So I did it....
My first full week as a "working" mom!
It was...HARD. But fun too, at times. And a bit tiring, but not as much as I thought it would be.
Maybe the most surprising was that I felt that I was at work ALL DAY (my day is 9:30-2:30), but if I had stayed at home that day, I would be saying "it's ONLY 2:30?! I miss Mr. O!" It is disappointing to feel that I worked oh-so-much and then look at my hours and see I really am only part-time.
I am so proud of my parish for being not being afraid to hire me, a nursing mama, and letting me bring Zuzu with me. I feel supported and appreciated; not once this week did anyone treat me rudely, unprofessionally, or discourteously. My nursing was respected, Zuzu was coo'd at but not overly-so, and the pastor was still comfortable asking me to take on projects and do my job.
So it's clear that it's doable. But is it what I am called to, here and now? I am still figuring that out. My Boss and I agreed that we would keep the lines of communication open, and that if it didn't work for either of us, no hard feelings.
I wonder if it's hard for me, mentally, to be doing this because I never thought I would work outside the home. One of the things Tom and I agreed on most strongly before we wed was that once we had children, I would stay home with them. We wanted it that way - the home is a sacred space that should be tended by a diligent and faithful guardian. All my life, I have aspired to be that guardian.
So I keep wondering - why am I letting that go? Why am I leaving my hearth unattended for 5 hours a day, 4 days a week? Part of it is because I feel guilty for the school debt I brought to my marriage; I want that to go away as soon as possible. I also want to be of service to my parish, and the job of assistant to the pastor is really a ministry.
When stated this way, home seems like this glorious refuge, and work a dutiful slog. But I know that's not true - it's more complicated than that.
Would I work if we had all the money in the world? Of course not.
But do I think it's right that I can go to work with my baby, but would chose not to, and put my family under more financial strain? I don't know.
I am still figuring this all out. But I am lucky that I work someplace that wants me to be holy more than it wants me to work for them.