What Maternity Leave?

Not taking maternity leave might have been one of the craziest ideas I have ever had. The upside is that I am not driving to work because I work at home. The downside? I am still working. I think back to when I had my first appointment with our midwife and I said “I still plan on teaching night class a week after the baby is born…it’s only two nights a week and it will be nice for Tyler to spend time with the baby and for me to get out of the house”. She looked at me like I was insane and said “you need to rethink that plan”. Yes, I was completely naive about: the healing process, how much time taking care of a baby takes, how I would never want to be away from Caleb, and how difficult it is to even eat and shower on a daily basis.

Fortunately for me, I have great supervisors who allowed for me to teach my courses online this quarter. Having a paycheck come in (after 3 months of no paychecks over summer) feels amazing! I felt so proud that I could pay our water bill in full because Manfriend has been paying all of the bills and I felt bad about that. I have been the “moneymaker” in our family and went through a couple of years where I actually made a lot of money. Now, Manfriend is the “moneymaker” and I am OK with it. I didn’t think I would be but once I finally quit working 3 jobs and went to a normal 1 job schedule, I am fine with the reduction in pay because I am happier at home; I have more free time, and I really love my job!

So now that Caleb is almost 3 weeks old and I have had some time to adjust to being a mom and working I can honestly say that it is tough. It seems like every time I grab my laptop to check email or read/grade Discussion Posts, Caleb wakes up and wants to nurse. I don’t mind though. When I signed on to teach (the quarter started days before Caleb was due) I made sure  to let all of my students know that I was expecting and that our little boy could arrive at any time. I did this because I knew there would be about a week where I was going to avoid work all together.

I was right. The week after Caleb was born I took time to send out an announcement telling my students that Caleb was born but I certainly did no work for that week. My students were very supportive (I had to cancel a quiz for one class so I think that had a lot to do with it) and understanding. I had to do a lot of catchup the next week and that was really tough. Thankfully, Manfriend watches Caleb so I can get some work done each day but for the most part- I do all of my work when Caleb is sleeping next to me.

Most new moms take maternity leave or choose to be stay-at-home-moms but I don’t have that option. I am only part-time faculty and need to stay on so I can be considered for a full time position and since we are planning on buying a house- we need to save. I love being home with Caleb and I DREAD the day I go back to working in January but because I teach, I have a great schedule and that makes me feel better. I will only need someone to watch Caleb for 3 hours a day and then I get to spend the rest of my days hanging out with him. I like being a work-at-home mom but I am so thankful that when I do go back to work, I will only be away from him for a few hours a day.

Now the big question is: who will watch our little guy while I am teaching? Finding a childcare provider I trust to be with my son is going to be a journey in itself.

6 thoughts on “What Maternity Leave?

  1. I wish I was in a position to watch Caleb. I would love it. While you were young, I had to work and most fo the time Gma watched you for me. I really feel bad that I cant watch my grandson. Oh to have the winning lottery ticket.

  2. I certainly don’t envy you having to work right after Caleb is born, but if you need to work, you need to work. I hope you are able to find a quality place for Caleb’s care when you return to on-campus work. I am so enjoying working on the photos of Caleb – he is such an adorable baby. I also have a couple of them pinned up in my office and they’ve received numerous comments & smiles. Cute kid. 🙂

  3. I wish you could watch Caleb too but I know it’s hard to make it work, especially since the chances of winning the lottery are so small!

    We had so much doing the photoshoot and cannot wait to see the pics. I am sure they are great!

  4. You neglected to mention the upside of you going back to teach on campus in Jan is that you will be communting, thus will have a chance to listen to the epic mixes I made you! : D

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