Friday, January 6, 2012

Life change

So, for the first time since I graduated high school, I will be neither working nor attending school. I turned in my notice today, effective in two weeks.

First, for all posterity, I would like to say that this had nothing to do with my workplace. I like my work. I love being a nurse. Some things irritate me, yes. That's in every single job out there, and there were not enough irritants in this job to make me leave. I enjoy my co-workers, I have about the most laid-back provider imaginable, and the hours are as sweet as you can get. How many jobs can you get your child from day care and bring her back so you can finish up late night duties without getting charged an arm and a leg for being late to day care? Holidays off, no weekends, kick-awesome. So we deal with druggies and watch our backs when we leave after dark... I got more physical harm done to me in the nursing home. This was the best job imaginable for my pregnancy; they covered for me during my doctor's appointments, and I could sit and stand as often as I needed.

This also really has nothing to do with whether it's best for a child to be home or in day care. I think there is no absolute best there. There are positives and negatives to both situations. Lots of germs in day care. Builds up their immunity. Strangers take care of them. They get used to other people and those people don't stay strangers for long. Mom misses them. This can also mean mom enjoys them more when she's with them.

Ultimately, this decision is what is best for me and my family at this point in time. Frankly, quitting work is an admission of inadequacy on my part. I can't do it all. I'm losing control. I was hoping that after a month I'd find that I was adapting, finding ways of getting things done, making it work. Nope. I did improve. I learned to accomplish some things on my lunch hour, like paying bills and ordering pictures. I learned it wasn't really that nutty to run and get my child before returning for my late night duties. With the assistance of a day here and there to get caught up, I was managing to stay on top of my work duties.

There were just too many other things that I wasn't handling fast enough. Like my house. I would finally get around to cleaning off my kitchen table and find bills I didn't know were there. And occasionally un-cashed checks, which is a nice surprise. The Mechanic does a lot of laundry, and that's helpful... except I can't get around to putting it away. The dishes tend to get done on an as needed basis until the weekend. Cooking? What's that? Using the oven for something besides canned biscuits or frozen dinners? Who does that? Grocery shopping happens sporadically. Seasonal decorations are a joke. Sweeping, mopping, dusting, vacuuming? Changing sheets? Hah. And poor hubby might as well be a dustbunny under the couch for all the attention he's getting.

I told one lady at work today she must have a cape under her t-shirt, because she has to be super-woman. Twin 2 almost 3 year olds and works full time. Has horses and dogs. And actually dusts and vacuums. And is married. All I can say is, wow. And wow again.

So, my goal for my time at home, besides the obvious one of enjoying my child and husband, is this: get myself organized so that I can return to work. How soon will I return? I don't know. When needed, or when I want to, whichever comes first. Part time at some point would be awesome. I'm also going to try to be careful not to become the "stay at home mom's are more awesome than working moms." I hate that attitude. It goes both ways. Both are hard, in different ways. I find myself stiffening when I hear people say "she's a stay at home mom, what does she need a break from?" or "she doesn't work so she has time to watch lots of tv." It depends on your season of life, and what you do with your time. I love one organizing book I read that listed a way of getting multiple household chores done efficiently. She ended the instructions by saying "Congrats. It's 9am and your basic chores for the day are done. For those with no children, it might be 7am. For you moms of infants and toddlers, it's 3pm." Being with your children nearly constantly is exhausting. Working full time and coming home to children is exhausting.

Being a mom is always full time, whether or not you work outside the home. What I've decided is if you work outside the home, something else has to be given up. Less cooking, more outside help, husband has less leisure time, something else has to give. With me coming home, I hope to cook, a lot. I hope to have a cleaner house. I hope to mend my husband's clothes instead of letting them sit in the basement till we remember to take them to his mom to fix. I hope to read my Bible, at least a little. I hope to get back to exercising. I had a lot of "i hopes" for my eight weeks maternity leave too, and they didn't all happen. But, we'll give it a shot.

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