Fridays at work are always pretty open in the lactation room. Mondays, too. There are only three of us (out of seven so far) who work in the office full time. I have to admit that I feel envious of these women (and other parents) who get an extra day or two at home with their kids. I want to lounge at home reading books with Jack or attend meet-ups and playgroups. Instead I am at work willing the day to speed by so that I can go home and see my little guy’s face light up as he runs toward me for hugs.
It wasn’t so hard in the beginning. I hated maternity leave and couldn’t wait to get back to work. Steady work that I enjoy has been one of the only things that has kept depression at bay for me. Money is a big stress-inducer in my life, which probably comes from growing up poor. (I am glad Jack will not have to experience kids making fun of him for wearing K-Mart clothing, or cheap Payless shoes melting on hot pavement, or standing in line for government-provided cheese.) If I didn’t work, we’d be in the same situation I grew up in and I will do everything in my power to never be there!
So, working is part choice and part necessity. Joe works in a field where it is difficult to obtain employment, and the work he finds is generally part-time or seasonal and not high paying (and no medical benefits!). His income pays for daycare and little else. We’re hoping that will change as he gains more experience and possibly gets into one of the few full-time and/or permanent rangering positions that open up every so often. If that happens, I will see if I can get a 4 day work week to have a little extra time with Jack yet still keep one foot in the working world. In the mean time, I’m the bread winner for the family, a role I am very used to since before Joe was a ranger, he was a student. This is our life!