucking At It

On Monday I go back to work. In my head, I keep thinking this will be my first experience as a working mom. That’s not true, but it’s sort of true.

I was working again within a short time after Graham was born, but my old job was one of those fantastically flexible ones that required some time at home, some time away from home. When Graham was about 9 months old, I started working a few days a week. When we moved here I was working 4 days a week or more.

The difference is that I was working on a strange schedule where I left for the day around 2 or 3 in the afternoon and didn’t come home until midnight or so. I still got to feel like I got a lot of the stay-at-home parent advantages, since I spent the whole morning with Graham.

Now we’ll be going to a normal schedule. I’ll see Graham for a short while in the morning. I’ll see him for a couple of hours in the evening. Then we’ll have weekends. It’ll be the first time we’ve been in that kind of schedule.

I know there are mothers with normal full-time jobs all over the place, but the internet is bustling with mothers who stay at home or work at home so I feel like I’m out blazing new ground even though it’s not even close to true.

I’m excited to be working again, even if it means going back to an 8-5 schedule, which I haven’t had since… um… 2007. Yikes. 4 years. I did have a mostly normal day from 2007 to 2008, but I usually wasn’t out of the house until 9. Ah, the good old days.

The job is going to stay mostly in the background on the blog. It is taking my career in a totally different direction, which is basically how I roll. No, I will not be practicing law. I have no idea if I’ll ever do that again. It’s certainly possible, but right now I need a job and I don’t want to waste my time studying and paying money we don’t have to take the bar exam, waiting months for the result, and then competing in an anemic market for jobs with people who are far more qualified than I am. Doesn’t sound like fun.

Am I teaching? Nope on that one, too. I don’t have a teaching certificate, not that I’m interested in teaching high school or anything. No one’s really hiring JD’s to teach at the college level, and even if they do they’re looking for adjuncts.

I am digging way back in time to my biochem degree and I’m taking an administrative position in medical research. Vague enough for you? I won’t have to touch any equipment or do any experiments, which is a very good thing because I was terrible at that stuff. I can stock a lab, but I can’t use one very well. It is not a position of any real power since I lack significant experience.

If you’re wondering what magic powers I used in this sad job market to get a job, I have bad news for you. It was through connections. I was hired on my merits, but that’s the easy part. It’s getting them to actually read your resume that can be so tough. I know they interviewed other candidates, but I was very relieved to be chosen.

So now I’m getting myself ready to return to the world of adulthood. I did a bunch of dry-cleaning this week. How long has it been since we’ve done dry cleaning? Well… most of it was my old work clothes. And I’ve been working in a more casual environment for a really long time so haven’t had much of a need for said work clothes. So… yeah, they’ve been in boxes since we moved from Atlanta 9 months ago. Yes, I rock. (What? Dry cleaning is expensive, y’all! Especially for clothes you won’t even use! I only got to do it now because I have a new job AND I had a groupon.)

Cut my hair this morning. Okay, so SuperCuts cut my hair this morning. Due to our teeny budget I skipped the shampoo and the style, so here I am in all my frizzy glory.

Say what you will about cheap haircuts, but I’ve gone that way the last two times and both were better cuts than the 2 fancy ones I paid for before that. Here it is when I don’t tuck it behind my ears:

The short hair will make things a little more time-intensive in the morning, but it will also make sure that I put a little effort into my appearance, which is part of the whole adult-world thing.

Which means I may have to pull out my old nemesis:

No, not the Bug, the hair dryer he pulled out of the cabinet. Short hair means I can blow it out once or twice a week without taking too long. But I still have flexibility to leave it curly or pull it back.

May have to blow some dust off of this:

I’ve spent the last few months virtually makeup-free. My skin is doing a little better, and I probably looked a fright, but it was nice.

I will be trading in my trendy diaper bag:

for my long-neglected briefcase:

There’s another big new thing starting on Monday:

That would be Graham’s color-coded therapy schedule. Monday he starts with 14.5 hours. He’ll be up to 24.5 in a few weeks.

These two big changes happening at once are a little tough. I will not lie and say these last few months at home with Graham have been easy. They have been incredibly hard. I would have loved to have his therapy start earlier to help me relieve a little of the burden.

But I have the utmost faith in our nanny. I firmly believe she’s better at this stuff than I am. I’ll always be Graham’s mom, but the kid stuff, especially the sing-songy early childhood stuff, has never been my forte. I know she’ll be totally engaged and will give me highly detailed reports. We’ll have some time with his therapists once a week or so to stay involved.

I have so much to adjust to next week that I don’t even know what to be anxious about. A totally new job. A totally new field. A new relationship with the Bug. Then, of course, there’s doing all my previous housework in significantly less hours. Plus we’re getting ready to move in a couple of months so I have to find a new place. Plus our current apartment may be shown soon.

I’ve pulled out my crock pot cookbook. I’m planning to dial back my grocery shopping to only immediately necessary items. (Thank goodness I’ve spent 3 months stocking my pantry and freezer!) I’ll be starting on dinner somewhere around 6:30 a.m.

Eric and I will be walking to work together. Although I may opt for the bus if it stays so wintry outside. I am looking forward to cool spring mornings with my baby. I’ll probably be going home alone most of the time, but I’m glad we’ll be so close that we can see more of each other.

Life is all about changes and compromises and adjustments, right? I’m not sure how any of these changes will go, but I think we’re doing the right thing on all counts.

So if there are any work-out-of-the-home parents around, I’d love to hear how you manage. With the house and the baby and the job–and the blog, of course–I feel like it may be a bit of a juggling act. So I may not be around twitter so much, it may take me a little longer to approve comments, and I’m not sure yet how my posting schedule will be, but you know I’ll be working on it.

(Oh, and I’ve finally put up a Facebook page for the blog. Like it if you want.)


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