This morning my husband left for work; the bambino
and I left for a walk before I settled down to do some
work today while the babysitter watches him.
(He's sleeping in the Ergo Carrier here.)
In April, I blogged for Poet’s Guide to Motherhood about my plans to work, mother and write after the baby. When he was about a month and a half old, we felt like we’d settled into a routine that worked well for us. My husband and I were both working p/t from home. Today my husband goes back to working – at work. And my p/t gigs will be back to a full-time schedule. I’m excited and a little nervous about the uptick in activities.
This summer I taught fewer online classes and paused my in-person classes and consulting appointments. As for my writing, I kept up a regular writing routine and I even gave a reading and submitted some poems (looking forward to new poems coming out this Oct.!) Even if it is stressful at times, I’m enjoying being a working mom.
This fall I’ll be back to a full schedule, including online teaching college-level classes, writing coach appointments, and in-person classes at Politics and Prose bookstore. And of course there’s the work of being a poet.
Was it smart to keep working? Is it smart to continue? Yes! Most days I can't imagine it any other way.
Of course, the first few weeks were very, very difficult. The three of us had a lot to learn and we were all exhausted and I was recovering from a C-section. It was hard to think about work, let alone lunch and laundry. Some days I was pretty convinced that the naysayers about a possible work-life balance were right. Between the tears and fretful naps where I dreamed about my baby being lost, I made coffee and cursed everything.
After a few weeks, though, it felt really good to have parts of my “old life” still active. We all become a little more skilled at our roles (us as parents and the bambino as a bambino) and I especially appreciated the opportunity to think about non-poop oriented things. Since I teach online, I am flexible about where and when I work, which made it possible to balance so many things. Plus, my university professor husband could easily co-parent from home with me through the summer, so I wasn’t alone. We also had some babysitters throughout the summer for extra help.
Our routine changes today. My husband went to work right after breakfast this morning. While my semesters start a few weeks later, I am preparing for them and still teaching later start summer classes.
After interviewing about fifteen babysitters, we’ve settled on a few we trust to care regularly for our son while I am in the next room working. With a clear schedule of who works when, we’re ready for the transition.
And we’re ready to tweak it as things inevitably continue to change.