Reality Bites

I mentioned in my last post that I would update about my “back to work” reality hell here. Well, this is that post. Before I got pregnant, I quit one of my three jobs. I have always been someone who needs a lot going on because I get bored very easily (I do have ADHD but that’s a whole other story in itself). So now I am down to two jobs, teaching for two different schools. The average load for full time faculty is 15 credits; I teach 25 credits per quarter. Crazy? A little bit. But I have been doing it for 3 years and since we are planning on buying a house this year- we need all of the pennies we can scrape.

The first day back went really well. The second was horrible. I cried most of the day. In fact, I cried all night once I got home. There might have been a 2 hour reprieve in there…but that’s it. After I got all of the tears out I felt a lot better. During my breakdown in front of Manfriend I mentioned that I might have to quit one of my teaching jobs because it felt too exhausting but I am giving myself until the end of the quarter before I make any decisions. Now that I have completed ten full work days I don’t feel so bad anymore.

So what is my schedule like? It looks a little something like this:

Monday, Wednesday, Fri: Wake around 6-7am, get Caleb ready (and myself), play with Caleb, drive 45 minutes to drop Caleb off at my friend’s house, drive to work, work from 10-11am, pump, work from 12-1pm, pick Caleb up, get home around 2pm, exercise, eat dinner, sleep. Not so bad right?

BUT

Tuesday, Thursday: Wake around 6-7am, get Caleb ready (and myself), play with Caleb until he almost passes out, drive 45 minutes to drop Caleb off at my friend’s house, drive to work, work from 10-11am, pump, work from 12-1pm, pick Caleb up, drive the 45 minute trip home, get home around 2pm, pump again, ready bottles for the next day and that night so Caleb can eat, leave for work at 4pm, work from 5-7, get home around 8pm, in bed by 9pm!

(None of this counts my two online courses that require a lot of my time at home). I spend a total of 11.5 hours in my car traveling. Since I work 45 minutes away from where I live, I have no choice but to commute. It wouldn’t be so bad if I didn’t have to commute twice a day for two days a week but I do. The driving is really getting to me but the saving grace is Caleb in the back seat “singing” or “talking”… at least until he passes out. During my breakdown on the second day I thought I might have to switch to formula because I have so little time to pump but I am going to tough it out for my little boy. And after two weeks, I realize I have plenty of time to pump so we are all good.

I’m not resentful of my schedule and I am feeling OK about it now because my Monday, Wednesday, Friday allow me to only be away from Caleb for three hours so we are going to make it work. I couldn’t do any of this without Manfriend though. He is amazing. He always cleans and does laundry, he makes dinner (he even makes me sandwiches in the morning), he does the grocery shopping (he saves in the thousands each year- I swear), he spends quality time feeding and playing with Caleb, and he listens when I complain about being tired. He is awesome and I know without him and all he does I wouldn’t be able to go back to work.

I realize that staying at home would have been the easiest option for us but I do love my job and I wanted to go back. (Not a lot of people get to say they love their job and I really do). The reality of being away from Caleb is tough for me; working and raising my son is also proving to be tough. But I know it is the reality for all working mothers and I cannot imagine how tough it must be to be away for 8 hours as many mothers do (don’t even get me started on single parents who have to work and raise a child). One thing I can say is that I now have the utmost respect for working mothers. Now I get why Mother’s Day is so darn popular!

Plus, who wouldn’t love life when this is what you get to look at everyday!?

3 thoughts on “Reality Bites

  1. Oh I feel ya Jenn! I went through a lot of those emotions about 6 months ago. It is sooooo hard to work away from your children, especially when your breastfeeding. I agree with your point about loving your job..I didn’t love mine and that is what made it so much easier to walk away. Its just not worth the heartache and juggling, and commuting when you don’t love the job.
    One major positive is that you get the time out of the house for yourself and the sense of accomplishment of teaching. Enjoy those moments it will make being away from Caleb easier…no not easier, just a little less difficult!

  2. Wow sorry to hear about the adversity, Jenn. It looks like I missed the breakdown by one day since I was over last on Monday (your first day back teaching college) and Ty took me to the airport on Tues AM while you were sleeping…apparently the rest of the day didn’t turn out so well. Anyways, I’m sure it is a transition, but you’ll become better acclimated to it in due time. Leaving a baby for the first time even sounds exceedingly difficult in theory; I can’t even fathom doing it in reality (at least you know he’s in good hands). I feel like I should part by offering some cliche advice about how in this doleful economy you should be thankful to have not one but TWO jobs that you love doing. How many people can say that?

  3. Yeah, the breakdown was pretty bad but I feel a lot better now. I am really fortunate to have the job I do and it is pretty flexible in terms of how long I am away from Caleb and home- so that is really nice. The one thing that made is easier was leaving Caleb with Noal- I am sure when I have to find day care I will have another freak out session!

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