Wednesday, November 18, 2009

First Twelve Months: Snapshots: Work-Life Balance

Zero to Three Months:  Easy baby.  Move at 8 weeks.  Home Ownership is waaaaayyyyy more stressful than mothering an easy newborn.

But then again, most houses aren't missing part of the dining room woodwork because a small animal, possibly a squirrel (but also possibly not), ATE IT while trapped inside your new house for some unknown amount of time prior to your closing date.

I go back to teaching exercise classes for an hour each evening at 6 weeks, but don't go back to my regular teaching job until 12 weeks.

Three to Eight Months:  I go back to work, part time.  I was a part-time teacher before I had my son, so it's familiar.  Somewhat of a relief, nothing to do with baby, or work, frankly.  It's a relief to get away from the disorganized and demanding house!  Baby and job are both a breeze, compared.

I love my job, and I trust my babysitter immensely.  She has about 30 years of experience in Early Childhood education (which is also my field), and I think he benefits from spending 4 mornings a week with her, as well as another, slightly older baby.  I'm also glad he's bonding with her when he's very young, as I'm hoping that will make separation anxiety easier when it arises at around a year.

I'm slowly realizing that teaching an exercise class five nights a week is too much time away from the family.  I feel resentful about it, because I want this hour a day for myself, and it doesn't pay enough for me to do it any time except evenings, when my husband is home to provide free child care.  Also, can we afford it if I drop the classes?  And will I ever work out if I'm not required, and paid, to show up?

Eight to Twelve Months:  I get offered a promotion at work, adding some administrative duties to my teaching job.  Extra hours, rather than extra pay.  Work's interesting, we could really use the money.  I take it, and drop all my fitness classes but two.  Both yoga, which is what I need the most right now!  Love the teaching/administrative work.  Hate the less flexible schedule and the longer hours. 

Am able to segue extra hours into close-to-full-time summer work, which allows my schoolteacher husband to stay home with our son for the summer--critical because our babysitter works for teachers and takes summers off.

I can see my son begin to bond more closely with his dad, spending all day together, which is one really great benefit of our flexible schedules.  Even so, I find myself looking forward to the fall, when I move back to part-time hours!  Part-time work is a perfect balance for me, and I've been incredibly lucky to have both an adaptable child and a flexible job to ease me through this first year of motherhood.  Now how to fit some workouts in?

No comments:

Post a Comment