It is hard to believe that I’m going back to work tomorrow. I saw this chart that illustrates the number of paid weeks for maternity leave in a variety of different countries. I sure am grateful to live in Canada!!! I got a whole year with my daughter, paid maternity leave, so we didn’t have to worry about finances.
That year has sadly come to an end. And now I’m off to work again. But this has been a fantastic opportunity to take a look at my career and decide what I want to do with it. I have my Bachelor of Education and Bachelor of Science and I have been working as a teacher (mostly Math and Science) for the last 7 years. I’ve worked as a substitute teacher as well as a teacher on contract. Of course, every year I was always starting from scratch – I never had a permanent job that I could go back to year after year.
I had a teaching position last year while I was pregnant with my daughter, which was great for increasing my income for when I went on maternity leave. It was a temporary position, though, which meant that if/when I went back to work I’d be back on the sub list. Subbing is a great job. There is flexibility and it pays quite well and the best part, at the end of the day if a student is misbehaving or didn’t get the work done, it’s not really your problem. The difficulty with subbing, though, is that you don’t really get a chance to make the connections you would in a permanent job, and you might not know if you are working a shift until the night before or the day of! A little difficult to do with a baby who would need childcare.
My husband and I did a lot of thinking and decided that since I wasn’t loving substitute teaching enough to try to make it work, I was going to start looking for a new job. A friend of mine suggested I try the public library. I’m so glad she did because I never would have thought of it. I applied for a couple of positions, struggled through the interview (they said I did well, but I felt like I was barely keeping my head above water), and was offered a permanent part-time position as a library assistant.
My first shift is tomorrow. At this point I have no idea what my schedule is going to look like, but I’m hoping that I’ll find out tomorrow. My mom is going to be watching my daughter while I’m working. I took over a bunch of stuff today (like the play pen, diapers, wipes, etc.) I still have a bunch of stuff to take over there tomorrow. I’m trying not to stress to much about it.
I am looking forward to the challenge of a new job. And anyone I’ve heard of who has worked at the library has loved it, so I’m hoping to find it a friendly and great place to work. My year at home with my daughter has been great. It has taught me so much about being a mom – the joys, the struggles, the delights, the frustrations. I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I’m hoping that because this job is part-time I’m still going to have lots of time with my daughter. She is at such a fun stage right now (1 year old) and I don’t want to miss much!
I am excited to have something that is mine though, something that is separate from my role as “mom”. Who knows, maybe a bit of time away doing non-mom things will help me be a better mom in the long run.
Are you heading back to work soon? How are you feeling about it? Any tips and hints for a newly returning to work mom?