Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Going back to work

So Jaxon is now 4 months! Wow, time flies. You do find yourself saying that cheesy line A LOT as a parent, don't you? 

I went back to work when Jax was 12 weeks. The intention was that I would start off part time to ease back into it for the first 2 weeks and then return full time. Once I returned full time, I was anticipating being able to have a more flexible schedule and work from home, therefore not needing 40 hours a week of child care. However, things change..... It actually wasn't me that changed my mind initially. When I returned my employer let me know that this was no longer going to workout as we had thought it would be for. Initially, I was super bummer. Frustrated and totally unsure about what to do. The decision had a lot of implications... finances, life satisfaction, insurance, child care... etc. The option was to either continue my 40 hour a week position, which often can turn into long days, unpredictable crisis to deal with, and a fair amount of stress.... OR cut back to a maximum of 25 hours a week, which would be more flexible hours and more focused on the duties I actually enjoy. Now this may seem like an easy decision to you. A "no brainer" many Moms would say. For me it was not. I had really been planning to continue working full time. 1) Because that is just always what I thought I would do. My career is important to me and I genuinely enjoy working. I realized it was more of my identity than I thought it was. 2) I thought I was going to have an ideal scenario that would allow me to have some time with Jax during this crucial phase and not have to arrange for 40 hours a week of childcare. A win/win situation. 3) I am substantial financial contributor to our family. 

Long story short. I have decided to take the part time route. It means cutting back on our spending and continuing to live in our little itty bitty house, but we think we can manage without having to eat rice and beans for dinner every night. (Not that there is anything wrong with eating rice and beans for dinner every night, there is NOT. It would just be a different lifestyle for us). So, now I have come around, and realized I have to be grateful that it is even an option to work part time. Also, it is probably good I was forced to make a decision, because I think I will be happier and have less "Mommy guilt" issues. I do enjoy being able to have more time with Jaxon and I know I won't get this time back. 

I just want to be clear, I know there is no "best" when it comes to whether Moms work or stay at home. It is such a hard decision for some, and each scenario is so different. I do know a lot about early childhood development... and I will say that what is "best" is to make sure your kids are being taken care of in a loving and nurturing environment with a caregiver who is invested in their well being. These years are so vital to children's development. It is an honor, and a brand new identity, for me to have the chance to invest in Jaxon and put my career driven mindset in the backseat. So I am now a part-time stay at home Mom. I think it's going to be a great fit for me :)

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