OK, so this could also be titled "Rantings of a disgruntled Canadian living in the US", but I thought that the cry for help would get more of your attention.
So, as many of you know, I am heading back to work in, gulp, 2 weeks. And as many of you know, I am a Canadian living in the US. As a citizen of Ontario, a mother gets a year of maternity leave, and as a mother in Michigan I get 12 weeks. This is a huge difference and it is making my heartache every time I think about going back to work. Now, I know that a mother would be disappointed no matter when she would have to return to work be it 12 weeks or 52 weeks, but I would think that it would be easier to chew if you got to enjoy the 1st year of your baby's life before having to be carted back to work.
My problem is plain to see - I don't want to go back to work. I know I am lucky in that I only work 3 days a week. But to me, that seems like 3 days too many. I have been with Lyla every day since she has been born. I have only left her once for my friend Patti's wedding and that went fine. And even with that, I had Lyla come to me once throughout the day so I could nurse her. Maybe the difference was that I was only 5 minutes away and could go to her if needed. Now, being at work, I am unable to go to her if she needs me.
We have care set up for Lyla that is the best care we could ask for - her grandparents. My parents and Ryan's mom have generously offered to put their lives on hold for the next 3 months to come and help us out to keep Lyla out of daycare. After those 3 months, Ryan's company is going to allow him to have 2 days a week off so he can look after her while I am at work. This is all fantastic and means that Lyla will not have to leave her home and risk getting germs for this first year. But, I can't help feeling sick myself when I think about leaving her.
Am I being selfish? Should I just gulp and put my chin up and head into my new life as a working mother. Maybe I have been spoiled by this stay at homeness that I have come to enjoy so much. To be honest, before I had Lyla I thought that it was silly to want to quit my job or go part time because I ONLY work 3 days a week. But, like I said 3 days seem too much.
I want to nurse Lyla until at least 6 months, but I fear going back to work is going to decrease or stop my milk supply. I fear that Lyla is going to realize that I am not here and be upset. I worry that I am going to miss some of her milestones while I am off caring for my patients. It is ironic that my job is caring for others, that I have give up caring for my own loved one to go care for other people's loved ones. Why can't I just get paid to look after my own??
Obviously, the pros to going back to work is getting money and social interaction for myself with others. However, are these pros worth my cons/fears? I also feel that if I were to stay at home, that would be unfair to Ryan who is planning on staying home with her a couple of days a week and is looking forward to this. There is so much that goes into this issue. Ryan wants to go back to school in 2009, so we need money to allow him to do this. If we leave Michigan in the future, we are going to loose money on our house due to this poor economy, so we need money to make up for this loss.
Ryan has offered for me to take her entire 1st year off, but as you can see it is not cut and dry. I got a letter from a local hospital offering nursing positions which offers a weekend work schedule which would allow me to be home with her during the week and Ryan to be with her on weekends. This is what I was thinking would be a good solution, but we give up our weekend time together in order to do this. If I had to work I would prefer to work part time so that I could work 2 out of 3 weekends and then still have our parents come every 3rd week to babysit/see Lyla. This would make traveling less for them and give us our family time as well. As you can see I am a very confused mommy...so anyone got some wisdom or advice for me, please send it. I need all I can get.....