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.