I am searching to find a new balance.
Not too long ago I took the plunge and went back to work. I am now working for myself, and enjoying the benefits of working from home.
As many of you know, I have struggled immensely to figure out my career in the last year as I went from working an insane amount of hours to not working at all after our fourth loss. I’ve struggled to find the balance that works for me. And recently, in part because of our adoption costs and my desire, I decided that it was time for me to start working a bit more.
So now that I’m working again everyone keeps reminding me, I cannot burn myself out again, just like I did before. (That said, I do believe working through multiple high risk pregnancies and subsequent miscarriages was a large part of my ultimate demise at my old position).
And, of course everyone also keeps asking, how is this going to work once I have a baby?
I’m trying really hard to focus on the good things about working for myself:
- I am working for myself. No more unsupportive bosses who take advantage of my inability to say no.
- I can say no to projects if I want to – this is something I will struggle to do, because as the old saying goes it’s “feast or famine”. But, I can say no, and I just have to remember to.
- My income will make our outrageous adoption costs more bearable. Honestly, this is huge deal. We believe our adoption cost are going to raise at least one more time before this is all said and done and we need the money.
- I cannot put my life on hold while we wait for our adoption to occur. I must live, and this includes working.
- I set my own hours. With the exception of some phone calls and meetings that will occur during business hours I can literally work whenever I want – this means I will have more flexibility to work around our child’s schedule.
- I get to work from home. I spend the large majority of my days in the comfort of my own home, and even in comfy pants! That said, I do have a rule about showering – it still has to happen. Every day. Because otherwise that’s just gross.
While I want to focus on the good stuff, I realize I also need to acknowledge the risks associated with my type A personality and working again:
- I have an inability to say no, so there is potential that I may end up with too much work. If I take on too much, I will burn out. I do not want to work 60+ hours a week. Heck, I do not want to work 40 hours a week.
- I most definitely do not want to spend my life on the road, some minimal travel is okay, but this line cannot be crossed and I am solely responsible to respect the line I’ve drawn in the sand.
- I want to be there raise our child. It’s now unlikely that I will even get a few months of work free child time now – I cannot take a few months off when I’m the only person doing the work. I am not eligible for Canada’s 35 week paternity leave granted to adoptive parents. I do not want a full time nanny or day-care. We are okay with having one or two days a week of child care, but that’s it so I need to develop a strategy to reduce my work to fit within a few days a week once we are placed.
- I realize the importance of balance, and I plan to continue to exercise, eat healthy and make a point to enjoy life and the simple happy moments. Work cannot push out other things in my life.
- I am afraid of failing. This fear is not going anywhere, but I am not willing to let it paralyze me. I will do my best.
So, while I know the risks are there, and I know that I need to be cognisant of them, for now I am choosing to focus on the benefits and all the exciting stuff that goes along with working for myself.
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