Since a month before Hazel was born, I’ve been working part time – 60% to be exact. My charge out rate went up significantly when I transitioned from post doc to staff scientist, and the sucky economy has meant fewer project dollars to cover scientist salaries. So it wasn’t exactly by choice, but the timing of it was actually ideal. It’s been lovely being home a bit more with the ladies. Ok, it’s been really challenging but also nice. Both.

At any rate, due to some crazy contract deadlines, I’ve been working a lot closer to full time for the past month – some weeks more than – and it looks like I’ll move back to full time officially now. This is great for my career, no question. I’m pleased to have the opportunity, and on projects I like, even. But damn if it doesn’t make life super hectic.

That’s pretty Captain Obvious, but it’s still just… whoa. It’s not that it’s harder, exactly – for me, with my kids right now, it’s easier to work than to wrangle Eliza while Hazel hangs out constantly at the all you can eat buffet, and me trying to cook dinner in between – it’s just… draining in a different way? Like in the morning and the evening, I feel like I’m on the downhill parts of a roller coaster. Or on harder days, the last quarter mile of a long run. Just, ass dragging and no chance to relax until bedtime.

But there’s only three or four hours, total, between morning and evening, when I’m awake and not at work. Often only two hours out of a whole day with Eliza. It’s not much, so there’s pressure to enjoy it, while we are hustling around, trying to get everybody fed and watered and ready for bed.

And Hazel.. She is doing so well. She sleeps pretty well, usually one wake up a night, for an hour or so. Sometimes two, occasionally none. Working so much cuts down on breastfeeding considerably, so I almost want her to keep that one night feed, despite necessitating an 8:30 bedtime for me forever. And I spend…. most of my time before and after work feeding her, or trying to get her to settle down enough to eat. I don’t really understand how women work full time and keep nursing. After a huge struggle to get Hazel to take a bottle, now we are having to work to keep her from eating more than I’m pumping while I’m at work. Balancing milk supply and nursing and pumping is just… bleh. Not my favorite. It’s just a bit of a head game. And it’s fine! It’s going fine! Hazel is happy, I’m happy, it’s just… hectic. Yep.

I was hoping to stay part time until Hazel was six months, but four is good too. It was a happy coincidence that the economy sucked the worst at a convenient time for me, and full time is fine now. Just have to adjust to the new normal. Also invent extra time for internetting, because damn.

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2 Responses to Hectic

  1. april says:

    I feel like it was more of an adjustment for me going back to full-time after my second than it was my first. I really truly didn’t want to (and quite honestly I was ready to go back after the first, I hope that doesn’t sound too terrible) and even now with one in real school and the other doing actual pre-k work, I’d so much rather be home with them even though they drive me batty sometimes. Even though it feels like I complain too much. But normal does get easier.

  2. Erica says:

    That was the hardest thing about working for me, cramming all the things and love into those hours before and after work. My work had a lot of dead time too and it was so hard to twiddle my thumbs during the day when I had so much to do at home. For me it came down to a purely monetary decision and when I was making beans part time… Well here I am an at home mom.

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