Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Paycheck Prattle: Working Mom Wednesday

Today's Working Mom Wednesday prompts are just right on target for me, because work has definitely felt overwhelming recently. A key colleague who has worked with me for the past two years told me that she would be resigning last week--effective this week. Yeah, not a lot of turnaround time. So, my job of trying to work with hospitals, health departments, occupational health nurses, lay health advisors, and community health advocates in (officially) 22 counties has now expanded to (unofficially) covering 30 counties...with no one to collaborate with directly for who knows how long (until they find a replacement). Ahhhhhhhh!

So, in answer to the first prompt: "When work seems overwhelming, I..." freak out. For the past week and a half, I've been impulsively applying to other jobs. Most are positions I wouldn't really want to have (with the exclusion of maybe one job possibility). Without my key colleague, I feel pretty lost. No one at my worksite has a job like mine: working as a regional coordinator and public health program manager. I have a very unconventional county health department health education position. The state level staff who manage the program don't provide much help and support either. So, only the three other coordinators who have the same position as me in other parts of the state really know what I do --and loosing one of those three is a huge blow. Thus, my applying to other jobs was a stress relief activity, trying to give myself some figurative "ways out."

Moreover, with only 2 months under my belt post-maternity leave, I'm still of course struggling with the necessity of having to return to work. I would much rather be able to stay home with my increasingly interactive 5 month-old little girl, or only need to work part-time. The routine of getting out of the house in the morning has become easier, but the internal struggle of needing to leave my little girl seems to be getting harder. And this is with me truly liking my job, for the most part! I can only imagine the awful fight of a new mama returning to a job she hates.

The second prompt is fitting too, in slowing me down out of my current job panic. "Little things I love" include:
  • My daughter's smiles when I pick her up from daycare
  • Kissing my baby's neck until she giggles
  • Rubbing my cheek against my baby's fuzzy head
  • My daughter's hand reaching up to my face while she is nursing
  • Watching the dogs run in our newly fenced yard
  • Pausing to give my husband a real hug
  • Sitting on our front porch swing with a cup of tea
  • Having dinner ready in the crockpot when I get home from work

These little things make all the job and paycheck stresses worth it.


  1. Hi there - visiting from WMW! I've done the job search when things get overwhelming at work! I love your list, husband hugs are a great part of my day too!!

  2. Wow that is overwhelming! But you'll make it through. I have found that reminding yourself what makes you happy (which is a great list btw!) can really help you find your center and move forward in the craziest of circumstances. Good luck with your job and figuring out how you'll get by without your coworker! :)

  3. It's hard leaving your LO at home, but I will say that you are probably at the hardest stage. They change so much from 3-9 months, and I know how it feels to feel like you are missing out. But it gets better: the weekends become so much more valuable to you! And there's nothing better than when you pick them up in the afternoon and they are so excited to see you!

    Oh, and the hand on the face while nursing eventually turns into a hand pushing your face to the side so you don't watch him eating. And his feet in your face. LOL.

  4. Visiting from WMW. I feel a little lazy compared to what you do in a day!! When I worked full time, I always did job searches when work got to be too much. Even now I am trying to find something other than serving, but it's hard because my current job is so flexible with my work schedule.

  5. I'm visiting from WMW too. Going to work after maternity leave does get better. First, I was sad about it, then I was resigned to it, but just recently, much to my surprise, I actually started seeing some good in it.

  6. oh gosh, how crazy! my supervisor just left too, leaving me in charge. which i'm pumped about, but also overwhelmed. good thing we love our jobs, huh??

    maternity leave and going back to work gets better. hopefully your job thing works out and you can get things squared away. you love your job so why change? hopefully, it will smooth out and not feel so overwhelming.