I've worked since six weeks after giving birth to Kate. This wasn't easy since I had her some 300 miles from home. But, somehow I managed to set up some lo-cum (filling in) for other veterinarians that needed time off while I was living at the Ronald McDonald House in Spokane. Kate's neonatologist was the one that suggested it, I think he was tired of seeing me sitting in the NICU hour after hour.
Then after three months of being away from home, I got back and started back to working part time then I was back to full time in four weeks. I have been working full time ever since then. I have taken less a little over a week off in the past year. I typically work between 45 and 55 hours a week.
Now I don't write all this to be a sob story more to give a little background. The truth being that I do best when busy. Obviously if a doctor who had only known me for a few weeks, suggested and even made a phone call to get me back to work I most give off a vibe of somebody who needs to keep busy. Furthermore I have a wonderful career. Absolutely one of the best professions somebody could have. My job is challenging, a daily adventure, and I have a passion for my patients. Most of the time when I am at work, I think of nothing else but my patients and the case or procedure in front of me. Well, that was before Kate.
After Kate work has been different. First off, gone is the luxury of coming in early and working late. I think I have been to work early about twice since I had her. Typically I am about ten minutes late. And then if I work late, I won't see her before bed. I have to leave as soon as my last appointment is over to even get to see her for thirty minutes before bed. Because of this I have to get everything done during the work day, this often involves managing every minute of the day to the millisecond. Typing as fast as a I can to get my records done, calling clients with test results while I drive home (hands-free of course) and doing what-ever it takes to get out of there on time.
And then of course there is the conflicts. No childcare. Childcare needs to change days. Childcare is taking a vacation. Doctor appointments. More doctors appointments. Even more doctors appointments. Kate is coughing. Kate is sneezing. Kate isn't pooping. Ed has a meeting. I have a meeting. Grandma has a meeting. Most weeks there is several phone calls, schedule changes and at least three things that I have forgotten or messed up on the home front.
I take offense when people make insensitive comments about working mothers (or any mothers for that point). Or make a statement about it being a choice. Yes, it is a choice in a way. Unfortunately life is not that straight forward. At times in your adult life you have to do what needs to get done and the only choice is in what order you are going to do it. Bills have to be paid, and your decisions are difficult. You do the best you can with what you have.
All the same, sometimes this busy bodied person who loves her career just longs to stay home. To take care of my daughter everyday all day. To have a few things a little less chaotic and less scheduled. To just slow down. To not feel so torn in so many different directions. And above all else not feel like I am missing out on Kate's infanthood or just life for that matter.
And that my friends is the working momma blues.