Letting Fear Influence Me

There are some good things happening in our lives right now. None of them are a given quite yet, but we have every reason to believe that the much desired results will eventually become realities. It’s a strange place to be, thinking that really GOOD things will happen. I am thrown off a bit by the positivity I’m currently feeling.

Of course there is still a significant amount of fear seeping into the emotional mix. I worry daily about the healthy of this baby growing inside me. And I would be quite disappointed, at this point, if some other good fortune didn’t come to pass (more on this when we’ve heard for sure, I PROMISE). Right now we’re at a cross roads and I’m making decisions today that will affect my working situation next year. And of course, I’m making those decisions assuming that I’ll be having a baby in mid-October. The biggest decision is if I should go part time. My MIL–who very generously accepted our request to watch the baby for the six months of school that will be left after I return from FMLA leave–might request I do this, in which case this whole thing will be a mute point. But if it’s not a mute point, and I need to decide for myself, I need to know what I’m doing immediately because the deadline to request part time is fast approaching. It may have even passed (but I doubt they’d deny my request if I give it soon).

There are plenty of reasons to go part time, mostly more time at home with the baby and my little girl. I also hope it would help facilitate my continued breastfeeding, as a classroom and teaching schedule are not all that conducive to frequent pumpings. Last time I was incredibly fortunate to go back to work after six months, as my summer break boarded my FMLA leave, and I honestly don’t know what it will be like going back after only three months. I also have no idea what it will be like to have two children. If this baby is colicky, we may just be getting our lives back at three months. And no matter what, I won’t have a baby who’s sleeping through the night at that time. Working less would obviously alleviate some of these stressors and it seems like a good idea for quite a few reasons.

Of course their are persuasive reasons not to request part time, the most noticeable being financial. The last time I went part time I didn’t have a mortgage or a monthly childcare bill. Those two combined might be reason enough not to make this choice–or render it all together impossible. (Some of the other possible good news we’re waiting on would alleviate the financial difficulties, another reason I’ve waited to make this choice.)

If I can make the choice to be part time, it would bring with it a considerable amount of fear. I’m scared of making the choice now only to lose the baby later and have my part time status next year be a daily reminder of what’s been lost. It would also be a big financial blow to be part time when I have no reason to do so. That part time year would probably make it impossible to take another part time year if I were ever to have another baby in the future. At this point, my biggest reason not to request part time is fear. I hate to let fear guide me in these things, but I also don’t want to make some horrible mistake, requesting part time and then regretting it later. I just don’t know what to do.

What would you do in my situation? If we could scrape by with me being part time (this is only a change to 80% by the way, not a huge difference in work load), should I request it even though I can’t be sure the baby will arrive safely? Or should I stick it out at full time for the six months next year and then request part time the following year, when I KNOW the baby will be here?

7 responses

  1. Request the part time status. You can’t jinx a pregnancy, so I see no reason not to do it. Fear is a good reason to hesitate, but it’s not a good reason to NOT request the part time status at the end of that hesitation.


    Do it!

  2. I had to resign from my teaching job at 8 weeks because of impending bed rest. It was hell to think they may be replacing me knowing how precarious my pregnancy is.
    And that’s just one example. There were many more and all equally surreal. But sometimes you just have to bite the bullet and take a plunge. And your plunge is a lot safer than most. You’re in the second trimester hon, I think it’s time you embrace this. Being around horror stories it’s easy to forget how rare we are. But we are rare. You’ll be fine. Go for it.

  3. I believe you should go part time. i also believe you are going to have a baby come October!! I have NO DOUBT!

    When I knew I wasn’t going to be going back, I told myself (and even wrote it in my blog) that I would either have a special needs baby or my baby would be dead, and with either situation I wouldn’t be able to work. Granted, a VERY different situation than yours, but you can look at it that way–that whatever happens you won’t want to be working full time.

    Not that it’s a question about you having this baby. You are going to have a pink and loyd baby come October and you won’t want to be spending all of your time in your classroom.

  4. I think that your title of this post says it all. Don’t let the fear influence you. Plan as everything will go according to PLAN. That being said, I had a huge scare last night and so I totally get the fear and doubt. I say, ignore it and go forward anyhow.

  5. I know that there are other very powerful memories from your mom’s experiences with neo-natal loss at play here in addition to your own experience leading to your very understandable fear.

    That said, I really like the saying Courtney mentioned: “You can’t jinx a pregnancy.” It’s so true.

    Here’s my advice. Breathe, acknowledge the fear, acknowledge that your feelings are justified and real, and then release the fear. If I learned anything from Lori’s book it’s that it’s important to acknowledge our fears, get to the heart of them, understand them and then: let them go.

    Easier said than done, I know. But worth the effort…

    • Oh, in terms of going part-time: that’s a tough one because of financials. Maybe talk to your MiL and get her take on whether she definitely needs you to be part-time? Tell her you need to know because of the deadline? That would better inform your decision.

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