Thursday, April 7, 2011

Struggling with post-baby plans

My meeting with my principal went really well. Turns out, he and his wife also dealt with infertility so he was really understanding. We talked about my taking the first half of the school year and returning for 3rd quarter. As he's new, he felt he needed to look into the situation more in terms of what he needed to do from there.

It is a weird position to be in- I want to be fair to my school and my team. I don't want to leave them hanging. But I also want to make sure I am protecting my interests. What if I decide I do want to return? When will I know? HOW will I know?

On top of that, I'm still not comfortable saying the words: "I'm having a baby." I said them a bunch of times on Tuesday. I saw lots of my coworkers who didn't know. They would ask if I was coming back. "Well, I'm having a baby...." I'm having a baby. Four easy words. Followed by the echo in my brain that says "But what if I don't? What if something happens?"

Even if this pregnancy progresses as it should (and so far all signs point towards that outcome), September is not the ideal time for a teacher to have a baby. Obviously, at this point that was the least of our concerns. But now that I am progressing, almost halfway through my pregnancy, the reality of that situation is settling in.

My situation is really good. Which makes it really hard. Financially- we can swing another year off for me. Professionally- I am able to take another year leave and still come back the following year. Personally- III has totally left it up to me. Whatever is going to make me the happiest.

See? Aren't I a lucky girl???

But... that leaves it totally on my shoulders. And I just don't know. I don't know what to do. On the one hand- hello! We've been trying to have this baby for almost four years!!!! But on the other... if I've learned anything from my year off this year, it is how much I identify myself as a teacher. I'm enjoying a lot of parts of not working this year (especially the part where I get to sleep until 8 or 9 am). But I also feel kind of untethered. I'm a good teacher. I help kids. I DO inherently like what I do. But I haven't been a mom yet. Maybe that will be enough next year. Maybe it will be better.

I may not have as much of a choice as I present here. III and I decided we'd start by looking at daycares. Many of the daycares that are recommended to me through people I know run their schedule based on the public school schedule. Sounds great for a teacher, right? Well, two problems. 1) I'm looking for a slot that begins mid-year. 2) Even if I was looking for a September slot, all of the daycares I've talked to so far are full for the next school year already.

So I'm feeling really torn. And not really ready to have to deal with all of this. I'm eighteen and a half weeks, and feel like I'm jumping the gun. But if I don't start now, I feel like I'll be behind- in fact, it seems in terms of finding a day care I already am.

Am I really going to have a baby?????


sunflowerchilde said...

We have a similar issue with day care. I DID take a year off, but I didn't look for daycare for the following year. I thought I had plenty of time.

Also ... I already knew I wasn't going back to that job, because I hated it. I really wanted to stay home full time. Now that I'm actually doing it, I sort of wish I had an option for a part time job. I LOVE being with my kids, and I don't think I'd like to go back to work full time unless I really loved my job. But even so, I wish I could put them in daycare or somewhere two days a week and just have a little bit of me time.

On the other hand, I had twins. I think it must be easier with one baby, as you'll get some down time when the baby naps. The upshot is - if I had a job I really liked and an option for part-time, I'd go back for sure. I think a choice between full time mommy and full time work is really hard. So I'm sorry, I'm not much help!

Kakunaa said...

I can honestly say I wish I had the option to take more time off...I am dreading returning after 8 weeks. But I hate my job. And we can't afford for me to not return, so really, we have to have me go back.

I know it's hard to decide now...take half the year for sure, hon.

And yes, you are going to have a baby!

Anonymous said...

I thought I would want a ton of time off after I had my kids, before I had them. AFTER I had them, I realized I wanted to get back to work. Just not the full-time mommy-type. I feel I am a better mother with them since we are not together all the time. Everyone is different and I don't think you will know until you are there. JMHO...Good luck. Michelle

Anonymous said...

I agree with Michelle. I think there are people who ARE Stay-at-home-moms, and there are people who just aren't, and either one is great as long as it's the right thing for you and the baby. I'm not really sure if I can even guess as to which one you are. Because you've spent full days working with little kids (which I know I could never do!) I tend to think you could be happy as a sahm, but you really won't know until you're a few months in. Once the craziness of "newborn" starts to settle, you'll have a much better feel for what's right for you.

Frenchie said...

Regarding staying home vs going back to work, it's hard. Everyone is different. I have seen both sides: when we brought handsome man home I HAD to work, because his adoption happened so fast, we had only about 4 weeks to prepare, and I was already committed to tons of clients throughout that year. I moaned many times that I wished I could stay home because working and being a mommy was so hard, and I felt like I was missing out. Then, when Grace was born, I stopped working and I've spent her first year as a stay at home mommy. I'm very grateful to have had this time at home but I now realize I am. So. Ready. To go back to work! You just don't know until you do it.
And yes, you are having a baby!!!