what I write about
she has fallen and now she is awake
I go back to work in four months. A little less now. I go back full time. Wolfman is quitting to stay home with BunBun.
I. Am. Fucking. Terrified.
There’s the money – I earn far less than Wolfman. Even though I’ve got a Masters degree. My career demands at least a degree, most of us have Masters, yet the pay is shit. Hello pink ghetto! On top of that my employer is on the low end of the pay scale. So I earn shit. We’re eligible for public housing on my salary. We’re doing it this way because it’s always been the dream, always been the plan. We moved for my career, we’ll move again and we adjust our lives to my career. Yet I get paid peanuts. So we’re suddenly back to worrying about money after a nice interlude of not having to.
There’s the intellectual decay, or rather, the fear of my intellectual decay. Motherhood so often cops the “oh I’m SO SILLY but without me the world would fall apart” The ‘mummy brain’ hypothesis. I fight that, over and over and over again. But going back to work is going to be hard. Not only has a bunch of stuff changed, but where I’m based will have changed and so have my coworkers. I’m certainly not up to speed on anything anymore. I’m scared I’m going to fall flat and instead of help, I’ll just get ‘oh well, that’s what motherhood does to smart women!’ like that’s a fucking answer.
There’s the physical – I’ll have to express, I’ll have to go back to the physical labour of my job and I have to buy all new clothes because I’ve lost so much weight that my pre-pregnancy work clothes don’t fit. One pair of pants can be modified to fit but the rest will need to be new. I’m going to attempt to present a bit more of a professional face in order to facilitate a bit more of an upward trajectory into management but those clothes? Require a lot more pay, a lot less boob and a lot less breastfeeding. So I’m struggling and having to shop and it fucking sucks. I need new shoes. I need to do something with my hair. Maybe makeup. In other words, I need to start following the feminine agenda for how I look. Added to my discomfort with losing weight? I’m fucking hating this.
There’s the emotional. I have to leave my baby for hours. Sure, I’ve gone overnight without her, which sucked, but I was whacked on morphine and hoping surgery will fix me or so sleep deprived I may as well have been given morphine and hoping that the lights will fix her. Going to work? Listening to arseholes whine about overdue fees, why the internet is too slow and why they’re such a special fucking snowflake? I don’t know how well I’m going to cope. Wolfman said I just need to remember to call people sir/ma’am instead of jerkwad. I don’t know that will be enough. I’m leaving her, interrupting our breastfeeding relationship and disrupting her entire life because I want a career. I’m scared it isn’t really worth it. I’m worried that I’m not taking it as harshly as society says I should.
Then, there’s the concerns about my actual job. There’s only two branches I can comfortably express at and I only really want to work at one of them. But the other has many more opportunities to show how awesome I am to management. I don’t want to go back to what I was doing before I left – partly due to the team, partly due to the actual work and mostly to do with the fact I don’t have the luxury of fucking about any more. I am the breadwinner. I need to follow the money. Not to the extent of becoming a law librarian or anything, but children’s librarianship is a pink ghetto within a pink ghetto. I need to show my skill set and if I’m stuck in storytime they don’t shine. Sure, it makes me look lovely and nice, but not super professional.
But, I’m going back. If I get stuck wearing the same pants all week, I’ll go back. If we’re reduced to living on noodles and weetbix, I’ll go back. If we have to sell the house and live in a studio apartment, I’ll go back.