Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Help - Advice Needed

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.....



I hear you babe. I have no good advice at all. you have to do what you have to do.

One thing I do know...she'll do just fine with her Grandmas, your milk may slow down but it shouldn't stop. And it gives her time with others, making for social interaction for her as well. Lots of people do it, and it sounds like for you to get home sooner, this is the way to go.

your shifts are still 12 hours? that does make for a long day.

Go with your heart Kelly and then you won't regret any decision made.

the only other thing I can say...that really may not help at all is.... you don't get these moments back.

so, that only confuses you more huh? ya. shoulda kept my mouth shut!!
Love you.

humblehewlett@gmail.com said...

Have you ever heard the old adage about the glass being half full or half empty? Normally I would mind my own business but the caption says "Help-Advice Needed"- I think I have some advice that might help.
First, your feelings as a new mother, are completely natural and very normal.These are biological, pre-programmed and necessary for our survival as a species.
I remember back when Tyler was a scant 3 months old. I had won a cruise to the Carribean and Lorraine decided there was no way I was going without her. She left the poor little dear with her mother for an entire week- look how well he turned out!! However in the ensuing years she never missed a hockey practice, or a doctors appointment, or a teachers meeting or getting homework done.
Your husband and Tyler are a perfect example of what a great mother Lorraine was.She realized that she was also a woman and could do many things as well as raise two great kids who turned out ultimately to be great citizens.
I heard of a situation last week about a little 8 year old boy with in-operable brain cancer.His parents are both out of work and can not afford to do certain things with their son and can not even afford certain medications required. I am using my contacts with the Jennifer Ashleigh Foundation and Childrens Wish to provide some assistance for this family. The only reason I mention this is that we should always recognize what we have-in this case our health-and not what we dont have.
You and Ryan, and Lyla have your health which is paramount when you hear things like this.
You are both well educated, have good jobs, great families, and partake of the benefits of both the US and Canada.
Heck, both countries are engaged in military combat in countries that dont even let little girls go to school. Many parents are trying to make ends meet as single parents or without a decent job. We must always remember to give thanks for what we have-not dispair about what we dont have.
The time goes very fast- just think-my mother who is in a nursing home was once a little girl like Lyla-hard to envision-but her parents probably doted on her.
Embrace every day, for what it is-think of the anticipation of seeing your little one at the end of a shift.
Lorraine is looking at the opportunity of helping you and Ryan as an opportunity of a lifetime. Since she is now at home-what a great way for her to do the things again she is obviously good at- look at the two boys she raised-Lyla will obviously be in good hands.
She will spread her little wings and learn to interact with her grandparents more than she might otherwise.
So think of the glass being half full.You have so much to be thankful for!
Just embrace every day, even though the time with your little one may be a little shorter, for the time goes by so quickly.
You will do just fine

Pickering Pops

papa said...

good luck

papa said...

good luck