Monday, March 28, 2011

Josh hanging out on a firetruck.

Stroller dude.

Mommy's favorite time of day....

Thursday, March 24, 2011

So today is my last day.  I will still work one or two shifts a week at Schuyler, but not this 48 hour a week stuff I've been doing. Josh is teething, and fussy, and has developed seperation anxiety, so I think right now, he needs his mom.
Or maybe Mommy needs Josh.

He was awake last night.  All night.  At one point I tried to put him in bed with us, but he just sat up between his Dad and I and jabbered and yelled and kissed Mommy and poked Daddy till his Dad woke up.  All of this at 2:30 in the morning when Mommy and Daddy have to leave for work by 7.  Plus, Mommy has a sinus infection, so this makes today miserable.

And the day drags on, and on. 

Sunday, March 20, 2011


Thursday is my last shift in Ovid.  They don't know it yet, but it's pretty obvious it's coming.
I simply cannot work my schedule around Rob's, and he's making more money and carries the insurance for the family, it's my job that has to go.

I keep pointing out that maybe he would like to be a stay-at-home dad, and he keeps pointing out that it makes no sense for him to quit his full time job so I can get one.  Also, he's a little on the old-fashioned side, and has made it clear that he believes it is the husband's responsibility to provide for the family.
Which is all well and good, but full time day care is just about unaffordable, and when both parents are working 24-48 hour shifts, day care is pretty much impossible.

So I am relegated to staying at home with the baby.

I know there are women who love being stay-at-home moms.  Women who knew from the time they were young that they wanted to get married and have babies and create a home.  Women who spent their youth preparing for this.

I was not one of them.  I wanted a career, not babies.  I wanted an apartment, not a country home.  I wanted a lot of education and a job I enjoyed, not cookbooks and vacuuming. 
I didn't plan on falling in love with a paramedic, or being a paramedic myself.

I didn't expect that it would be almost impossible to coordinate two full-time paramedic schedules with child care. 
I certainly had no intention of falling in love and marrying someone who believed that it is the man's responsibility to provide financially for the family.

But I did.
All of this happened.  So now I am left asking--what do I do now?

Can I say that I am a little resentful?  That I don't know why my husband's career is taking precedence over mine?  Why his job change effectively means that I will never be a full time paramedic again, that there is no career track for me, that the most I can hope for is 12 hours of gainful employment a week? 
That I have no idea what stay at home mothers of infants do?
And that I don't really want to know?

But we have to look at all of this from a pragmatic and financial standpoint. 
And pragmatically, financially, working 45 hours a week isn't feasible for both parents in our household, and it appears to be my career that has to be sacrificed.

And it isn't to say that I don't love my Joshua.  Because I do.  But I'm not the type that is happy at home all day.  I long for big people conversation, ideas, things to do.  I worked one day last week, and my house got completely clean, and Josh and I went for lots of walks and to the park, and I cooked dinner every night, and I was totally, completely, depths-of-despair miserable.  Gas prices are too high for me to drive anywhere, and there isn't anything in this little town to do other than go to Wal-Mart.

So I feel stuck.
And bored.
And trying to figure out how we're going to make this all work, when one of us really doesn't want it too.

Saturday, March 5, 2011


Two years later,
I still do.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

even more changes...

my anniversary is Monday.  We'll have been married two years.
I have to say, looking back, I'm glad we did it the way we did. We were married in my parents living room. I wore a tea-length lace dress, and he wore a pair of black pants he found somewhere and a red button down shirt.  I think he even wore a tie, if memory serves.  Our best man came from work wearing his ambulance uniform, and my matron of honor wore black pants and carried a single rose. There was no decorating, no guest list, no music.  Just us, and our simple vows, and our rings.  Afterward we had a simple meal of meatballs and sandwiches and brownies and cheesecake.  We wanted our focus, all along, to be on our marriage, and not on our wedding.  We spent our 3 month engagement planning for marriage, and not a wedding.  There was no honeymoon; we just got down to the business of being a married couple and working on life together.

I can't say it's hurt us at all, untraditional though it was.

Two years, a house, a dog, a cat and a baby later, we're standing on the edge of another major change.  Change is good, but there have been so many these last few years.  Rob is leaving his job, taking a paramedic position at a much larger and busier company, where he'll be working 57 hours a week plus whatever more overtime he wants to pick up.  The pay is better overall, they pay 100% of our health insurance plus most of our copay, plus 401k and other benefits.   Mostly, though, this is a stable and professional place to work.

But it forces us to make more hard decisions.  The pay and overtime is enough that I don't have to continue working full time hours.  I can work four days a week if I want to.  Or go officially full time where I'm currently working.  I can stay home, I can go back to school and finish my RN.  I think right now I plan to just hold at the status quo, to keep working twice a week, and see how things develop. 

Sometimes I think it would be easy.  If I didn't have choices.  If I was Mennonite, or held strong convictions about women working outside the home--then my choice would be simple.  Or if I financially had to work full time.  Or if I was in a career where I could take a few years or more off without being penalized.  Or if my husband had a strong preference either way, or we couldn't afford childcare, or, conversely, if we could afford a live in nanny.  Or if my husband wanted to be a stay-at-home dad.(I've suggested it, and he just looks at me like I've grown two heads)  Or if my husband had a different sort of career, one that didn't involve 90 hour workweeks(I know him too well and know the allure of unlimited overtime).

But I do have choices.  And I am so thankful to live in a time and place a situation where I can choose to pursue a career outside of wife-and-motherhood.  For most of time, women were either in situations where they had to work outside the home(and in my family, both my grandmother and great-grandmother held jobs) or they were in a religious or cultural/social situation where pursuing a career was simply unacceptable.  I don't have any of this, so I have the whole world opened up to me.

So here we are again, changing course, finding a new equilibrium. A new balance.
There have been many, many changes these 2 years of marriage.  Each time it takes us a little while to find our balance again, but we do, and life goes on.  But for the next two weeks, while Rob takes his unused vacation time before starting a new job, we're just enjoying being a family--him and me and the baby and the dog and the cat, all just trying to figure out this thing called life.