A quick update…

Well I’ve survived the first two days of work.  I’m going back for a short evening shift tonight and a short morning shift on Friday.

I woke up early on Tuesday morning, anxious about getting ready on time and getting my daughter over to my parents’ for the day.  I was able to get my hair and make-up done before E woke up.  We were able to go through a shortened version of our morning routine – we didn’t play quite as much as usual – and I got everything packed up to take with us.  It was a fair amount to carry.  If it happens that my parents are watching E more often I think I’ll just double up on a bunch of things so that I don’t have to cart so much back and forth.

I carted everything to the car, strapped E into her car seat, and we left our house just after 8:00 in the morning and arrived at my parents’ about 8:15.  E was happy to see Grandma (my dad was at work) and was content while I set up the playpen, white noise, and baby monitor.  Around 8:40 I kissed E good-bye and got back into my car.

On the way I realized that I had totally forgotten all the papers I had signed and was supposed to bring on the first day of work!!!  What a great way to make a good first impression.  Oh well, what could I do?

Once I got to the library, I was greeted warmly and the training started shortly afterwards.  There were two of us being trained, which I understand why they would want us to start together, but I think I found that more stressful.  I’ve never worked at a library before and there is a LOT to learn!  My brain was suffering from overload by the end of the day!!!  But I survived.  🙂  And so did E.  My mom said she was great all day, which helped me feel a little better.  We packed up everything to take home.  When we got home, my husband was already home and asked how the first day had been.  By then I was so hungry and I had a headache, that I couldn’t say more than “please, feed me!”  Haha!  The rest of the evening went well.  I prepped for the next day as much as I could and then we spent the evening watching a movie, once E was asleep in bed.

Thursday morning came and we repeated the process.  I was worried that E would be upset when I left her with my mom, but she was as happy as could be.  My mom said that she was a bit more relaxed than the previous day.

The other trainee wasn’t there that morning which I think helped me relax a bit more too.  I was up at the front desk most of the day which provided me with lots of opportunities to practice what I had learned on Wednesday.  It seems like the staff are pretty nice and are willing to help me whenever I have questions.  No headache for me at the end of the day.  🙂

E was full of smiles when I arrived to pick her up.  Mom said that she was great all day!  That evening was also a pretty relaxed one.  I put E down for bed, giving us some snuggle time.

This morning was a normal morning for the most part.  My shift starts at 4:30 so there has been lots of time to play and read and enjoy each other’s company.  She was a little on the fussy side, but hopefully she’ll feel a little happier after her nap.  And my husband is home this evening so they will be enjoying some Daddy/Daughter time.  I’m so grateful to have such a competent husband when it comes to childcare.

What I’ve learned so far:

  • Prep as much as you can the night before.  I packed up E’s snacks and bottle as well as my lunch, keeping everything in the fridge until we were ready to go.  I also made a list of the things I needed to pack in the morning: sleep sack, white noise machine, E’s mousie and blanket (her loveys), some toys, etc.
  • Realize that you probably won’t have tons of time to worry about how your baby is doing while you are at work.  It was go, go, go the entire day.  I sent my mom a text during my lunch break and she got back to me saying things were ok, and that was as much as I could squeeze in.  It really helped to know that E was in capable hands so I didn’t have to worry.
  • Expect to be tired and frazzled at the end of the day!  I’m so glad my husband was home Tuesday evening after my first day because I was finding it so hard to think about anything!

And now I’m going to enjoy this little bit of “me” time while E is napping!  🙂

Any tips and tricks for returning to work?

My Last Day as a Full-Time Stay-at-Home Mom

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?