I go back to work on Monday.
I am incredibly lucky to have a job that provides six months of paid parental leave. I am incredibly lucky to work from home. I am incredibly lucky to be able to afford an in-home nanny when I go back to work so that Edith can be here with me, and I can see her throughout the day.
I know all this. I’m unbelievably lucky, and I have no right to complain. Our country is cruel to mothers and babies (and to fathers and other primary caretakers as well). The lack of parental leave is appalling. No one should have to put their newborn into daycare and return to work while they’re still bleeding, and no one should have to choose between putting food on the table and having excellent, reliable, safe, attentive care for their children. Everyone agrees about this, and yet nothing changes. I don’t understand why. I guess it’s because our politicians are useless, and/or because some people think private corporations should pay for these things rather than taxpayers and that all the people who don’t have a job with a private corporation should go fuck themselves.
Regardless, as lucky as I am to have all this, and as privileged as my situation is, the idea of not being with Edith all day anymore is still so painful I can’t think about it. And on the other hand, I feel like if I have to go one more day without talking to other adults and using my brain, I’m going to implode.
I don’t know what the ideal situation would be. I guess as always it would be to be independently wealthy and not have to make any decisions based on income. But short of that, this is about as ideal as it gets.
Our babies go on these long, never-ending journeys to be their own person, separate from us, and it’s so painful and unfair! Having to deal with other life changes on top of that is just really hard (like going back to work). With the twins, I had to go back at 6 weeks at my old job. I just didn’t?? I can’t imagine it now, but I told my company I was just going to work from home, and even though it was a very inflexible company, that worked? I think part of my brain broke, since there was no way I should have risked my job with twinfants. I stayed home with them until they were 18 weeks, and then I started going back to the office. Right before they turned one I switched jobs. I swore after they were born that I just couldn’t have any more kids, because that back-to-work process was so awful. Childcare instability is probably the thing that causes me the MOST anxiety, most consistently, of all the kid things. So many hugs and so much love to you. It gets easier.
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Wow, I had no idea about your old job, that is wild. I think all the time about people who work back-to-back shift jobs, night shifts, etc. They all have kids. How the hell does anyone do it? It’s brutal.
I think about that a lot too. The people who will get fired if they can’t take a sick day, but they need to be out because their childcare fell through. This is why kids are left at like the library — it’s not because they have bad parents, it’s because their parents are trapped. ANYWAY.
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