January 6, 2011

going back

I'm going back to work on Monday and I'm feeling rather nervous about it.  I've been in the same line of work for 12 years now and I'm beginning to wonder whether it's time for a change.  There are a few reasons behind this thinking (and it's exacerbated by two long periods away from work on maternity leave) but as much as anything, I don't feel like I'm any good at my job.  I have never enjoyed doing anything I wasn't good at so the thought of going back to something that I haven't have anything to do with for 10 months is daunting.  For a start, I've changed in the last two years.  No longer am I able (or dare I say it) willing to throw myself into work and work long hours when I have two, three (five if you include the hounds) little souls to look after at home.  And the long hours are kind of necessary.  My work is highly technical, bound by tight budgets, time restraints and demanding deadlines.  I used to thrive on this kind of pressure, and because of it I earned a respect at work of being a dependable, hard working member of the team.  Basically, if I want to do it well (which I do), my job takes a lot of time, possibly more than I am willing to give.  And so I'm nervous about how it will affect my professional reputation when I will undoubtedly want and need to put my family first.  I haven't seen it done successfully before, not without nannies, housekeepers and family support, and not for the first time, I'm feeling a little isolated, not just because we're away from family, but because I feel as though I'm going to be one of the first (at least where I work) to try and push the boundaries of what is achievable when babies are thrown into the mix of life.

If I think about what I'd like to do, it involves time with the boys, my sewing machine, gardening gloves and probably a seed catalogue.  But the reality of this is that it wouldn't pay our mortgage, or any mortgage for that matter, and we need to be realistic about what we're trying to achieve and by when.  I guess financial freedom is a big part of being happy in the long run and being able to provide for the boys, but at what cost?  It's causing me to seriously rethink whether I'm in the right profession, not just for me personally, but as a mother and wife.  I am not sure what my role in life is anymore beyond mum to Ollie and Max and I'm hoping the next few months will help me realise it.

And in other news, Christmas is over.  The tree is back in the loft. Happy Epiphany.

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