she has fallen and now she is awake

On work

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. Β 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.


9 responses to “On work

  1. ichabod February 5, 2010 at 03:12


    I don’t think you are in danger of intellectual decay, that is a fallacy and take it from someone who has not much of an intellect to begin with for if decay was real, I would notice.

    I followed a link from my blog to this one.

    We have to do what we have to do to feed, clothe and protect our young and ourselves.

    Don’t sweat it, just do. It will make you feel better, even if you don’t like what you are working at for the benefit is at home. πŸ™‚

    • geekanachronism February 6, 2010 at 12:48

      I was pleased to see the news about the mummy brain myth study, that’s for sure! I think the concept of having to switch gears is the biggest fear – I’ve been on the timelessness of staying at home for a while now and I’m going to have to get back into the organised aspect of work and worrying about how hard that will be with BunBun.

  2. antiprincess February 6, 2010 at 12:10

    do you like your job?

    • geekanachronism February 6, 2010 at 12:49

      Yes. I have issues with some of it – some of the people, some of the procedures, some of the work itself, but I do love what I do. That’s why I refer to it as my career – I don’t work because I need to, I follow my career path because I love it.

  3. antiprincess February 7, 2010 at 07:05

    well, if you like your job, and feel better at your job than at home, then after a brief period of adjustment you should be okay, right?

    I’m a little envious that you have a career. before I had the Son and Error I had a string of unsatisfying, soul-killing sentences of wage slavery in the pink-collar ghetto. honestly, I didn’t choose to abdicate from the “work force” because I just loved loved loved dirty diapers – I chose to stay home (to the extent that I did) because I had, literally, nothing BETTER to do.

    that said, I was fortunate to find an outside-the-home job that I could bring the kid to, and he could hang out with the other kids whose moms brought them, and he could nurse when he needed to.

    although it might cause a hiccup in the nursing routine, I’m told that working away from home doesn’t have to necessarily destroy the nursing relationship – there’s always mornings, late afternoons, evenings, on through the night… πŸ˜‰

    • geekanachronism February 7, 2010 at 11:06

      The career thing is an advantage I have to admit – I really do enjoy my job! Wolfman is stuck in one of the office drone jobs and can’t wait to get out. And as much as he’s always wanted to stay at home there’s a big chunk of “anything is better than this” in his decision to quit rather than take leave/go part-time.

      That job sounds like a great compromise though – even if it isn’t a career, it sounds like a good way to do things. I wish I could have BunBun that close, but unless we move within walking distance of one of the branches I work at, it’ll be pumping during the day. And nursing the rest of the time.

  4. antiprincess February 7, 2010 at 11:50

    it’ll be pumping during the day. And nursing the rest of the time.

    you ain’t kidding! πŸ™‚

    my job, sadly, is ending a week from Sunday. the store is closing. it was great while it lasted – but I have no idea what I’m going to do next. I suppose I’ll lay around and feel sorry for myself for a while, and then figure out something new.

  5. Ami February 9, 2010 at 11:44

    Another surfer-in from Blue Milk here.

    I just went back to work full-time at the beginning of January after a year at home with my first child. My experience? It’s actually nice to be back. The first couple of days were a little intimidating – like, “oh my god, how did I do this again???” – but I found myself settling back into the groove within a week or so. All my coworkers were assuring me that this would be the case, and lo and behold, they were right…so I hazard a guess that you might find it the same πŸ˜‰

    The things I am finding difficult are things I hadn’t anticipated at all:

    * how tired I am, and how suddenly it’s become near impossible to make time for my own projects (something I managed fairly well while staying at home)

    * having to drop everything and run at exactly 4PM in order to pick my daughter up from daycare on time. I envy you the flexibility and peace of mind you’ll get from having your husband doing the child care.

    • geekanachronism February 9, 2010 at 12:06

      I’m so glad to hear that! Most people I know went back part-time then full-time. Which seems like it would make more sense, but like anything else I’m jumping in the deep end first. I’m looking forward to it, I miss the work. I’m nervous about the energy/sleep thing – Bunbun seems to be teething or something so I’m getting 0230 wakeups and crying fits all of a sudden and I’m SO tired. That said, Wolfman will be taking over most of the night waking unless it’s for hunger – there are so many positive aspects to having him stay home. I really hope it works for us, but the money is such a big concern.

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