It is 9:32pm here and I have been struggling with this crushing doubt, fear, dread, whatever you want to call it. The prospect of going to work tomorrow is so depressing I can't bring myself to go to bed as if not sleeping will make the morning not come.
I got laid off from my previous job at the end of May. I went back to work for 6 weeks to finish out my job so I could keep my insurance and collect my severance. At that time we were counting on me staying home for awhile after the layoff so we didn't put Bear in daycare. My mom and grandma came in from out of town traded off watching him for those six weeks. When it came down to it we couldn't go through with me staying home. The figures didn't work out and the stress was so palpable and I thought we might collapse under the weight of it all. The hospital bills came in, taxes had to be paid, cars needed repair, and life went on. I got short term disability for 8 weeks because of my c-section but the remaining 4 weeks I took without pay.
That was tough and the thought of months of barely making it and fighting over who bought the expensive toilet paper was just not something I could deal with. So I took another job. A great job. A job that I would have loved 5 years ago when I graduated from college. My coworkers are great. The benefits and the salary are good. I have a great office with a view and flexible hours. Great sick leave and vacation.
Yet I am miserable. My heart isn't in it. The guilt kills me all day long. The guilt that I am half-assing it. That I am not doing my best, not even close. I used to be the worker that stayed as late as needed to get the job done. That took the job home with me at night. Now I'm spending my days praying that the fever nazis (aka daycare providers) don't call me because I don't have any more sick leave until the 1st of next month. I know I can't quit right now. It is not feasible. We have property taxes coming up (the bill came in today) and Christmas gifts to buy. I know that doesn't seem like a lot to a lot of people. People who think my priorities are skewed. People who judge.
I feel trapped and guilty all the time. I struggle to get through the day. Follow my routine. Enjoy my 2-3 hours of awake time I get to spend with my son every evening. A struggle I know thousands of other mothers have suffered through but yet I feel alone in my burden. My husband is doing the absolute best he can and I know he wants me home with Bear if thats what I want. I wish life came with a TiVo. Pause, FF, RW, Stop. I wish I could pause the job and leave it for when I am done with making my babies and the youngest is in preschool. No penalty. No, so what have you been doing for the past 6 years questions? I dread going to bed at night because I know when I get up I have to do it all over again and again and again. I don't know what the solution is. I'll let you know...