Friday, June 13, 2014



The good news: Back in January I changed jobs to one that fits my life goals and time plans a lot better. It's a good fit. I work pretty much set hours (no more late hours, weekends, or overtime), and it's for a great organization full of wonderful people. And my supervisors are spectacular!

But, it was a huge stress to change jobs when I was 6.5 months pregnant (understatement).

And, at my last job, I had really cut my maternity time short because it was a small organization  and a hardship on them the longer I was out. So, I had agreed to a six week maternity leave, and then some special accommodations to ease back into work. But then I left that work.

Oregon's version (OFLA) of the Family Medical Leave Act, which means I could take up to 12 weeks of protected leave and be guaranteed to come back to my job or its equivalent, only applies after someone has been working in the workplace for six months. So, before I started my job, I negotiated my leave so that it would be protected and I'd be guaranteed a job to come back to-- I wasn't covered by OFLA because I knew I'd only be in my job about three months when the baby came. 

But, the starting point for negotiations of leave time was "What are you getting at your current job?", so again I was left with a six week leave. Happily, I was able to also work from home for almost two weeks before James came (thank goodness-- I was miserable), and I was able to add a few days so I came back mid-week and then next week is also a part-week for me.

However, it means that as of Wednesday, I'm back at work.

Luckily, my husband was able to take a 12-week paternity, since he is protected under OFLA. So instead of handing my baby James off to an outside caregiver, he's in the extraordinarily capable hands of my husband. Since my husband has been taking care of James with me since James arrived, this wasn't a huge hurdle for us to overcome. And, with the breastfeeding issues and me pumping to feed James, he's already used to the bottle.

But still, it's been an adjustment. A friend of mind texted me yesterday to see how it's going, and I responded, "Baby is fantastic. Bob is great. I'm the irrational hormone queen."

If I'm sad, then, well, that's sad. If I'm happy at work, then I feel guilty about that and then I feel upset and sad. Gah! There's truly no winning. For various reasons, it makes sense for me to continue working, both financially and for our family's goals. I am lucky to have a great job that I love to go to work to, and I don't want to give that up either. Still, if someone could peek in my brain, they'd see this sometimes-irrational, sometimes-rational battle going on in there.

At least pumping is a lot easier since I don't have to juggle a baby alone while pumping. Trying to look on the bright side.

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