Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Who knew two days could make me feel so weepy

My start date back at work is April 27. That's exactly 41 days from now. I've known this day was coming since I left work last April.

But as the day gets closer, I start going more and more into denial mode. And today, as I was talking to my manager (because it's prudent to touch base with work after being gone for so long), she asked me to do the unthinkable: come back to work two days earlier so that I could have some time with the woman who replaced me (because her last day is the 24th).

I calmly told her I'd see what I could do because I don't have child care for those days. And when I hung up I cried.

I cried because I have to work two extra days. But not really, because those are vacation days so I'm getting them back to take at another time. So really, how silly am I?

I cried because I realized that I really am dreading going back to work. For weeks and months, I've been saying 'yes I'm going back because I can always decide later if I don't want to be there'. But suddenly, I'm starting to realize that I'm really happy at home with the kids (as much as they drive me crazy from time to time) and I don't want to leave them.

Unlike as my last maternity leave drew to close, I'm not excited about rejoining the real world and re-establishing a sense of 'purpose'. And although the fact remains that I do still really like my job, I'm not sure I want go back to the real world.

So maybe I shouldn't. Maybe I should stop telling myself that I'm going to do the right thing and think about just doing the right thing.

But what is the right thing? Where is the magic envelope that has the right answer in it? And is there a right answer? And if there is, how do I know it is?

One thing is for sure...I have more questions than answers right now. But if the thought of going back to work just two measly days early makes me weepy, then I have a lot to think about in a very short period of time.


The Valliers said...

Awwww.... *hugs*

My $0.02?

You can always "go back" to work. You're a smart woman, you're employable. And a gap on a resume that indicates you chose to stay home with your kids during their formative years is not like a gap on your resume that speaks to you just sitting at home, not working for no good reason.

I say, if you are lucky enough to be able to afford to stay home, and your gut is telling you to stay home - then stay home. But if it's going to cause too much stress and be less enjoyable than having the extra income, then work. Do what makes you happy, what will make your family happy and what will cause you the least amount of stress.

Go with your gut. Or explore other options with your employer... maybe they can do a work-from-home model that would allow you more time w/ the kids. Or a part-time option. You never know and it doesn't hurt to ask (if you know you're willing to not return).

Good luck - whatever the choice you make - it's not necessarily a "forever" choice. You can always change your mind and go back to work (or quit your job later and stay home for a while).

Carole said...

If I can add my $0.01...the above advice is fantastic! Especially the part about "do what makes you happy, what will make your family happy and what will cause you the least amount of stress".