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?