Monday, September 10, 2007

Will work take a back seat?

Since Joe and I have no kids, work has always been a BIG priority in my life. I've worked for the same local government agency for the past 22 years and plan to retire as soon as my pension plan allows, or shortly there after. For the past few years I've been a contract administrator in the engineering department. It's a VERY busy and stressful position with LOTS of looming deadlines and federal and state laws to comply with.

I've heard people say that once they have kids, priorities change and work takes a back-seat to family. The same people say that because of this they don't feel as stressed out at work because it's just not as important to them as it used to be. It's not really that their attitude at work changes in a negative way, but they just seem to look at things differently.

On exceptionally bad weeks, like last week, I wonder if I will feel the same way when I get back to work from maternity leave. Will I somehow see things differently and not get stressed out as much or will I be even more stressed out between work and thinking about Lauren at daycare.

For those of you who have returned to work full-time after their leave, I would love to know if things have changed for you and how.

10 comments:

Kim said...

Hiya,

We've been home with our daughter since April 2006...I also work for state government and will agree with what you have put forth. Work had been a big priority but now with Maddie, it still is important but I have a better perspective as to its importance. I no longer bring work home with me, have dreams about work etc...I now leave work, pile into a car with stuffed animals & toys and dream about playing with Maddie...

Yes, it is definately different, but in a good way!

Shelley said...

Things do change. In some ways, you will be more stressed. In addition, there will be guilt which is awful (because at any given time, either work or Lauren will be getting less of you than you think they should have).

But you learn that this is the way things are and plan your life/work accordingly.

But then in other ways, it is nice to get into your groove/routine, and to be able to have time with adults doing adult things. It makes coming home to your little one so much more special.

I have to say that now that I'm working from home, things are much more stressful. I have never worked so hard in my life ...on all fronts.

Everything will come clear to you when Lauren is here. Just go with the flow.

Jacquie said...

Yep, things are different at work. Actually, I think it's made me better. I don't get upset about things that used to really matter. I also seem to have more patience with my kids at school after spending the last five months with a one year old. And as upset as I was about leaving Lily at daycare, being away from her for part of the day makes me really really miss her and I feel like I'm a better mom to her. Is it all peaches and cream? No. That awful feeling of leaving her every morning is much better than that first day, but I still feel a little bit bad. And my time with her in the evenings goes so fast. Oh, and one last thing. Don't hesitate to get help if you need it. I got a cleaning lady once every two weeks. It's not much, but boy has it helped my frame of mind. Way worth the money.

OziMum said...

I know work will take a backseat for me!!! I hate working, and love being home with the kids... I certainly don't plan on stepping up my workload anytime soon!!!

redmaryjanes said...

Hi Donna,
My perspective did change. My job became the work I do to provide the things that we need to maintain our home and lifestyle. My focus really became the family. I have never regretted being a working Mom. My children have always loved to go out and play with their daycare friends. My job used to be how I rated myself and my success in life. Now I look at the type of mother I am and how my children are doing as the measure.

Heather said...

IMHO, work does get knocked down a few notches in terms of importance, but job performance doesn't have to suffer. Rather you will just strike a different balance. I can now get as much work done in 7 hours as I used to in 10 hours.

mommy2gabby said...

Hi, I have been reading you blog for awhile. I always enjoy your comments and how down to earth you are.

For me I went back to work after maternity leave. I really missed my daughter so much. It was hard to see her attaching to the nanny more than me at 3 mos. For us the life style that we had choosen was one where I had to work. I continued to do this for 2-3 years. Then my husband applied for a transfer(he to works for the government). At that time we decided we would downsize so I could stay home with Gabby. I have been a ASHM for the last 5 years. I love it!! Now we are waiting along with you and the others for our DD#2.
I hope you can find peace with whatever you feel is best for your family.

PS I love your pages. How did you change the background,templates, and headers of your blog? I would love to do something similar with a shabby chic sorta look.

Jody

rubyiscoming said...

Whoa, this is something I think about SOOO much! I have so many conversations in my head about this very same topic.

However, I think the fact that you are conscious of it, and concerned about it, means that you will be an AMAZING mother and still good at what you do :)

Kim

Alyson & Ford said...

I am same way, working for over 27 years in the same industry. I am very stressed most of the time, so hoping my attitude changes and work is more balanced with home life. Poor DH will be picking up the slack!!

Alyson
LID 01/27/06

www.myblog.de/naehmaus said...

Hello,

I worked fulltime for over 15 years and then my daughter was born, 2 years later my son... I am a stay at home mom and I really love it... Beside the point that there is so much to do around the house and the garden, I just treasure the time I can spend with the kids... because the time when they are so little goes by so fast... My daughter just had her first day of school yesterday... and with 6 years they get more and more independent where they need there mommy not that much anymore...

Maybe I would take a parttime job if I could find good and affordable daycare... but it is so hard here in Germany...

For example... my daughter attends to school from 8.25 - 11.55, we live just a few minutes away from school...

so which employer would take me for such a little time...???

In your case, I don't know how long maternity leave goes in the States... but if you can, I would take the first year off... I just imagine how it is for your daughter to change in a whole new life... and I think for her it is very important to adjust to you very well before she has a new person to attach...

We had to cut down in lifestyle, too... but it is really worth it... and yeah... things who seemed to be important before... they are so unimportant to me now...

Maybe it is hard to describe, everybody experience it in a different way, but like I said... those early years they run so fast...

If you can... cut down on work...

Write down how much money you need for things you can't change... like mortgage, electricity, water, garbage, telephone etc.

and then write down what you spend on other things where you really have an influence on... like going out, eating outside the house, clothes, cosmetiques, nick necks etc.

Maybe you can make some changes...

As parents we spent a lot of time doing fun stuff like going (at different places) to the zoo, swimming, riding bike, playground, movies, museums with the kids...

Sometime it is even those (easy things to us) little things who really impresses the kids... we went to an applefarm where they showed how they collect all the apples and how they make applejuice... our daughter talked for weeks about that and we had to go to the apple area quite some time...

or we went to a sheep farm where the kids could feed the little ones...

For us... not that exciting... but for the kids...

and it will be this spending time they will remember one day... least that is it what I remember from my childhood... those memories are precious and can't be paid with money... and nobody can't take this from me...

Sorry this got really long...

but for the end... try to consider what you want from life... what it is important to you, what you could let go... and what you want for your family...

I hope you find the best solution what goes for you and your family...

Take good care and
Blessings

Andrea